If I were North American/West European/Australian, I would take BCG vaccination now against the novel coronavirus pandemic.

I am not a medical expert and this is just a hypothesis; taking BCG vaccination may strengthen immune to the novel coronavirus. If I were American/West European/Australian, I will take BCG vaccination now. Five reasons follow.

I declare that there is no conflict of interest for BCG vaccination but I have a big interest in stopping this pandemic. One of my businesses is an online tourism agency and its sales have dried up!

1) Scientists started to work on this hypothesis


Can a century-old TB vaccine steel the immune system against the new coronavirus?

The Max Planck Institute (the best German science institution with 33 Novel Prize winners that developed BCG vaccine a century ago)
Immune boost against the coronavirus

Some countries, the U.S. and Australia will start a trial to give BCG vaccine to healthcare workers.

2) If you look at the map displaying BCG vaccination policy by country, there seems to be a correlation to the speed of coronavirus spread and its spread among young people.



A: The country currently has universal BCG vaccination program.*
B: The country used to recommend BCG vaccination for everyone, but currently does not.
The year the country stopped it; Spain 1981, Germany 1998, UK and France 2005-2007 etc.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3062527/
C: The country never had universal BCG vaccination programs.

*In Portugal the BCG vaccine was mandatory from 1965 to 2017. https://twitter.com/ruipalma79/status/1243304538469273600

The major correlations are;
  • The spread speed is fast in Italy and western Europe and the U.S. while the spread speed among Russia, eastern European countries, and Asian countries except Wuhan city is slow.
  • In Asian countries, there are few young infected people or almost zero serious cases among young people. However, in western Europe and the U.S., there are cases among young people.*
  • In Western Europe, you can compare Italy vs Croatia, Spain vs Portugal**, UK vs Ireland, Sweden vs Norway, ex-West Germany vs ex-East Germany. In the former countries, BCG vaccine is not mandatory while in the latter countries, BCG vaccine is mandatory.  Now, you can compare the U.S. and Mexico.
  • I live in Tokyo and Brisbane. Though the normal social distance is much longer and less crowded in Brisbane and the government policy is 10 times stricter, the spread speed is faster in Brisbane than in Tokyo.
In Latin America, Ecuador is the only country that never had universal BCG vaccination programs and all the other countries have universal BCG vaccination programs. Total deaths per million, Ecuador: 2, Colombia: 0.08, Peru: 0.3, Brazil: 0.3. 

(Added on 29 Mar) 
A reader told me there is an article (not yet certifed by peer review)
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.24.20042937v1

The article has this chart. I believe if we can adjust for the timing of coronavirus spread, the correlation would be even higher.
(Added on 30 Mar)
In the world map above, Canada is in orange and categorized in C: The country never had universal BCG vaccination programs. However, if you look at Canada in http://www.bcgatlas.org/, it seems that Canada had a "routine" BCG vaccination program until 1960s-1970s (Please correct me if I read wrongly). This means people elder 60s mostly vaccinated! This may be the reason why Canada has a low death rate compared with the U.S. And Canada used BCG Tokyo strain.

One more weak fact. In Canada, people elder than 60s had BCG vaccine while people younger than 50s had not. Then, look at the age distribution of COVID-19 cases in Canada. Skew to people younger than 50s?! 
But infection rate may not vary by age, only hospitalization/ICU/death rate may vary by age. I'm looking for that data for Canada.



 https://www.statista.com/statistics/1107149/covid19-cases-age-distribution-canada/

* I couldn't find good stats on this. Only anecdotal news stories. Eg. Greta Thunberg got infected by the novel coronavirus. Well, she is Swedish and born in 2003. Sweden stopped BCG vaccination in 1975. 

** Among West European countries that had/have universal BCG vaccination program, Spain and Portugal are (one of) the last countries introduced it in 1965. And Spain is (one of ) the first country to stop it in 1981 and Portugal stopped it in 2017. Portuguese elder than 55 may have low BCG vaccination rate, which may result in high death rate than the other western Europe, but probably better than Spain.

3) There are several strains of BCG vaccination and Soviet/Japan/Brazil strains may be the most effective against the novel coronavirus.

This comment by Tiger Paw sounds most plausible regarding the country differences though the article itself is worthless.
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2020/03/21/commentary/japan-commentary/japan-still-coronavirus-outlier/#comment-4843977551
* The comment was deleted for some reason. The initial idea of this section attributes to Tiger Paw. If I hadn't read his comment, I would not know there are multiple types of BCG vaccine.

Soviet/Japan strains of BCG vaccination are old-type and similar while Western European stains are recent and different.

Below is a map of German states with confirmed coronavirus cases. You can see the difference between ex-East Germany and ex-West Germany. The density of the population doesn't explain this much difference. East Germany had used the Soviet strain of BCG vaccination and West Germany had used the Western Europe strain of BCG vaccination and stopped its mandatory vaccination in 1998. The vaccination strains/policies may be the cause of the difference.




