26 October, 2021

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Patent-Free BCG Vaccine Fighting Covid-19 In The Global South? Amidst Creation Of A Lucrative Flu Vaccine Culture

By Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake

Dr. Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake

The patent-free and inexpensive BCG Vaccine is widely used in the developing world. As a battle for patent waivers on Covid-19 vaccines developed at “Warped Speed” unfolds with India and South Africa calling for rich countries and pharmaceutical corporations that have been raking in profits in the billions during the ‘pandemic’ to enable transfer of technology to manufacture affordable vaccines in the developing world, a recent study by members of the University of Colombo Medical Faculty heralds good news for health policy makers in tropical countries that practice universal BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin), vaccination. Led by Dr. Dakshitha Wickramasinghe the study echoes the findings of other international researchers that have linked the hundred year old BCG vaccine with fewer Coronavirus infections, lower disease severity and fatalities[1].

Originally developed against Tuberculosis (TB), a bacterial infection, the hundred-year-old BCG vaccine offers broad protection and sharply reduces the incidence of respiratory infections, while also preventing infant deaths from a variety of causes. BCG vaccine studies show a lower risk of developing respiratory tract infections such as influenza A virus, Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Herpese Simplex (HSV2)[2].

Has the patent-free BCG vaccine been fighting Covid-19 all along in South and Southeast Asian region and other parts of the Global South that have universal BCG vaccination policies?

With the exception of India, these countries have recorded remarkably low Covid-19 Infection Fatality Rates (IFR). Is Covid-19 milder in tropical countries like Vietnam, a country of 95 million people which has recorded a mere 37 Covid-19 fatalities?  So too, its neighbours Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries have very low Covid-19 fatality rates.

Hot and humid Southeast Asian countries with good public health infrastructure and monitoring where BCG vaccine is universally used have shown a higher resilience to Covid-19 relative to so-called First World countries with advanced health systems. Countries like Italy where the BCG vaccine was never used in national vaccination programs had high Covid-19 mortality rates. Other temperate countries that did not have universal policies of BCG vaccination, such as the Netherlands, England, and the United States were more severely affected compared to countries with universal and long-standing BCG policies,” noted Gonzalo Otazu, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the New York Institute of Technology.

Experts note that the BCG vaccine seems to “train” the immune system to recognize and respond to a variety of infections, including viruses, bacteria and parasites. According to Prof. Luke O’Neill, of Trinity College Dublin, a combination of reduced morbidity and mortality renders BCG vaccination a game-changer in the fight against coronavirus. For while there is no specific cure for Covid-19, the BCG clearly has provided a flak-jacket against the Coronavirus to many tropical countries.

Similarly, the authors of the Sri Lanka study on the “Correlation between immunity from BCG and the morbidity and mortality of COVID-19” note that: Significant inverse correlations were observed between cases and deaths of COVID-19 and BCG related parameters highlights immunity from BCG as a likely explanation for the variation in COVID-19 across countries.”

A comparison of data, caseloads and deaths relative to a population’s size, and the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR), of Southeast Asian countries and Euro-American countries indicate that BCG helps flatten the disease curve of Covid-19. Another recent study titled, “Reconcile the protective effects of BCG Vaccine against Covid 19” states: We observe a notable protective effect of the BCG vaccine during the early stage of the pandemic[3].

Distribution of COVID-19 cases as of April 1, 2020. Credit: WHO

The bad news is that the World Health Organization (WHO) which is funded by big States and big pharmaceutical companies that are reaping vast profits from new Covid-19 vaccines claims on its website that:

“there is no evidence that the Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine (BCG) protects people against infection with COVID-19 virus. Two clinical trials addressing this question are underway, and WHO will evaluate the evidence when it is available. In the absence of evidence, WHO does not recommend BCG vaccination for the prevention of COVID-19[4].

