New Delhi [India], April 18 (ANI): The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will conduct a study by next week, to identify the effectiveness of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine against COVID-19, the Union Health Ministry officials said on Friday.It may be noted that the BCG vaccine is administered against tuberculosis immediately after the birth of an infant.Addressing a daily briefing on COVID-19 crisis in the country, chief of epidemiology and communicable diseases at ICMR, Dr R Gangakhedkar said: "Till the time, we do not know the effectiveness of BCG vaccine against COVID-19, we cannot recommend it to any healthcare worker. From next week onwards, ICMR is going to conduct a study on it.""In the case of COVID-19, the benefit of BCG vaccine is less as it has maximum protection for 15 years. Even if it is re-vaccinated, then it should be done in the age of adolescence," he said.Citing an example Gangakhedkar said: "If today I am 70 years of age and COVID-19 positive then I cannot be protected by BCG vaccine. Hence, there is no enough evidence to show that a repeated vaccination of BCG will protect anyone against coronavirus who is above 15 years."He said that the BGC vaccine cannot prevent a person fully from tuberculosis as it gives partial immunity from tuberculosis meningitis. However, there have been some studies which show that BCG vaccine has good results in some malignant cancer by killing cancer cells in the body, he added.India's total number of coronavirus positive cases has risen to 13,835, including 1767 cured and discharged and 452 deaths, as per the Union Health Ministry. (ANI)

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