Then, look at the number of deaths by state. Summing up by ex-West Germany and ex-East Germany (excluding Berlin), the number of deaths per 100K of ex-West Germany states is 0.35 while ex-East Germany is 0.11 and Berlin is in between; 0.21 (as of 27 Mar).
I obtained a map showing which strains are used in each country though this map maybe not perfectly correct.

https://twitter.com/io302/status/1243441971709894657
https://twitter.com/io302/status/1243441971709894657/photo/1

High-level impression; BCG Brazil, BCG Russia/Bulgaria, BCG Japan countries may immune to novel coronavirus. Countries that use more than one BCG vaccine strain look immune, too. BCG Brazil, BCG Russia/Bulgaria, BCG Japan are categorized in "I" and this may be the effective strain category.

Then, I looked into how BCG strains are categorized. I found the chart below. BCG Russia/Japan/Moreau(Brazil) are the first generation of the BCG vaccines.

In the same article, there is a table that shows the differences in each strain character. Though I don't understand any jargon in the first row, I can see there is quite a difference between BCG Tokyo/Moreau(Brazil)/Russia/Sweden and BCG Copenhagen(Denmark)/Glaxo/Pasteur/Tice. BCG Denmark is the common strain among Western Europe.

https://jata.or.jp/rit/rj/tenbo/48toida.pdf
https://twitter.com/xcvbnm67890/status/1243723927907471361

While Iraq uses the Japan strain, Iran uses different strains. According to http://www.bcgatlas.org/ Iran had used its local (original?) BCG vaccine from 1947 to 1984 and make it compulsory in 1984. This means elderly people in Iran have less BCG vaccinated and for those who had it had a local(original?) BCG vaccine. Please check and compare Iraq and Iran figures. You will be surprised to see how different they are.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
(Iran: 27 deaths per million, Iraq: 0.9 deaths per million as of 27 Mar; added)

In Asian countries, China uses a different local produced strain and Korea uses basically BCG Denmark but sometime BCG Japan. Taiwan uses the Japan strain (though the map shows a locally produced strain).

BCG Japan(Tokyo) looks working quite well against the novel coronavirus. 1) Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, and Iraq have used BCG Tokyo and all of them have low death rates though they are close to China or Iran. 2) And so far, it is not reported that any Japanese got severely infected or died in Italy or Western Europe. 3) In Japan, there are 1,349 cases reported, and 934 are Japanese and 415 are non-Japanese. Hmm, quite a high ratio of non-Japanese (as of 28 Mar).
https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/0000164708_00001.html#kokunaihassei

The website below seems to have a lot of information about BCG vaccination though this is not perfect, either.
http://www.bcgatlas.org/
I am afraid that I cannot digest this detailed medical information. Expert explanations will be welcomed.

I live in Tokyo and Brisbane and have been wondering why the spread speed is faster in Australia than Japan.
Tokyo is a very crowded city and it's impossible to keep the social distance. I expected a high speed of spread but the actual speed is low so far (though it's beginning to explode).
Here in Brisbane or the other Australian capital cities, the normal social distance is much longer than Tokyo and I expected a slower spread. But the speed of spread is faster.
I was wondering about this, and so far this hypothesis may seem to be the most plausible. Maybe ~60% probability. 

4) Deaths and severe cases skew to people who probably have not BCG vaccinated. 

In Japan and Portugal, the deaths come only to the age group without the mandatory BCG vaccine program period.

In Japan, all babies since 1951 have BCG vaccination and the coronavirus deaths in Japan are skewed drastically to the elderly born before 1951. 44 out of 45 deaths happen to those older than 70 (as of 26 Mar, https://toyokeizai.net/sp/visual/tko/covid19/).

In Portugal, the BCG vaccine was mandatory from 1965 to 2017 (https://twitter.com/ruipalma79/status/1243304538469273600), which means between 3 and 55 years old are vaccinated. And it looks deaths happen only to over 50 (as of 27 Mar, https://www.dgs.pt/em-destaque/relatorio-de-situacao-n-024-26032020-pdf.aspx).

Also, as Portugal introduced the mandatory BCG vaccine program very late together with Spain, in 1965, and there should be many elderly who had not BCG vaccinated, I anticipate that the number of deaths per million will be higher than the other Western European countries where BCG vaccination programs were usually imposed in the 1950s. But Portugal should be better than Spain that stopped the program in 1981, though.

However, this hypothesis is weak since the fatality basically skews to the elderly worldwide. I saw some news that the younger generation became severely ill in Western Europe or the U.S. but have never seen that in Japan. More statistics are required to examine this hypothesis.

(Added on 30 Mar)
CDC is publishing hospitalization/ICU/death cases for the U.S. cases. The chart below shows that there are many hospitalizations and ICU cases below 54 years old though the fatality rate is very low so far. (Severe cases may cause aftereffects.) From China case, we know that the fatality rate is very low for the younger generation, which is the same case with the U.S. but the hospitalization/ICU ratio might be higher for the U.S. I cannot find a comparable data regarding hospitalization and ICU cases for China. 


Please compare it with the China chart. Very different age distribution. I don't have good information of China BCG vaccine policy but my guess is that the young Chinese generation probably had a BCG vaccine.