It is anyone’s guess as to what became of all the clinical trials undertaken to study the potential of BCG vaccine or booster against Covid-19?! The WHO Scientific Brief on BCG Vaccine and Covid-19 goes on to note that: “There is experimental evidence from both animal and human studies that the BCG vaccine has non-specific effects on the immune system. These effects have not been well characterized and their clinical relevance is unknown.”

And heaven forbid that the hundred-year, patent free and inexpensive BCG vaccine, rather than expensive mRNA Covid-19 vaccines developed at “warped speed” and authorized only for emergency use may be the solution in front of us all!

A State of Permanent Emergency and culture of bio-insecurity

Despite clear quantitative and qualitative data that there is no significant health emergency as Covid-19 is relatively mild in countries in the Global South where BCG vaccination is universally used along with non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI), this information is not in the public domain at this time[5]. 

Rather a more or less permanent Covid-19 Global Emergency narrative alongside promotion of Covid-19 vaccines developed at “warped speed” and authorized only for “Emergency Use” appears to have been created through contradictory messaging, PCR tests that deliver high rates of false positives, and unscientific and paternalistic claims by the Head of World Health Organization, Tedros Adhnom that, “No one is safe until everyone is safely vaccinated”.

Studies of the biological basis of BCG cross-protection from severe COVID-19 have however found “a strong correlation between the BCG index and reduction in COVID-19 mortality”. Sadly, this information vital for informed policy is not in the public domain or available to health policy-makers and appears to have been suppressed at this time in the interest of creating a seasonal flu vaccine culture in countries in the Global South.

Thus a Covid-19 flu fear psychosis with calls for curfews and lock downs that are socially, democratically and economically ruinous have been promoted in global, national and local media based on PCR tests that deliver high rates of false positives.  Lockdowns which expand inequalities between and within countries, resulting in livelihood losses for the poor and spreading hunger, malnutrition and disease vulnerabilities (the “Hunger Virus” as Oxfam calls it), have become the norm – in the name of protecting health systems and doctors in Sri Lanka. So too, environmentally destruction plastic personal protection (PPE) and disinfection routines have become the norm.

However, as a group of international lawyers and doctors who are pursuing a case against the Covid-19 project has noted;

“The danger and spread of Corona are being exaggerated. What most people don’t understand is that the flu also kills people each year, and there is a difference in ”dying with the corona virus” and “dying of corona virus”, just as there is a difference between “dying in a car accident with the flu” and dying of the flu” conclusively. Sadly, this differentiation does not seem to be made by politicians and media. if you look at detailed corona death reports in your country, it should name other possible causes of death and diseases the person had – you will find that most of the people who died with corona, had other serious health problems, and that most deaths are in the ages of 70 and up. This is comparable to what normal flu does each year. The pictures of Bergamo (Italy) and New York (USA) are misleading, these pictures were deliberately used to cause panic.

Along with questionable data and epidemiology models generated by think tanks, many funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation such as the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), which has profited enormously from investments in Big Pharma vaccine producers and the WHO, a push to vaccinate populations least affected by Covid-19 is apparent at this time.

Has Monsoon Season Flu disappeared?

Remarkably since Covid-19 appeared, annual monsoon flu seems to have disappeared, although historically, the arrival of monsoon rains in the tropics is associated with a spike in mortality and morbidity as nature takes its inexorable course and culls the elderly, vulnerable and those with weak immune systems with flu related comorbidities like diabetes, kidney disease, heart ailments, etc.

Arguably, the current much hyped “third wave” of Covid-19 in Sri Lanka is primarily due to the arrival of monsoonal rains which has triggered “flu season”. In an average year between 4,500 and 7,000 persons succumb to ‘upper respiratory infections”. Also, of those suffering from influenza with co-morbidities such as diabetes, kidney disease, heart issues or cancer, another 2,000-3,000 die of lower respiratory tract infections including pneumonia.

