21 April 2020

Radboud university medical center and UMC Utrecht are working on a joint research project to discover whether the tuberculosis (BCG) vaccine reduces the risk of infection with the coronavirus in people aged 60 or older, or the severity of the symptoms in the event of infection. A total of 1,600 people may take part in the study, which starts today. Half of the study participants will be given the vaccine, the other half will not.
 
The elderly have a higher chance of becoming seriously ill as a result of the coronavirus. Also, if infected, they are more at risk of dying from the infection. There is currently no vaccine against the coronavirus, and no other way of protecting the elderly from infection. However, previous research shows that the BCG vaccine protects not just against tuberculosis, but that it can also increase people’s immunity to other viruses.
 
Scientific research
It is unclear whether the BCG vaccine can also provide some level of protection from the coronavirus. The aim of this study is therefore to find out whether it does. The study should answer the question whether the BCG vaccine provides protection from the coronavirus and/or whether it reduces the severity of the symptoms in the elderly. This is the second study carried out by the Radboud university medical center and UMC Utrecht into the effect of the BCG vaccine on the coronavirus. The first study focused specifically on healthcare workers, whereas this study focuses exclusively on the elderly.
 
The vaccine
BCG is the most widely administered vaccine in the world and is used in many countries to prevent tuberculosis. For this study, the hospitals will obtain the BCG vaccine directly from the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). The study will therefore not affect the availability of the vaccine for regular use by the municipal public health service (GGD) in the Netherlands. Participants in the study must be aged 60 or older.

Related news items


The best thesis prize 2019 within Nephrology awarded to Kioa Wijnsma

28 October 2020

Kioa Wijnsma, theme Renal disorders, won the best thesis award 2019 within Nephrology

read more

Over 800k euro for Primary and Community Care study cardiovascular risk management

26 October 2020

The research group led by Primary and Community Care researcher and general practitioner Erik Bischoff has received a ZonMw grant from the call Goed Gebruik Geneesmiddelen.

read more

Radboudumc research into the effects of COVID-19 measures on migrant workers

22 October 2020

Within the Radboud University Network on Migrant Inclusion (RUNOMI), the Radboudumc researches the position and vulnerability of labour migrants within the (Dutch) labor market during the COVID-19 pandemic.

read more

SKU Board Appoints Four New Board Members

16 October 2020

The board of Stichting Katholieke Universiteit (SKU), the supervisory body of Radboud University and Radboud university medical center, has appointed four new board members as of 17 October 2020.

read more

Largest study ever on research integrity Aimed at all researchers in the Netherlands

15 October 2020

Radboudumc participates in the National Survey on Research Integrity (NSRI), which is being distributed to nearly 40,000 researchers in the Netherlands starting today. The survey seeks to sketch a picture of the issues that can foster or hinder research integrity. Please fill out the survey!

read more