Severe Outcomes Among Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) — United States, February 12–March 16, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:343-346. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6912e2external icon.

https://twitter.com/DonaldDuckgo2/status/1244476092997566471?s=20



(Added on 30 Mar)
This can be one of the critical supporting facts for this BCG vaccine hypothesis. Below is a death rate of COVID-19 in Spain by age group. You can see a higher death rate in 10s and 20s than the 30s or 40s. Spain had a universal BCG vaccination program from 1965 to 1981, which means from 39 to 55 years old had a BCG vaccine. Well, you can see a little higher rate in the 10s and 20s. It is a very unusual pattern from what we learned from China. Yes, the absolute numbers may be small and not statistically significant. But this is a sign!



https://www.statista.com/statistics/1105596/covid-19-mortality-rate-by-age-group-in-spain-march/

5) BCG vaccination has a long history and there seems no little downside to human beings.


BCG vaccination may not work but even in that case, there will be little downside.
CDC states the reason it is not recommended in the U.S.
In Japan, all babies since 1951 have BCG vaccination and I have not heard a problem with it.

If I were North American/European/Australian, I would take BCG vaccination now.

(Added on 28 Mar)
I had carefully avoided talking about adult or elderly people to have BCG vaccination again as I don't know anything about the risk of re-vaccination. But I found a Japanese medical article about re-vaccination to bedridden elderly people published in 2003. BCG re-vaccination significantly reduced the probability of pneumonia.


I hope medical experts all over the world examine this hypothesis. I hear that developing a new vaccine will take two years but the BCG vaccine is already here. BCG Russia/Tokyo/Brazil looks promising. BTW, I used to work at the Tokyo office of Boston Consulting Group, which is called BCG Tokyo :)

Comments

  1. This is very interesting. I think I had the BCG Tokyo 172 strain as a baby.

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  2. I am a Japanese doctor. I agree with your opinion. I was thinking the same. German data is shocking. The reason why COVID-19 became popular in USA, Italy, France, Finland and Switzerland is probably because BCG was stopped.

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    1. I am not a doctor at all. I didn't know there are many strains in BCG vaccine or how it works. There should be many mistakes in detail. Please correct me!

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    2. in 2006 in Finland the national BCG coverage was over 98% https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16567879

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  3. https://www.france24.com/en/20200326-australians-trial-tb-vaccine-to-fight-coronavirus

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    1. This maybe a good trial. I am little worried about which strain this trial use. Soviet/Japan/Brazil strains look good while Denmark or the others may not be that effective.

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  4. Thank you for a very interesting article. I am a first year human biosciences student, so hardly an expert, but I wonder - if BCG boosts the immune system how will this affect people with undiagnosed autoimmune conditions? Because if given to children/teenagers this may not be apparent till later.

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    1. Well, ask and discuss that kind of question with experts, please! I hardly know how immune system works..

      Delete
  5. Hi Jun, I'm a Canadian physician whose biotech company has developed an immunotherapy platform based on a similar concept (microbial derived innate immune activation). I'd like to speak with you about this. Please connect with me by email at hal@qubiologics.com Thanks!

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    1. I'm not familiar with biotech industry (a little familiar with pharmaceutical industry) but I'm interested in all kinds of businesses. If you can send me a deck to junrontaro@gmail.com, I'll check it! Thanks!

      Delete
  6. Thank you for your great analysis. I am Japancese Scientist (not in the field of medicine). Your speculatio n is based on a kind of "Inductive reasoning", but seems to be highly persuasive. Now we must check the experience of BCG and its kind of many patients. Data of China and data of the case of "Diamond Princess" will be helpful, in which various nations were on board. Also, I remember weird information that the captain of "Diamond Priincess" was italian.

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    1. Thanks for the praise. As I am not a scientist, just a business person Shounin, there should be many mistakes in the eyes of scientists. Your input/feedback helps me.

      What I can use is only Google and Google doesn't tell me enough information about China. China data should be obtained and examined by the experts.

      Yes, Diamond Princess is the live examples. If we can track the numbers by the nationalities, there should be some findings. But I couldn't find those numbers.

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    2. Dear Jun. I was impressed by your sincere reply to increase the knowledge of the people about this issue. Thank you also for adding new figure showing income of each nation. Perhaps people in low income countries have been exposed to Tuberculosis in the life history, and have acquired bio protection systems naturally even without individual BCG experience. Off course, existence of BCG program strengthens the bio protection system socially.

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  7. Very interesting. I know that Dutch scientists are looking into this vaccination as well.

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    1. Yes, I'm looking forward to that result. I know I don't need to input as they are the experts, but I would like to make sure they examine several strains of BCG vaccines. BCG Denmark or the others may not be that effective. BCG Russia/Japan/Brazil should be examined.

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  8. Very interesting story.
    COVID-19 seems to harm elder people.
    I just remember older BCG was not stamp type but just usual injector type
    before around 1960 in Japan.
    I'm just curious whether same BCG had been injected or not regardless of
    method anyway....

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    1. I think BCG Tokyo 172 strain has been injected since 1920's in Japan. After the WW2, some Japanese scientists were against the idea of injectiong BCG to the people mandatory, but the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (USA) insisted the importance of the vaccination. Thus Japan started to inject the BCG to every citzen in 1951.