There is ample evidence that the Sri Lanka health system is strong and resilient and able to handle a rise in seasonal monsoon flu and Covid-19 cases at this time without lockdowns and vaccine rollouts. No doctors, nurses, hospital, Public Health Inspectors (PHI), have succumbed to Covid-19, and it is increasingly clear that years on investment in the country’s public health infrastructure has ensured the resilience of the healthcare system in Sri Lanka

However, a global and local media narrative impervious to historical, environmental, culture differences, and sans comparative country context, has emerged propelled by networks of doctors’ organizations such as the GMOA and SLMA on the pretext of protecting the Sri Lanka health system. This, predicated on the fact that there have been few deaths of doctors, nurses, Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) in the year and a half of the WHO’s Covid-19 pandemic.

The same doctors’ organizations have been monopolizing vaccines for their families and promoting Covid-19 vaccines as a mantra, without full disclosure of the side effects and long-term impacts of these vaccines or adverse reporting mechanisms.

Blood clots and cytokine storms are some of the effects of Covid-19 vaccines which have been troubling enough for some countries to have suspended the AstraZeneca vaccine, but the long-term impact of messenger or mRNA vaccines, such as the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccine that use technology and chimeric virus strands, is entirely unknown and untested.

The AstraZeneca vaccines at 65% efficacy does not prevent against re-infection, thus ensuing permanent need for vaccines and mask wearing (which deprives adequate oxygen supply to the body and brain, and negatively impacts the immune system also causing a Black Fungus epidemic in humid regions), supposedly to protect health systems. By stealth “vaccine efficacy” since Covid has shifted from ‘prevention of Covid’ to ‘prevention of Covid complications’ – a subtle but significant reframing.

Meanwhile, the big Pharmaceutical companies that are making billions producing vaccines have been indemnified against claims against their product. Pfizer alone made USD 3.5 billion profit in the first three months of 2021!

National data including Infection Fatality Rates (IFR) and Case Fatality Rates (CFR), indicate that a health ‘emergency’ has been created by questionable policies and networks of “professional” interested organizations funded by the WHO and the pharmaceutical industry. A University of Colombo Medical Faculty study has confirmed that the country’s Covid-19 Infection Fatality Rate is 0.023, lower than seasonal flu deaths.

As monsoons arrive in this month of May, coinciding with Ramazan and Vesak in Sri Lanka, we now have a more or less permanent Covid-19 ‘State of Emergency’ that also legitimizes large purchase orders of Covid-19 vaccines authorized for Emergency Use after the WHO controversially declared a ‘pandemic’ in March 2020.

“Do No Harm” rather than a lucrative Flu Vaccine Culture needed in the Global South

Are we seeing the creation of a flu “vaccine culture” in vast and lucrative Asian markets and countries that long withstood attempts by global pharmaceutical companies to market seasonal flu vaccines – though the Covid-19 fear psychosis and vaccine hype?

Historically, tropical Asia and Africa countries that have two monsoonal flu seasons practise universal BCG vaccination and do not have a seasonal flu “vaccine culture’ unlike in Euro-American countries. The latter has a culture of taking seasonal flu vaccines as the cold, winter season approaches and where Covid-19 was severe.

At this time in the rush to vaccinate populations, WHO and Governments appear to have cast aside basic principles of Consumer Protection such as Full Disclosure and the Hippocratic oath to “Do No Harm” taken by doctors.

Rather, vaccine manufacturers have been indemnified against any Harm their products may cause and claims due to deaths or adverse impacts and vaccine related injuries – in violation of national Product Liability Laws, including those in Sri Lanka.

Embedded in the Hippocratic Oath taken by doctors is the principle, DO NO HARM. On average it takes 7-10 years to develop, test and trial a vaccine. Inadequately trialled Covid-19 vaccines are potentially harmful, which is why currently available Covid-19 vaccines that were developed at “warped speed” have ONLY been authorized only for Emergency Use, mainly in temperate countries (Euro-America) that faced a crisis.

Recommending widespread use of inadequately tested and trialled vaccines that were developed within a few months, while making the claim that “no one is safe until everyone is vaccinated” using Covid-19 vaccines whose long term impacts and adverse effects are not known, may amount to a violation of the Hippocratic Oath and the principle of Full Disclosure for consumer protection.

