IVANN BIBI

Recent studies in Japan, Germany, and the USA have shown a strikingly strong correlation between the use of the Baccilus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine in certain populations around the world, with a significant measurable decrease in the coronavirus infection and, more importantly, death rate.

What is the BCG vaccine? BCG is the vaccine that was used in many parts of the world, some still today, to fight against another deadly disease: tuberculosis (TB)1.

The studies in question seem to show that countries that had in place a BCG vaccination program have coronavirus death rates to the tune of 10 times less than countries where the BCG vaccination program did not exist (2). This is a significant number and a very significant and convincing find, backed up from data across the world and not just any one particular country.

In fact, this correlation is so convincing that Germany has recently started vaccinating her senior citizens against tuberculosis, using a stronger more potent derivative of the BCG vaccine called the VPM 1002 vaccine, in attempt to provide them with a better chance of surviving the coronavirus if they are infected. Currently, there are over six countries worldwide that are already engaging in the same kind of program as Germany–with many focusing on vaccinating “frontline” health workers and essential services sector employees such as police, firemen, and first responders with the BCG vaccine. Their goal in doing so is to attempt to provide them with an extra layer of protection against the coronavirus.

In India, as well as Japan, two countries that have very strict BCG vaccination policies, the coronavirus infection rate and mortality rates have been exponentially less than what experts had originally predicted—and some experts are now turning to BCG vaccination programs in these countries as an explanation for these significantly low rates. Importantly, there is also a cheap test available to see if persons who had already been vaccinated need to be re-vaccinated, or if their immunity is still functioning from having previously received the vaccine (3). Currently estimates of the vaccines efficacy range anywhere from between 15-40 years, with the general consensus being that a vaccinated person is typically protected from TB for up to at least 20 years.

Instead of explaining to you all technicalities on how TB vaccine works and how it experts believe it is helping to protect people against coronavirus, here is a link to a short video about the BCG vaccine and how it works, and also about the vaccination program currently underway in Germany: https://www.facebook.com/195966694279794/posts/658069784736147/?vh=e&d=n

I propose that the Mauritian Government urgently reach out to their German counterparts and procure a significant amount of the new German derivative of the BCG vaccine (VPM1002), and implement a nationwide vaccination program urgently as well in Mauritius. The time for us to implement such a vaccination program in Mauritius could not be riper, as we have just recently began our seasonal vaccinations against the flu. Doctors and caregivers across the island are even currently making unprecedented “house visits” to a certain segment of the population to further mitigate their exposure to the deadly coronavirus. Therefore, as it stands, our situation is exceptionally well primed. We must act now.

We should roll out a system to check for prior BCG vaccine immunizations countrywide, as well as start the immediate vaccination of our health care workers and essential service sector employees. I believe this should be done in parallel with the vaccination of our senior (elderly) citizens as well as the most vulnerable members of society.

Such a policy costs us nothing, except for money (4)—and is proving to be a theory with legs gaining momentum worldwide. We cannot lose, as aside from protecting against tuberculosis and potentially boosting a persons immune system against coronavirus—the vaccine has been proven to decrease a persons propensity for infection from a myriad of other known pathogens and contagion.

An additional benefit to a re-immunization program in Mauritius is there are even tests currently underway to analyze the BCG vaccines effectiveness to protect against certain cancers. And, even here, the experts are quite hopeful.

This is a win-win situation, Mauritius, and I implore the Mauritian Government, and in particular the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to look into this matter immediately.

To top it off, the good news is that Mauritius forms part of a network of relatively few countries (mostly third world countries) that still universally vaccinate, at birth, against TB using the BCG vaccine. The World Bank states that in 2018 Mauritius had a 99% rate of TB vaccination, up from about the 86% rate we had been at through the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s (Please see charts). [5]

This means the Mauritian population is very well suited for a re-immunization program against TB, potentially using the stronger more recent vaccine that

Germany is now using. The best part is that most of our population have mostly likely already had the vaccine and may only require a booster. Based on all this evidence, I strongly believe that the BCG vaccine needs to form part of Mauritius’ arsenal of weapons against the coronavirus, our known invisible enemy, such as is confinement and testing. However, unlike confinement and testing, which are both largely defensive maneuvers and protocols, the BCG vaccine is an offensive measure.

It is time to bring out the big guns in our war against the coronavirus, with one word accurately summing up this unique method of playing defense: counter-attack.

1.https://www.google.mu/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2020/04/03/health/coronavirus-bcg-vaccine.amp.html

2.https://m.economictimes.com/industry/healthcare/biotech/healthcare/nations-without-bcg-vaccination-saw-higher-cases/articleshow/74956201.cms

3.https://m.economictimes.com/industry/healthcare/biotech/healthcare/nations-without-bcg-vaccination-saw-higher-cases/articleshow/74956201.cms

4.Testing for prior immunization is very cheap and the BCG vaccine itself is not expensive, at less than US2/dose.

5.https://tradingeconomics.com/mauritius/immunization-bcg-percent-of-one-year-old-children-wb-data.html