      I met a man who was born in 1949 this afternoon, and he told me he had the injection when he was around 7 years old. He was suggesting me that many senior citizens had the BCG injected when they were young in the post-war era.

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    2. "Thus Japan started to inject the BCG to every citzen in 1951."
      I meant "Thus Japan started to inject the BCG to every new born baby in 1951."

      Delete
  9. Sato-J san, long time no seeing you. Thank you for putting up a great analysis. This really is an interesting hypothesis. I myself have written a couple of articles. The following is the recent Japanese version. You can find English version in the same Medium account. I hope you'll enjoy reading it. https://bit.ly/2UACQTh

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    1. Eisuke-san, long time no see! Your analysis is interesting.

      I guess that social distancing policy in countries where BCG vaccine is mandatory works well.
      But in countries where BCG vaccine is not mandatory, I think social distancing is not enough. Total lockdown/shutdown should be required. That's my instinct without any calculation :)

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  10. Really interesting and gives us some hope! Another thing I noticed was Equador is the only country in South America with no BCG policy. Checking the data would appear that it also has the highest rate per million of CV in South America and there is probably less movement of people(tourists) than other countries in the region. Here in the UK, Jews and Muslims have died from CV disproportionately. It appears that Orthodox Jews may have been opposed to the BCG vaccine and to a lesser extent Muslims

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    1. I added Ecuador topic half a day ago. Yes, that example strengthen the validity of this hypothesis.

      I didn't know that Orthodox Jews and Muslims have been opposed to the BCG vaccine! Thanks!

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    2. Sorry didn't read that you mentioned Ecuador but here's another for you. Nigeria used the Japanese vaccine. Other large West African countries - Ghana, Senegal and Ivory Coast have similar rates but much higher than Nigeria

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    3. Could you show the source?

      The below website says that Nigeria uses SSI as BCG strain, which seems to be BCG Denmark.
      http://www.bcgatlas.org/

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    4. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EUK7B_eUYAADHpE?format=jpg&name=medium

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    5. The map and http://www.bcgatlas.org/ have different information. Hmm.

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  11. Thank you for the very interesting and well-founded report. I am a Japanese office worker. The content of the report was, of course, significant, but there is also a significant things. It is a breakdown of the number of infected people in Japan. In Japan, it has not been announced that non-Japanese people is 415 and Japanese is only 934 people! It was reported that the number of infected people in Tokyo increased on 28th, but from 4 days ago, half of the infected people in Tokyo were hospital-acquired at EIJU hospital and half of those returned from foreign country, that is, ordinary infected people are not increasing exponentially, but those things are not almost reported.

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    1. The breakdown by citizenship in Japan cases is written in this article a little.

      BCG vaccination seem to reduce the risk of the novel coronavirus but it's not perfect at all. The novel coronavirus may still be a few times stronger than influenza. A few times means significantly in exponential growth. Let's take care and keep the social distance.

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  12. 日本語ですみませんが、
    肺炎予防で高齢者にBCGを摂取した臨床例があるようですので紹介します。
    赤ちゃんや子供の時ではなく高齢者になってからの摂取でも有意に効果があったという結果のようです。

    高齢者へのBCGワクチン、肺炎発症の予防に効果 2003年の記事
    https://medical.nikkeibp.co.jp/inc/all/hotnews/archives/237265.html

    その他の記事

    BCGはなぜウイルス感染予防効果があるのか(2018年1月号 Cell Host & Microbe 掲載論文)
    https://aasj.jp/news/watch/12665

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    1. Twitterをやっているのですが、そちらで↓のようにツイートしました。
      https://twitter.com/j_sato/status/1243900209236590596

      ただ、医学・薬学的なことは私には全くわからず、BCG接種済みの健常者が再度接種すると悪影響もありえると思われ、そこは専門家の意見・臨床結果を待ちます。

      Delete
  13. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.24.20042937v1

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  14. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.24.20042937v1

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    1. Thanks, Victor's Feat! I didn't know that there is an article analyzing the correlation. I added one chart from this article. Thank you!

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  15. This has been one of the most interesting write-ups I have read on the pandemic, thank you!

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    1. Thanks! I hope BCG vaccine help stop this pandemic (and my business comes back) !

      Delete
  16. 大変興味深い分析です。
    データ分析でCOVID-19に貢献しようという試みはいろいろと行われております。
    こちらに書き込まれてはいかがでしょうか。
    https://www.kaggle.com/data/139140

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    1. Well, if you read this carefully, you'll notice that I don't even use Excel or spreadsheets by myself. My colleagues usually take care of analysis part and I'm not good at those things ...

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    2. kaggleのコメントの方にGCGワクチンの接種、株を追加した方が良いのではということで記載させていただき、リンクを張らさせていただきました。

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    3. ありがとうございます!

      Delete
  17. 1 / 3 of the Japanese cases are none-Japanese. It favorites your hypothesis.

    https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/0000164708_00001.html

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    1. It is mentioned in my article. But, I don't like the statements like "Japanese are safe" because 1) The risk of infection is not 0 or 1. The more your are exposed to the virus, you'll get infected anyway with/without BCG vaccine. 2) Japan could be lucky but it's just a luck.