At this time what is called for is a comprehensive Risk Analysis of the potential Benefits and potential Harm, including Side Effects and long-term impacts of the various Covid-19 vaccines that have been rolled out with unprecedented haste, taking into consideration 1) significant differences among populations, countries and regions; 2) evidence regarding the protection that BCG vaccination confers in hot and humid tropical countries in the Global South against Covid-19.

Indications are that Covid-19 may have spread through the community and country during the monsoon flu season with herd immunity building up in the population which also limits more virus mutation and emergence of more dangerous strands of the virus as many senior virologists have noted.

Indeed, lockdowns and curfews recommended by WHO increasingly seem designed to hamper the natural spread development of herd immunity in order to vaccinate people in the Global South were Covid-19 is relatively mild. Studies of the spread of Covid-19 in slums in India increasingly indicate high resilience among impoverished and over-crowded populations that would otherwise to considered more vulnerable. 

Is Covid-19 flu a dis-ease of mainly poor folk in “first world” and mainly rich people in the Third World? An Exit strategy from the WHO’s pandemic and permanent Covid-19 emergency may entail serious analysis of this hypothesis and reconsideration of the broad benefits of the BCG vaccine in combatting the spread of the Covid-19 virus and simultaneously resisting the introduction of a lucrative Flu Vaccine culture.


[1] Correlation between immunity from BCG and the morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 ‘

Dakshitha Wickramasinghe  1 Nilanka Wickramasinghe  2 Sohan Anjana Kamburugamuwa  1 Carukshi Arambepola  3 Dharmabandhu N Samarasekera  1 available at PubMed Central, a full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of medicine,   https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32868985/

[2] BCG Vaccine-Induced Trained Immunity and COVID-19: Protective or Bystander? Authors Koneru G, Batiha GES, Algammal AM, Mabrok M, Magdy S, Sayed S, AbuElmagd ME, Elnemr R, Saad MM, Abd Ellah NH, Hosni A, Muhammad K, Hetta HF https://www.dovepress.com/bcg-vaccine-induced-trained-immunity-and-covid-19-protective-or-bystan-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-IDR

[3] Fu, W., Ho, PC., Liu, CL. et al. Reconcile the debate over protective effects of BCG vaccine against COVID-19. Sci Rep 11, 8356 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-87731-9

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-87731-9

[4] BCG Vaccination and Covid-19 https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/bacille-calmette-gu%C3%A9rin-(bcg)-vaccination-and-covid-19

[5] Fu, W., Ho, PC., Liu, CL. et al. Reconcile the debate over protective effects of BCG vaccine against COVID-19. Sci Rep 11, 8356 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-87731-9

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-87731-9

[4] BCG vaccine protection from severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) https://www.pnas.org/content/117/30/17720

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Latest comments

  • 7
    9

    Isn’t Dr. Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake’s relentless pursuit of this Covid issue as related to Sri Lanka and her clarion-call for us not to blindly copy-cat western predicaments or pronouncements worthy of serious consideration? Once more she makes a convincing case that differentiates the Global South’s experience of Covid from that of Euro-America, coupled with her urging not to mimic the profit-driven vaccine ‘solutions’ presented by Big Pharma and Bill Gates. This scenario is not new. Remember how the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations wrecked Sri Lanka’s historic and highly successful traditional rice industry through promising us a Green Revolution that ultimately reaped millions for them and left us dependent of expensive agro chemicals, lower yields, dead soils, poisoned groundwater and a plethora of health issues including chronic kidney disease and cancers – and then sold us medicines and cures for them! Dr. Darini simply wants to wake us up to the manipulations from beyond our shores and offers sober information to help us see the light.

    • 6
      6

      Yeah, and guess which lab invented the Sena Catapillar aka the US Fall Army worm that was eating up crops in the Sri Lanka and India and Mid East?!

