Ahead of the 6th International Academy for Autoimmunity, held at St. Petersburg State University on December 6, Russian scientists from Putin’s Alma Mater published a study on the direct link between slowing the spread of coronavirus in countries where mass vaccination against tuberculosis is carried out.

The University of St. Petersburg, founded by order of Peter the Great, is one of the oldest universities in Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin and former President Dmitry Medvedev are graduates of the Law Faculty of the University of St. Petersburg. The university has an old tradition of practical research in all fields of science.

Therefore, it is not surprising that a group of researchers from the Medical Faculty of St. Petersburg State University, led by the Deputy Laboratory of Autoimmunity Mosaic (Laboratory of the Mosaic of Autoimmunity) could conduct a complex study, which linked the rate of spread of COVID-19 and its duration and mandatory vaccination against tuberculosis.

This issue was discussed by the scientific community back in the spring, when scientists around the world actively discussed the connection between vaccination against tuberculosis in early childhood and pneumonia with a new COVID-19 infection. So far, the statistics based on the patients treated with COVID-19 have not been sufficient to draw conclusions. Today, doctors all over the world are beginning to find important laws, which will enable the protection of people in the future.

The analysis of statistical data, conducted by experts from the University of St. Petersburg, showed that the level of patients with COVID-19 and the mortality rate are related to the factor of vaccination with Bacillus Calmeta-Guerin (BCG). Mortality rates were lower in those countries, where a national vaccine immunization program and in particular revaccination, previously existed or continues to exist: in Eastern Europe, Finland, China, Japan, Korea, Central and South Asia, Africa, and in a number of other states, among them the former states of the USSR. A significantly higher mortality rate is where mass vaccination with BCG vaccine has never been carried out or has ceased to be carried out in the last 20 years, for example in America, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, West Germany (compared to the East).

For example, in Russia, BCG is given once in a lifetime to newborns. It is the effect of the vaccine on the formation of the immune system that provides an adequate effect of strengthening the immune response of organisms to various, among them highly infectious antigens.

Four countries – Belarus, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – are being vaccinated twice. Scientists from the University of St. Petersburg have come to the conclusion that the effects of strong immunity are reached if the BCG vaccine is given in an immature form of the immune system. “There are reasons to belive that the effect of the second vaccination will be significantly smaller,” Leonid Churilov explained.

At the same time, there are works and research from the Netherlands, where BCG vaccination was not carried out in childhood, which show that giving the vaccine to an adult does not worsen but even alleviates the disease when a person is infected with COVID 19.

It operates in the following way: BCG vaccine activates the local immune response on the mucous membrane. Acute respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 spreads through them. According to Russian scientists, the BCG vaccine launches trained immunity, which activates monocytes, macrophages and natural killer cells – cells that mobilize the body’s non-specific defense. Also produced after BCG vaccination, interferon gamma and other mediators may eventually contribute to a less severe course of the disease.

Perhaps this study will be a good answer to the many movements that fight against vaccination and will again provide evidence of the need for timely vaccination, which has been rejected by states at the state levels.

Slavisha Batko Milacic – analyst and historian


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