      This pandemic is a global crisis. I would like to discuss and solve globally. This is the reason I wrote this post in English, which I am not good at writing.

      Delete
  18. I am an ex journalist from Germany. All your data and comments on the situation here are correct! Chapeau!

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    1. Thanks! As I am not familiar with German geography/history, I welcome analysis by German experts...

      Delete
  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  20. Jun, good day! How may I contact you for possible business opportunity?

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    1. Good day to you, too. you can email me to junrontaro@gmail.com. Thanks.

      Delete
  21. Bravo! Very good observations

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    1. Thanks! Yes, I do only observation, not analysis :)

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  22. Thank you for this careful and well-reasoned analysis. You raise some interesting points.

    I would like to offer a rebuttal to some of the arguments here. Firstly, the quality of the data is very variable between different countries so I will focus on countries for which I have some perspective on how good the data is likely to be.

    1. Regarding your map of Germany, the distribution has a much simpler explanation: those red regions are the ones closest to France and Italy, with which Germany shares a free travel area. (The German data is likely very good because they are doing extensive testing. Note the cases to deaths ratio.)

    2. Young people are more likely to develop serious symptoms in areas with major outbreaks, especially among frontline medical staff, because of prolonged exposure and exhaustion. Overall the mortality rate for young people remains well below 1% so countries with few cases are unlikely to see any. I think your observation on this matter is not statistically significant.

    3. The difference between Australia and Japan may be due exclusively to testing rates. Note that Australia has recorded only 16 deaths to date, compared to Japan's 52. Japan's government has repeatedly stated it sees no point in extensive testing.

    I'll post more later.

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    1. Thank you for your valuable inputs. Very constructive arguments.

      1. I agree that Germany case is weak. I picked up Germany case because I would like to have a case that the factors other than the BCG vaccine policies are almost same. But as you point out, many factors are also different between ex-West and ex-East. Maybe I should cut it down.

      2. Yes, this younger generation point is not statistically significant. As this disease is naturally skew to elderly, we see fewer data points for the younger generation.
      But, I found and added the death rate by age group in Spain. This fact may not be statistically significant but looks convincing. Please check!

      3. Death rate per million: Japan 0.4, Australia 0.7.
      The following important factors are different and it's hard to compare.
      - The timing of the virus arrived: Japan --> Australia
      - The normal social distance, population density: Japan >> Australia
      - The timing and strictness of social distance policy: Japan <<< Australia

      Delete
    2. Please, don't cut down Germany. Your hypothesis fits better than proximity of borders. Thuringia and Hesse are both inside of the country and differs drastically. Also, to the south of Germany is Austria and Switzerland, not Italy. And this countries should suffer more according to the proximity theory.

      Delete
    3. Hi chilicoder, thanks for the comment. Your comment helps a lot since I know little about Germany. I'll keep the Germany part in the article.

      Delete
    4. Switzerland has a very serious outbreak in terms of per capita infections/deaths. Austria profile looks similar to Germany.

      I accept that I didn't consider many cofactors in the Japan/Australia comparison. I just wished to highlight that the cases/deaths ratio in Japan and Australia look very different. I suspect this is because of more extensive testing in Australia. But I didn't take into account how long the cases have been developing.

      Delete
    5. Japan certainly seems anomalous in the world data. Why haven't we had an outbreak here? And why was Italy hit so hard? The idea that vaccination programs have something to do with it is tantalising.

      Perhaps the most appealing part of your data to me is that the European countries that have never had a mandatory BCG programme (Italy, Belgium, Netherlands) are, discounting countries with very small populations, at the top of the list in deaths per capita. Only Spain sneaks above Belgium and the Netherlands.

      By the way, I haven't yet read through all of your arguments, but I intend to.

      Delete
    6. I accept that German case is somewhat controversial. But as I said this would be the only one country that had different BCG policy in the past. So, let me keep this.

      BCG vaccination seems not to stop getting infected but stop getting severely ill/pneumonia. I guess that not a small number of Japanese are already infected with symptom or without symptom but they don't go bad as the younger generation in Wuhan didn't die. Not a small number of people in Tokyo said they had a cold. But there's no data. This is just my guess.

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    7. >日本は、他の肺炎の死者に、covid-19の死者を含めている

      肺炎死亡者は「必ず」CT検査→PCR検査します。covid-19の「見逃し」はありえません。
      PM Abe「肺炎で死亡した人は必ずCT検査し、間質性肺炎の人は必ずコロナを疑いPCR検査する。間質性でない人は細菌性等でコロナではない。新型コロナが見逃されることはない」
      Abe会見1:03ー
      https://youtube.com/watch?v=a9xFi8g7eiI

      Delete
  23. It doesn't explain high mortality rates in UK and France where BCG stopped recently. Those number of death capita are not that high but they are in the beginning compared to Italy and Spain.

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    1. West European countries have used BCG Denmark strain and that strain may not be as effective as BCG Russia/Japan/Brazil. But BCG Denmark is better than no BCG. This is my hypothesis/observation.

