By Amy Hunt
Currently, almost of all the world's health care and medical professionals are throwing their efforts behind the coronavirus pandemic efforts.
Many are treating COVID-19 sufferers in hospital, while others exploring the best options to reduce the spread of the disease. And then, there are those scientists researching the all-important end-goal - a coronavirus vaccine.
Experts report that vaccines can normally take up to ten years to produce, but given the worldwide effort being directed towards the coronavirus - due to its worldwide impact - it's hoped that a vaccine may be available as early as next year. And early hopes are being placed on a pre-existing vaccine - the BCG vaccine.
The BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin) jab is actually an anti-tuberculosis injection, which was originally given to children of school age to help protect against the infection.
It was originally introduced in the UK in the 1950s, and between then and 2005, policy was to give all school children between the ages of 10 and 14 the vaccine, as well as babies in high-risk groups. However, from 2005, the mandatory BCG vaccination was dropped, due to medical professionals considering it to be no longer cost-effective.
How could the BCG vaccine help with coronavirus?
Researchers in Australia believe that the BCG vaccine could provide a good grounding for a coronavirus vaccine.
Scientists at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne said, “Although originally developed against tuberculosis, and still given to over 130 million babies annually for that purpose, BCG also boosts humans’ ‘frontline’ immunity, training it to respond to germs with greater intensity."
According to Bloomberg, 4,000 health workers across Australia are set to be given the vaccine as part of a six month trial.
Peter Openshaw, a professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London explained to the Mail Online that the vaccine could help to put your immune system on alert, and so could help fight against new illnesses better.
He said, "The level of alertness remains high for weeks or months after having the vaccine.
"It means you may be less likely to catch infections during that period because the immune system is more likely to respond very quickly if it spots a foreign invader."
So how likely are these trials to be helpful in developing a COVID-19 vaccine?
On This Morning, Dr Zoe William explained that it is just one of a range of potential vaccine possibilities at the moment.
Phillip Schofield asked her, "People have been talking a lot about the BCG tuberculosis vaccine and whether it can prevent coronavirus. What do you think?"
To which she responded, "There are lots of theories at the moment; HIV drugs are being tested, anti-malarial drugs are being tested."
"World Health Organisation have said that they are throwing everything at it, but, as of yet, there’s not one controlled clinical test that’s been proven to work."
Amy Hunt is Life Channel Editor at womanandhome.com, having been with the brand since 2015. She began as the magazine's features assistant before moving over to digital as a News and Features Writer, before becoming Senior Writer, and now a Channel Editor. She has worked on either women's lifestyle websites previously too—including Woman's Weekly, Goodto.com, Woman, and Woman's Own. In 2019, Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards, for her work on womanandhome.com. She is passionate about everything from books, to homes, to food and the latest news on the royal family. When she isn't editing or updating articles on cleaning, homewares, the newest home gadgets, or the latest books releases for the website, she's busy burying her nose in a gripping thriller, practising yoga, or buying new homeware of her own.
The best tote bags for every occasion
We've rounded up the best tote bags for every occasion and budget, to help you shop without scrolling.
By Joely Chilcott •
How to clean a bathroom—a step-by-step guide to get yours gleaming
Learn how to clean a bathroom to a sparkling standard with our handy checklist
By Amy Hunt •
11 ways to boost workout motivation and enjoy exercise
We asked the experts to share their top tips for workout motivation, whatever the weather
By Faye M Smith •
This bizarre warning sign on your toes can indicate high cholesterol
A strange symptom that appears on your toes may indicate that you have high cholesterol
By Laura Harman •
Yoga nidra—the night-time practice that could transform your sleep
Yoga nidra is a deeply restorative practice that could help beat insomnia and other sleep issues
By Rose Goodman •
The best vibrator for a buzz alone or with your partner
Our best vibrator round-up is packed with tried-and-tested reviews and recommendations for top orgasms
By Faye M Smith •
Peloton has launched its first interactive gaming experience for bike owners
Level up your wellness experience
By Rylee Johnston •
What is the 12-3-30 workout? Experts explain the internet’s favorite new fitness routine
The 12-3-30 walking workout was made famous by social media star Lauren Giraldo
By Kate Carter •
The best foods for a healthy vagina, according to the experts
The seven top foods for a healthy vagina are delicious too!
By Emilie Lavinia •
Covid-19 vaccine may be less effective on over 50s, say experts researching its efficacy
The COVID-19 vaccine may be less effective on older generations
By Laura Harman •