The trial is to see if the BCG vaccine also offers protection against the Coronavirus, and so could be used as a ‘bridging vaccine’
A woman from Assen in Drenthe has become one of the first people in the Netherlands to have been injected with a vaccine aimed at staving off the Coronavirus. However, she has not been immunised using one of the much-vaunted experimental Coronavirus vaccines, but by existing vaccine used against tuberculosis. This may also offer protection against the Coronavirus, reports RTV Drenthe.
There is no rolled-out vaccine against the Coronavirus just yet, but that could soon change. Aly Drent from Assen did not have to think long when she heard about the possibilities of using the tuberculosis vaccine, and applied as a test subject.
“I had to expose my arm and I got an injection in it. Nothing special”, says Drent. “They put it under the skin and I got a small bump here,” she says, pointing to her left upper arm. “It’s not completely gone yet.”
Drent has been vaccinated with the BCG vaccine. This is an existing tuberculosis vaccine, which is known to have an effect on other respiratory infections as well. If it turns out that the BCG vaccine also protects against the Coronavirus, it could be used to bridge the time until there is a vaccine that works specifically against the Coronavirus. More than 100 different vaccines are under development worldwide.
“That really appealed to me, especially because I am a lung patient. And if it turns out that I get fewer complaints, then I sign up for it”, says Drent. She suffers from both asthma and rheumatism, among other things. “If I get COVID, it could kill me. Then let me get that vaccine, hoping I can be here a little longer.”
When asked if she was scared at the prospect of the experimental treatmet, Drent replied: “scary? No, what do I have to lose? I enjoy serving science.”