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  24. did post yesterday but not showing, in Poland, the first vaccinations were carried out in 1926 (according to other data, they were already available in 1924). The production of the Moreau Brazilian vaccine and vaccination began in 1955.
    https://www.mp.pl/szczepienia/specjalne/199144,czy-w-polsce-powszechne-szczepienie-bcg-jest-nadal-uzasadnione

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    1. I looked at Poland data for the first time. Poland has been doing quite well against COVID-19! BCG Moreau(Brazil) looks working!

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  25. The biggest problem here is that we have the same 20%/day growth of the number confirmed cases in Russia as anywhere else: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_coronavirus_pandemic_in_Russia
    The only difference is the starting point. https://s3.zona.media/entry/70793a3f5aac07413fa151a84425669e
    Also you should divide the Germany #cases map by the population density of each region.

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    1. From what I see, Russia is doing well comparing with the other countries.
      https://www.ft.com/coronavirus-latest

      Of course, BCG vaccine is not perfect. The more you expose yourself to the virus, more likely you'll get infected. Social distancing is important. If you keep the distance, I guess Russia can manage this.

      Delete
  26. It seems UK continued with BCG from this article: https://www.healthcentre.org.uk/vaccine/who-gets-the-bcg-vaccine-in-the-uk.html?fbclid=IwAR2dXQf9CJjEvXLVL-_e7z4zEDvl6-YLbErq8N9T503GcAvw89PN7sS9VXo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. West European countries have used BCG Denmark strain and that strain may not be as effective as BCG Russia/Japan/Brazil. But BCG Denmark is better than no BCG. This is my hypothesis/observation.

      Delete
  27. I performed an additional analysis to examine Mr. Jun Sato's BCG hypothesis on immunity enhancement against COVID-19.
    (pdf) https://www.dropbox.com/s/56763vddeybclv1/COVID-19%20death%20vs.%20BCG%20policy.pdf?dl=0
    (excel) https://www.dropbox.com/s/1q0p19at2pwys0r/COVID-19%20death%20vs.%20BCG%20policy%20%28full%29.xlsx?dl=0

    The focus here is on the increase rate of the number of deaths, not the number of confirmed infections nor fatality rate. The doubling time is calculated by comparing the date when the number of death exceeded 10 for the first time with the current figure, so that we can better reflect the slope on the logarithmic graph. The analysis only covers 22 countries with more than 50 deaths. As a result, in six countries where the doubling time exceeds 4.0 (Indonesia, Iran, Philippines, Japan, S. Korea, and China), BCG vaccinations are being performed for younger generations. On the other hand, Portugal, Brazil, and Turkey have BCG vaccinations, but the rate of deaths is increasing rapidly. The reason may be that the statistics period is too short.
    According to this calculation, Iran would rather classified as a calm group.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The increase rate of the number of deaths might depend on many parameters like the population density. For instance, a huge country like Russia would take much longer period to double the number of deaths than that of Japan if other condistions were the same.

      Anyway, we should wait for weeks or maybe months to see if this hypothiese was something meaningful.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your analysis.

      I checked the year introduced and the strain of BCG program. Portugal: 1965, the strain is unknown, Brazil: 1976, BCG Moreau(Brazil), Turkey: 1952, the strain is unknown.

      Brazil is pretty late to introduce its BCG vaccine program though Brazil has its own name of first-generation BCG strain. Portugal is also late as I wrote some in the article. Turkey cannot be explained well. It is between Iran and Italy. Maybe another factors.

      Delete
  28. Hi, thank you for your article. This made my day. My son was born in the UK in 2002, and he was recommended to have BCG vaccination based on his ethnicity (half Japanese). It wasn’t mandatory for every baby.

    ReplyDelete
  29. So, what is your explanation for Canada's rates being so low? We do not have mandatory BCG vaccinations here, and those who do get it get one of the insufficient strains per your write-up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The USA had only 350 cases three weeks ago. We just cannot conclude if this hypothese is true or not true now.

      Delete
    2. I did s quick observation of Canada and added above. Canada case validates this hypothesis much stronger!!! Please check the above!!!

      Delete
    3. The plot of age distribution of cases in Canada is likely explained by the base rate - there are simply many more people in the 30-60 age category so even if infection rate in these age groups is lower, those groups would still dominate.

      Delete
    4. I agree. I'm looking for hospitalization/ICU/death rate by age group for Canada but so fa I cannot find. Please let me know if you find it.

      Delete
  30. My friend was born and raised in Newfoundland, Canada in 60s. She said that TB vaccination was mandatory there. https://www.heritage.nf.ca/articles/society/fighting-tuberculosis.php

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. The map seems to be wrong about Canada. Elder Canadians seem to had BCG vaccination.

      Delete
  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Einstein was a patent officer when he wrote the three revolutinary papers in 1905. The Wright brothers were bicycle shop owners when they flew their first airplane. Sometimes an amateure starts a revolution. I hope Mr.Sato did it, too. At least in Japan, this analysis has attracted some scientists in the field.

    佐藤さんはこの研究を間違いなく楽しまれていると思います。そして結果として人類に貢献できたとしたらどんなに素晴らしいことでしょうか。仮に的外れであったとしてもこの経験は佐藤さんだけでなく私達にとって貴重なものになると思います。私も負けてはいられません。

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for this article. It gives us hope.

