Vaccinatie in arm
Image: ©Gezondheidsraad

BCG vaccination and COVID-19; follow-up advisory report

Since late 2020, COVID-19 vaccines have been available that have proven effective in protecting against severe disease. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when no COVID-19 vaccines were yet available, it was suggested that the tuberculosis vaccine (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin, BCG) could also protect against COVID-19. Effects of the BCG vaccine on other infections have been described. In October 2020, the Health Council issued an initial advisory report on BCG vaccination and COVID-19.

At the time, there was insufficient data available to assess the efficacy and safety of BCG vaccination for COVID-19. There is now more scientific data available, and the Health Council has re-assessed whether BCG vaccination could be used against COVID-19. The Council has concluded that there is no compelling evidence of relevant effects of BCG vaccination on the number of cases of COVID-19. Likewise, there is no compelling evidence that BCG vaccination works to combat severe disease from COVID-19. Accordingly, the Health Council sees no reason to add BCG vaccination to the existing range of COVID-19 vaccinations.