      First invent the virus (disease) and then the vaccine pesticide.cure!. All part of the same Gain of Function Research Corporate business cycle for big profits

      Check out which companies has the patents for the Fall Army Worm or Sena caterpillar repellents?!

      • 5
        5

        Covid COLONIALISM and Vaccine Colonialism is the name of the Game at this point and of course big buck for big Pharma..

    • 0
      0

      Do the SB intelligentsia and the yellow sareed folk need more

      brain-washing?????

  • 9
    3

    If we didn’t have such a thing as vaccination in the history of humans, we may have been spared of such atrocious pen to paper.

    • 9
      2

      Sugandh,
      I plan to nominate you for “best put-down” to the Nobel committee.

      • 9
        2

        Dear DRS,
        Please do tell us that you won’t take the jab when your turn comes?

      • 8
        3

        OC , I support your nomination.

      • 5
        1

        dear old codger…. lol!
        All credit will be owed to DRS’ relentless and vain pursuit here.

  • 7
    4

    Dear DRS,
    Please do tell us that you won’t take the jab when your turn comes?

    • 3
      3

      OC
      If she is under 60 she may not need it, unless she has serious underlying morbidities.
      *
      I am glad that I did not seek one after seeing the way the second dose is mishandled.

  • 7
    0

    I am confused. Why did Vietnam, Thailand and Laos order vaccines to cover their population when they are least affected ??? According to reports just over 1.5 million people (people with medical issues and have risk ) out of 66 million got their jabs. Thailand has placed more orders with various companies to cover the rest. Vietnam has set up a $ 1.1 BILLION vaccine fund to cover their population (150 million) and has received 60 million vaccines until now.

    • 6
      6

      Vietnam has set up a $ 1.1 BILLION vaccine fund to cover their population (150 million)
      *
      The current population of Vietnam in 2021 is 98,168,833, a 0.85% increase from 2020

      • 2
        3

        It wouldn’t demand much education to figure out what is on in Vietnam, Thailand & Laos.
        They effectively controlled infection through social control, but relaxed control (for economic reasons) and unready for fresh infection, unlike China always on full alert (like China bashers praying for an infection wave there).
        Laos (259 cases; 0.4 fatalities per million; IFR=0.1% ) had its first serious wave recently and now mostly under control.
        Thailand (2206; 14; 0.7) had its first serious wave starting April now across the peak and 2-3 weeks to get over.
        Vietnam (72; 0.5; 0.7) had two ripples without serious fatalities. the current wave since May approaching will last 2-3 weeks.
        Vaccination started only in April– Laos ahead of others.
        They will rely on social control until infection passes the region. (Vaccination will be long to complete).
        On fatality rates all are way down the list, and never match the First World. India (20,000; 234; 1.2%) too will remain low when Modi’s wave passes.
        *
        Signs are COVID-19 will pass well before half the Third World gets its first shot.
        There is a risk in Africa seriously untouched by COVID-19. I guess it will be no worse than S&E Asia.

        • 0
          4

          Note:
          New Zealand has ripples of infection still, and started vaccination in mid-March; and is just past 10 first does per hundred. (Australia is just over 16 per hundred.)

  • 5
    0

    What is your point . Read before you comment.Vietnam created 1.1 Billion fund and has ordered 150 million DOSES of vaccine. ( covers 75 million people ). 2 DOSES × 75 million = 150 millions. Got it Mr. KIA.It is working with Astra Zeneca in making the vaccine in Vietnam.. Only targeted population receive vaccine not the whole population.you can refer to WHO covaxine report. . Have you got your report’s from Venezuela, Latin American countries and Africa

    • 6
      0

      Prof KIA , Thanks for enlightening us . Yes the population of Vietnam is just above 98 million. In that targeted population for vaccine is calculated as 75 million. Considering 2 doses for an individual they will need 150 million doses. Unless you thought like in Lanka they are planning to give only one dose. If true , that Vietnam allocated 1.1 Billion fund to procure vaccine, I am sure they were not planning of a Porn city , I am sorry port city amidst a Pandemic.. According to covaxine reports they already received 60 million or so. May be you should check sources other than FB, YT and Twitter .