      Delete
  33. 一昨日、私はこのブログの記事に辿り着きました。まず斜め読みした段階で直感的にあなたの仮説に興味をもち、そしてじっくり読みこみました。これら統計データから導き出された佐藤さんの仮説には大変説得力があると感じました。
    今ネットでは日本株BCGワクチンが社会学者を巻き込んで話題になっていますが、これに火をつけたのはまさしく佐藤さんだと思います。医学的根拠が乏しいのでコメントできないのは理解できますが、日本の医療関係者からの発言がまだあまり出てきていないのが残念です。早く医学的な検証作業に入っていただき、少しでも可能性があるなら至急世界にBCGワクチンを広めて欲しいと思います。今後も注目していきます。良い記事を有難うございました。

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 追伸)あなたのツイッターも読んでいます。現時点で医学系専門家からの反応があまりないことに、焦らないでください。新しい情報を加えて、整理した続編を作って発表してください。期待しています。

      Delete
    2. ありがとうございます。続編書くほど余裕がないです。。

      もしこの仮説が正しいなら即解決策につながる可能性があるわけなので、専門家の方々には、目下の世界の危機の前で、評論家的に「様子見」はしてほしくないです。。

      Delete
  34. Surely all doctors are given BCG during training? And yet they have been dying at high rates.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some Australian health care workers are getting the BCG vaccine.
      https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/03/24/coronavirus-vaccine-health-care-workers-bcg/

      Delete
  35. Thank you for the great article and very valuable observations, Sato-san! I am just a layman from Ukraine, now living in Poland. Our spread and mortality rate here seems to be low, probably thanks to mandatory ex-soviet strain of BCG. How do you explain high mortality and spread rate in the Wuhan province? Do they have a different strain used for BCG?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry that I don't see a clear data set of BCG vaccination in China. I heard it varies by region and Wuhan region may be late to introduce BCG vaccination. That might be the reason in high death rate in elderly and very low death rate in the younger generation. I also heard that China use a different strain but couldn't take time to confirm the detail.

      One more important thing is that even if we are BCG vaccinated, we should take be careful with this awful virus. If we think of it as "just another flu", the Wuhan crisis can happen to the countries where BCG vaccine is mandatory.

      Delete
    2. I think you probably should mention that in your article because many readers could have this question.

      Delete
    3. Agree but not with me. If I start to write about China, I guess I will need to look into many new information and it will take at least a day, may be a few days... I'll wait for a China expert...

      Delete
    4. I was wondering about Wuhan, China claims to have 100% BCG coverage. Yet there have been serious outbreaks of TB in Hunan to the North of Wuhan very recently. Maybe cities like Beijing and Shanghai had good coverage but not so much central regions which again would make sense

      Delete
    5. The BCG vaccination is not perfect to protect from TB. They say it can reduce the cases by about 60%.

      Delete
  36. Instead of using total cases, use cases/1000 people as metric for clarity.

    Also, region which are travel hotspots & higher income tend to have more cases.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What part are you talking about? Germany part?

      Germany part has been updated with cases/deaths per 100,000 population by a reader.
      https://twitter.com/takainou_0907/status/1243754536138731521/photo/1

      What is your hypothesis regarding income?
      There are rich countries with disaster and without disaster; Italy and Japan. There are developing countries with disaster and without disaster; Iran and Iraq.
      I see that people in low income countries are more exposed to TB and may be more immune to the coronavirus or pneumonia. Do you think that ex-East Germany people are more exposed to TB?

      Travel hotspost may have a little impact. Your analysis/contribution is appreciated.

      Delete
  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. すみません。単なる漏れです。多方面から色々来てまして。m(_ _)m

      Delete
  38. ちょっと気になったんで調べてみたんですが、サッカーJ1選手で初の新型コロナ陽性になった酒井高徳は、2歳までニューヨークにいたそうです。もしかしてBCGをやってない可能性があるのかも? https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E9%85%92%E4%BA%95%E9%AB%98%E5%BE%B3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BCGワクチンは、感染自体を防ぐというよりは重症化・肺炎を防ぐ働きがありそう、といったところです。なので感染だけだと何も言えないかと思います。
      もし酒井高徳選手が重症化したら、BCGワクチンを受けていない可能性は高いかと思います。

      Delete
  39. The comment system is not working properly. I posted on the behalf of "Unknown".
    ---
    Japan certainly seems anomalous in the world data. Why haven't we had an outbreak here? And why was Italy hit so hard? The idea that vaccination programs have something to do with it is tantalising. Perhaps the most appealing part of your data to me is that the European countries that have never had a mandatory BCG programme (Italy, Belgium, Netherlands) are, discounting countries with very small populations, at the top of the list in deaths per capita. Only Spain sneaks above Belgium and the Netherlands. By the way, I haven't yet read through all of your arguments, but I intend to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks.

      Spain had its BCG vaccination program between 1965 to 1981. Short and late start. This means there are many elderly who had not BCG vaccine.

