Did you know why COVID-19 is spreading severely in some countries but gradually in other countries? Have you ever thought about this? Mainly Asian & African countries having very low number of COVID-19 (or Corona) incidents when compared to Europe & America. Corona has already done its biggest damage to America with the highest number of reported incidents. And Italy is having the highest death count so far.

Can you think of a reason about why most developed countries with advance medical & research facilities are still struggling to handle COVID-19 when third-world countries in Asian-African regions are controlling it effectively?

Professor Gonzalo Otazu

Gonzalo Otazu, Assistant Professor at the New York Institute of Technology thought about this and conducted a research to find-out the correlation between these variations. Eventually, he came up with a research paper that triggered alarm in every governments and medias all over the world.

In his research, he pointed-out the possible major factor behind the resilience against COVID-19 in some regions compared to the other. He says, reason for this could be in BCG vaccination. Most countries have mandated BCG vaccination in 1940’s.

BCG (Bacillus Calmette-GuΓ©rin) vaccine was invented 100 years ago in America as a remedy for Tuberculosis (TB) disease. Those days, governments itself enforced to inject BCG vaccination because of the rise in TB death trolls. Many Asian-African countries continued vaccinating BCG until today, but most European-American countries stopped this vaccine because TB was defeated by the vaccine. Some European nations having BCG vaccine as an option at hospitals. And in some European countries this vaccine has a high cost.

In his research, professor Gonzalo insisted that the TB vaccine could be a significant force behind Asians & Africans to resist COVID-19. BCG vaccine will increase human immunity, therefore it could help to fight against Corona and other diseases as well. Professor also says, the people with BCG can still get infected by Corona, but the spreading among them could be lesser when compared to the people without BCG.

Research Journey

Professor Gonzalo started his investigations by tracing the virus since its Day-Zero in China. Meanwhile, he found something very interesting about Japan. Japan was located pretty much closer to China, but it didn’t have much Corona cases. Japan was the only country that didn’t lockdown because of COVID-19. Spreading of the virus in Japan was too slower than other countries. With these evidences, Gonzalo became more curious to find the secret behind Japanese.

Corona started spreading severely in America, Italy and many other European countries. Gonzalo realised, why some countries doesn’t have severe Corona cases (like Japan) when some countries does. He started to compare the fundamentals of each country. Then he identified a major indicator that could be the reason behind this regional variation for the virus. Gonzalo found about the TB vaccine (BCG) and thought that it could be the answer. By realising that the vaccine is increasing the immunity, he thought that it might fight against other diseases as well, other than TB.

Gonzalo started tracing the origin of BCG. Interesting fact was that most of the Asian-African countries are still using it, but European-American countries have stopped/limited the usage of this vaccine. It was obvious to see, the Corona was spreading severely in those countries that have limited the BCG usage.

When digging deeper into this, he understood a correlation between COVID-19 vs TB vaccine. He also started to focus on Iran, which is a country reported with higher number of Corona cases, but they also using BCG until today. Gonzalo realised that Iran has started BCG vaccination only after 1984. Therefore, whoever born before that period was prone for Corona. Then he researched about the virus spread in Germany. Part of Germany was having lower rate of Corona incidents where the other part is having completely a higher rate. Gonzalo found that one part of Germany has a mandate policy about injecting BCG which they call as the Universal Vaccine. The other part doesn’t follow this policy and it seemed to be the cause of higher Corona infections in that part of the country.

Let’s come back to the Day-Zero of this virus. COVID-19 was started spreading in Wuhan, China and had a rapid growth. Professor Gonzalo has started to find evidences about how the virus infected, where it started, how it’s spreading, if there are any infective patterns and what are the collateral damages made by this virus.

There was a Cultural Revolution in China between 1966 until 1976 and has closed all the vaccinations and denied medical attentions during this period. Gonzalo identified that the people in China who born during this period became more vulnerable to Corona virus. Both India and Pakistan has started to use BCG since 1949. They gave this vaccine universally to every new born baby. Even today Indian government provides this vaccine for free of charge within government hospitals.

By looking at the facts and more of the facts that he collected, Gonzalo concludes that whoever had BCG are having lower risk of COVID-19 infection, compared to others.

In 20th century TB didn’t rise much, therefore American & European countries stopped or limited the usage of BCG vaccine to lower the government expenses. These governments gave BCG vaccines only to the babies with low immunity. Today in US the cost of a BCG vaccine is around $100. Most people avoid BCG due to its cost. In most Asian countries, BCG is a mandatory vaccine. Also in Africa mostly United Nations providing funds to purchase this vaccine.

Research Summary

BCG immunity vaccine could be one reason behind the less spreading of the Corona virus in Asian-African regions and higher spreading in American-European regions. This is just a practical theory, and the professor has submitted his research paper to an expert panel in the scientific community. Later-on many scientists will do more researches about this and there will be more debates. Many research firms/countries will consider Gonzalo’s proposal for further analysis. Australia has already started their trials on the BCG vaccine to confirm that it could fight against Corona. Experiments are still in progress. BCG might not be a 100% successful remedy, but increasing immunity with BCG could give us hope to stay protected from this deadly virus.

Governments have taken necessary measures to prevent their citizens from this virus. Some countries were in a lockdown and some countries have increased the manufacturing of medical equipments like masks-gloves and etc. Government is preventing people gathering and advising everyone to use safety precautions. They also have added set of protocols where the violations can be convicted as a crime.

We should play our role as good citizens by staying at home and maintaining the social distancing to protect everyone from the deadly Corona Virus.


Reference Reading