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In Scientific reports ; h5-index 158.0

Population-level data have suggested that bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination may lessen the severity of Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) prompting clinical trials in this area. Some reports have demonstrated conflicting results. We performed a robust, ecologic analysis comparing COVID-19 related mortality (CRM) between strictly selected countries based on BCG vaccination program status utilizing publicly available databases and machine learning methods to define the association between active BCG vaccination programs and CRM. Validation was performed using linear regression and country-specific modeling. CRM was lower for the majority of countries with a BCG vaccination policy for at least the preceding 15 years (BCG15). CRM increased significantly for each increase in the percent population over age 65. A higher total population of a country and BCG15 were significantly associated with improved CRM. There was a consistent association between countries with a BCG vaccination for the preceding 15 years, but not other vaccination programs, and CRM. BCG vaccination programs continued to be associated with decreased CRM even for populations < 40 years old where CRM events are less frequent.

Brooks Nathan A, Puri Ankur, Garg Sanya, Nag Swapnika, Corbo Jacomo, Turabi Anas El, Kaka Noshir, Zemmel Rodney W, Hegarty Paul K, Kamat Ashish M