Tags: Coronavirus | Vaccines | cdc | immunity | mmr | polio | infection

Study: Old Vaccines May Stop the Coronavirus

little girl wearing a pink dress receives a measles shot
Sonya Yanchuk, age 1, sits in her mother Nadia Yanchuk's lap as a nurse administers a measles vaccine shot in Kiev, Ukraine. (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 30 July 2020 10:42 AM

While the world waits for a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine to be developed, some scientists believe that tried-and-true vaccines may offer some protection against the virus.

Results from a recent study show that individuals who received SARS-CoV-2 tests, and had been immunized for other diseases, had much lower rates of infection than people who had not been inoculated for diseases such as measles-mumps-rubella and polio, or had not received flu vaccines. In particular, Blacks who had taken the pneumococcal vaccine had significantly lower rates of COVID-19 infection.

This finding is significant in light of statistics from the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that said members of racial and ethnic minority groups are at increased risk of getting COVID-19 or experiencing severe illness. The CDC offered new data to show that in America, the death rates among Blacks and Hispanics are much higher than for white people, in all age categories.

According to The New York Times, the study used health records from the Mayo Clinic to gather their information.

“The hypothesis we’re testing is that the immune system memory is stimulated by the vaccine,” said Venky Soundararajan, one of the researchers. “Then along comes SARS-CoV-2 and the immune system is able to get the virus back off and clear it, so it can’t invade multiple cells and become a full-blown infection.”

An article published in Virology lends credence to this theory. A 2008 study showed that the measles vaccine neutralized SARS-CoV, the virus responsible for the 2003 coronavirus epidemic. “It is possible that early childhood vaccines provide some protection against SARS-CoV-2,” said the authors. “Immunity derived from childhood vaccines typically wanes with age, thereby increasing the risk of severe COVID-19 in the elderly.”

There has been renewed interest in repurposing old vaccines that may be able to provide at least some degree of protection against the coronavirus, but experts said more clinical trials are needed. Unfortunately, there is little financial incentive in pursuing expensive clinical trials because the old vaccines are cheap and off-patent, according to the Times.

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While the world waits for a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine to be developed, some scientists believe that tried-and-true vaccines may offer some protection against the virus. Results from a recent study show that individuals who received SARS-CoV-2 tests, and had been...
cdc, immunity, mmr, polio, infection
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2020-42-30
Thursday, 30 July 2020 10:42 AM
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