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BCG-vaccination and COVID-19

BCG is known also to have an effect on infections other than tuberculosis, for example respiratory tract infections (so-called non-specific effects). That raises the question of whether vaccination with BCG could have a protective effect in the context of an infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that is responsible for COVID-19. For that reason the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) asked the Health Council of the Netherlands to clarify the scientific situation. The limited number of available studies suggest that BCG vaccination can have a protective effect on respiratory tract infections in adults. However, the available data does not confirm the efficacy, effectiveness and safety of BCG vaccination in the context of COVID-19. The committee recommends that the Minister wait for the outcomes of current trials.