Promising research about the efficacy of the BCG vaccine against a range of respiratory infections has just been published in the prestigious medical journal, Cell. This randomized-controlled vaccine trial started years before the COVID-19 pandemic, but has major implications for the potential use of BCG in response to COVID-19, particularly in elderly and vulnerable populations.
These findings further support the value of Dr. Megan Murray’s research into the use of the BCG vaccine specifically for COVID-19. With this data there are compelling, validated reasons to believe in the likelihood of BCG’s protective effects against COVID. This increases the urgency with which Dr. Murray’s targeted research in Taiwanese and U.S. nursing homes must advance. As the most widely administered vaccine in the world (100 million doses annually at a cost of less than six cents per dose) this is the only vaccine treatment being considered that has the potential for rapid global reach. As we’ve said before, this could be a game changer in the course of this pandemic, and should be investigated thoroughly and without any further delay.
Wired Magazine published an incredible overview of the research, as well as historical context on the development of this use for BCG. Read the article here or check out the original Cell publication here.
For more info on Dr. Murray’s important work, check out the videos below, and support the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund so we can help accomplish these critical research goals during this crucial time.
Full interview with Dr. Kahn and Dr. Murray (13 min):
Short video (3.5 min):
An easy-to-share trailer (2 min):
About Dr. Megan Murray, MD, MPH, ScD
Dr. Megan Murray is an epidemiologist and an infectious disease physician, with over 25 years of experience in management of TB programs and TB epidemiology and is the director of Harvard Medical School’s Global Health Research Core. Dr. Murray is a Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an Associate Professor of Medicine and the Director of Research at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Global Health Equity and its sister organization, Partners In Health. She is also an Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health where she leads a research team which conducts multidisciplinary research on MDR and XDR TB involving conventional and molecular epidemiology, cost-effectiveness and mathematical modeling, outcomes and operations research, and genomic epidemiology. She has conducted field studies in South Africa, Russia, Peru, the US, and Rwanda and has previously worked in Kenya, Niger and Pakistan. Dr. Murray serves as an editor for PLoS Medicine and for the European Journal of Epidemiology. She is a member of WHO’s TB-STAG, the Stop TB MDR Working Group, and WHO Global XDR-TB Task Force. She has also served on numerous other committees including the Harvard University Human Subjects Committee, the University’s Pandemic Flu Advisory Committee, the Institute of Medicine committee on Gulf War and Infectious Diseases and NIH study sections.