BCG and COVID-19

The BCG vaccine is a crucial tool for protecting babies and young children in high burden countries from TB, which killed 1.5 million people in 2019 and caused 10 million people to fall sick. Recent media reports indicating that BCG, the only licensed vaccine to protect again TB, may be protective against COVID-19 have led to new interest in this century-old vaccine. However, BCG’s ability to protect against COVID-19 infection or disease has not yet been tested in rigorous, prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trials. Such trials are now underway to study the effects of BCG in healthcare workers and others at high risk of COVID-19. Decisions on use of BCG to protect against COVID-19 should await these results and adequate supplies of BCG should be preserved to protect infants and children in high burden countries from TB.

For more information on this issue, please refer to the following resources:

BCG Vaccine and Covid-19

Resources about TB
and TB Vaccine R&D

  • TB Vaccine Development Pathway, developed by IAVI and TBVI, is an online tool that provides a structured development path and gating criteria for TB vaccine candidates. It includes considerations for target populations,  vaccine platforms, and market, access and implementation, as well as guidance for  planning and operating community engagement activities.
  • Global Investments in Tuberculosis Research and Development: Past, Present, and Future is a policy paper developed by WHO in collaboration with civil society groups, academia, and product development partnerships to articulate the research and funding needs to end TB.
  • TB Research Investments Provide Returns in Combating Both TB and COVID-19 is a policy brief published by Treatment Action Group (TAG) that explores the impact of COVID-19 on TB research and development (R&D), and how tools, concepts, capacity, and infrastructure established through years of public and donor investments in TB R&D have informed and jump-started COVID-19 research and responses.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on the TB epidemic: a community perspective, provides the results of a civil society and affected community led survey to better understand how COVID-19 is impacting key stakeholder groups.
  • BCG World Atlas is an interactive map that provides detailed information on current and past BCG vaccination policies and practices for over 180 countries.

Contact us if you have resources about TB and TB vaccines that you would like to share.

Resources for Advocacy and Community Engagement

  • VideoThe challenges of TB, a vision of a TB free world, and the importance of new TB vaccines from a variety of perspectives.
  • Video - Phumeza Tisile talk about her challenges in facing extensively drug-resistant TB, her vision of a TB free world, and how we can achieve it with new TB vaccines.
  • Report on Tuberculosis Research Funding Trends, published annually by TAG, tracks how much public, private, philanthropic, and multilateral institutions spend on TB research and development (R&D) across six areas of research: basic science, diagnostics, drugs vaccines, operational research, and infrastructure/unspecified projects.
  • Good Participatory Practice Guidelines for TB Vaccine Researchpublished by Aeras, is a user- friendly framework that defines specific standards and key elements needed for creating effective partnerships with stakeholders throughout the entire research process. Contact us if you are interested in obtaining copies of the GPP guidelines for TB vaccine research.

Contact us if you have advocacy and community engagement resources and materials that you would like to share.

Recent Scientific Publications

August 2021 Publications

Contact us with recent publications (within last 30 days) sharing new data, approaches, and information on TB vaccine R&D