      Delete
  40. The comment system is not working properly. I posted on the behalf of "Unknown".
    ---
    I was wondering about Wuhan, China claims to have 100% BCG coverage. Yet there have been serious outbreaks of TB in Hunan to the North of Wuhan very recently. Maybe cities like Beijing and Shanghai had good coverage but not so much central regions which again would make sense

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diving into China data will take my days... I'm waiting for a China expert examine this hypothesis.

      Delete
  41. The comment system is not working properly. I posted on the behalf of "Unknown".
    ---
    The BCG vaccination is not perfect to protect from TB. They say it can reduce the cases by about 60%.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I heard so. And also I heard that BCG vaccination has still a lot of mysteries for doctors. We don't really know yer how it works and for what.

      Delete
  42. フランス在住です。BCGワクチンは国ごとに遺伝的な違いがあること知らなかったです。
    ウイキペディア百科事典の日本版と他の国と比べてもかなりばらつきがありました。
    下のアドレスはBCGワクチンのウイキペディアの英語版です。
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BCG_vaccine
    フランスでは1950年から一般の人のBCGワクチン義務付けられて、1947年から看護師の学生、社会福祉、生物学、医師や、国の支援を受けている人はこのワクチン義務付けられていました。2007年7月で義務付けは解除されました。結核が多い国で生まれた人、親のどちらかが結核の多い所の子供にワクチン勧められてます。看護関係者は現在もBCGワクチンは義務付けられてます。 今回新型コロナウイルスに感染した医者5人亡くなっています。年は60から70歳です。BCGワクチン打っていると思います。フランスの医師にSatoさんの書いている事、話してみたら免疫は普通の人より高いけどやはり人によるようです。
    BCG ワクチンを使った所と使わない所の違いは、ヨーロツパの場合、移民者が沢山いるので国でグラフに当てはめても、正確にはでないよう思いました。
    後は、先月ではイタリアの患者がフランスで手当てしていたり、フランスの患者がドイツ、スイスで手当てして亡くなった場合、その場所で統計出されます。
    フランスで一番はじめに亡くなったのは観光客の中国人です。
    この方はフランスの統計に入ってます。
    BCGワクチンは大人になってから打つと50%しか効かない事も書かれているものありました。
    自分もSatoさんが言う、日本のBCGワクチンの方が新型コロナウイルスの力を弱らせているのは、考えられると思います。


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No BCG vaccination < BCG Denmark << BCG Russia/Japan/Brazil

      Delete
  43. I understand from my wife of 53 years that in the (former) Republic of South Africa, every baby got a BCG stamp. Our four children were born between 1968 and 1973.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's good to hear. Checking the strain would be even better.

      Delete
  44. I understand from my wife of 53 years that in the (former) Republic of South Africa, every baby got a BCG stamp. Our four children were born between 1968 and 1973.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Interesting. A bit of a head scratcher how that works, but it's possible.

    Something not being discussed is that the Americas is where the native genotype is more susceptible to death from influenza, coronavirus, adenovirus, etc.. I have a manuscript I put on hold 10 years ago when I got to where I would have to go to the national archives to comb through papers on the Indian Health Service. But, the records I do have from Plymouth Colony (easy to find) talk about 95% die-off of natives from diseases that just caused the settlers sniffles. There are accounts from the Pacific Northwest of similar death rates. The vast majority of Native Americans in the temperate zone died of the Eurasian disease pool. In the 1918 pandemic a native village in northern Canada had 50% total population loss.

    Going south, the hot deserts, warm and humid weather, and in the Altiplano a lot of ultraviolet helped keep infection rates down. As part of that thought process I did a study and published this paper. Short version is that in the tropics, due to air conditioning, these diseases propagate much better. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20470403

    I am expecting that we should see higher rates of death in all age groups for people of native American ancestry.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I love this hypothesis. Yes, BCG may wear off in old age. Some kids needed extra doses in middle school. I was one of these kids growing up in Yugoslavia. Here is an idea: I am sure everyone in Yugoslavia received same BCG type until 1990 and now there are different strains used in the separate states. Compare Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro and North Macedonia (FYROM)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your analysis/contribution is welcomed!

      BTW, I went to ex-Yugoslavia countries twice more than twenty years ago and I love that region. I have Stojković's autograph :)

      Delete
  47. Hi, thanks hugely for this, as a layman's hypothesis it is very interesting. Particularly to me, and many other foreigners living in japan, as we can probably get this vaccine very easily (I'm going to try this morning). I am about to rush a very rough japanese translation of your article, however if you already have done that could you post a link so I don't waste time duplicating your efforts? thanks. I'm from the UK and have been shouting like crazy on social media all week about coronavirus in Japanese, see my posts on youtube, also twitter @tensaimon instagram kusaimon and Facebook Simon Robinson. I really hope this has an effect, if the Japanese strain really is even moderately helpful and doesn't have risks, Japan can probably ramp up production very quickly and start exporting. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An healthcare expert has cited my blog and add some medical information in Japanese.
      https://nosumi.exblog.jp/28020527/

      If you know both U.K. and Japan, especially the city parts, you agree that there's something different and BCG vaccine policy/strain may be the one.

      Delete

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