      • 5
        0

        There seems to be a stiff competition ( fools) between the one who wrote and those who believe .

        • 0
          4

          Still a little confused?

    • 0
      6

      The population figure: “to cover their population (150 million)”

      • 0
        5

        You said: “I am confused. Why did Vietnam, Thailand and Laos order vaccines to cover their population when they are least affected ?”
        I extracted relevant data from established sources monitoring (real time) infection & fatality and vaccination.
        If that has not de-confused you, too bad.
        BTW
        I do not waste time on gossip media.

        • 6
          0

          Could you provide your relevant data from established sources in real time on Countries you claimed ( among many others) to have minimal or no cases of Covid
          Accept that you prof KIA did not realize 2 × 75 = 150. You just checked the population and was in hurry to type without realizing it is 2 doses for an individual. You have quoted plenty gossip media in past as your reliable sources , so much so, you lack the capability to think “why a country will be investing $ 1 . 1 Billion on procuring vaccines if they did not have that many to innoculate ???”

          • 0
            5

            Still a little confused?

  • 5
    0

    still on the BCG train eh ?

  • 5
    0

    Prof KIA I recently read a statement from Vietnam Health Minister stating they detected a new variant which is a hybrid of Indian and UK type
    . They will soon share the genome study with WHO. He also warned this new variant is highly transmissible. Isn’t it a surprise a country can detect a variant even though they were least affected. The difference here is Vietnam has no interest to join our fools paradise.

  • 6
    0

    Prof KIA sorry to disappoint you. While you were busy with Vietnam’s census and DRS with her own Covid census , Lanka decided to halt all Vietnam arrivals. I wonder why ???

  • 5
    0

    Prof KIA, I am sorry to disappoint you more. Today PERU adjusted official Covid related deaths from previous 69,342 to 180,764 which now makes the South American nation, worst death rate per capita in the world. I had followed your stupid comments from day one, on how low the Covid rates were in South American countries. The difference is Peru decided not to be a member of “Fools Paradise” like us, for the benefit of their own people. Health Minister Oscar Ugarte said significant amount of deaths were not classified as Covid related and now that the mistake is realized the criteria has been changed to reflect the true impact. Just to clear your usual BS it was Vietnam Health Minister Nguyen Long who reported the new hybrid variant (UK and India) in Vietnam and warned of highly transmissible rates with this new hybrid. The difference between Vietnam and our Sorry Lanka are 1) they are aggressively handling the pandemic 2) they right away allocated $ 1.1 Billion (while our retards were busy with gimmicks) for vaccine procurement 3) they actively reported about the new variant (without caring for Sorry Lanka to halt their arrivals) 4) They have shared the genome and related information with WHO for contingency planning.

  • 4
    2

    You have raised some necessary and important points about the political economy behind WHO sanctioned approach to managing the pandemic situation as well as in the selection of Covod-19 vaccines. While Pfizer has mentioned that their Covid-19 vaccine research was built on their expertise with HIV research, etc, I too think that there has been a clear lack of appreciation for the environmental, historical and scientific evidence by the MNCs in developing vaccines which have been approved for emergency use. More studies needed to be done about the Globa South countries in terms of infection and fatality rates, if and how BCG played a role in significantly low fatality and infection rates compared to the West, and social and psychological impacts of lockdowns on the overall health and well-being of people across the world.

  • 6
    0

    SJ , stop beating around the bush. When this nut caset called Covid a global hoax ( the very first article written almost a year ago ) you were in forefront with your gossip media information, calling it relevant data from reliable/established sources in real time , giving the impression of a “WHO director giving direction from Jaffna sitting on his arm chair.”. You continued with your BS until recently where situation turned into obvious crisis. If needed I can help.you in reproducing some of your rubbish.

    • 0
      5

      “If needed I can help.you in reproducing some of your rubbish.”
      Why do need my rubbish to reproduce when you are doing very well with your own?

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