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TB and Polio vaccines being considered to fight COVID-19

As the world waits for the coronavirus vaccine, scientists, in meantime, are evaluating two tried-and-true vaccines for Tuberculosis and Polio to see if they can offer limited protection against the coronavirus.

As the world waits for the coronavirus vaccine, scientists, in meantime, are evaluating two tried-and-true vaccines for Tuberculosis and Polio to see if they can offer limited protection against the coronavirus.

Tests are already underway to see if the TB vaccine can slow the novel coronavirus. While other researchers writing in a scientific journal Thursday propose using the polio vaccine, which once was melted on children’s tongues, Washington Post reported.

Vaccines developed against TB and polio has already been used in millions of people and could offer a low-risk way to rev up the body’s first line of defense — the innate immune system — against a broad array of pathogens, including the coronavirus.

The tuberculosis vaccine is also called bacillus Calmette-Guerin and known by the shorthand BCG. The trials for tuberculosis vaccine have begun in the United States, the Netherlands, and Australia.

“This is the only vaccine in the world that can be given to combat COVID-19 right now,” said Jeffrey D. Cirillo, a professor of microbial pathogenesis and immunology at Texas A&M Health Science Center, who is leading a trial of the tuberculosis vaccine.

Vaccines are designed to teach the immune system to develop a memory of a particular pathogen but over the years, vaccines that use live, weakened pathogens have been shown to have potent off-target effects.

They can activate other components of the immune response to beat back other infections, including respiratory diseases.

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