COVID-19: Polio Vaccine May Prevent Or Reduce Spread, Feel US-Based Doctors

Polio Vaccine May Prevent Or Reduce Spread, Feel US-Based Doctors

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Washington: Ultimate control over COVID-19 will be possible only after a large part of the world population becomes immune. This can happen either after a large fraction of the world population gets infected or by prophylactic vaccination.

Scientists, researchers and doctors all over the world are trying to develop a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19. Two doctors — Konstantin Chumakov and Robert Gallo – argue that vaccines can be used for mass immunization only if they prove to be safe and effective by thorough clinical evaluation. So given the time this requires, vaccines specific to COVID-19 are unlikely to be available during the current pandemic, they argue.

In article published in USA Today, the duo has proposed an approach to mitigate the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic through the use of existing viral vaccines. Oral polio vaccine (OPV), they say, has been documented to protect against a number of viral and bacterial infections.

Dr Konstantin and Dr Gallo say that OPV — developed by Albert Sabin — consists of attenuated (weakened) poliovirus and has been used with great success to eradicate poliomyelitis across the world.

They contend that in addition to protection against polio by inducing antibodies that kill the virus, OPV activates other protective mechanisms which make make people resistant to infections caused by other viruses and bacteria.

As an example, they have cited that in clinical trials conducted in the 1970s, OPV protected more people from influenza than most flu vaccines.

Some researchers have even suggested that similar protection can be induced by immunizing people with measles vaccine, tuberculosis vaccine (BCG) and some other live attenuated vaccines.

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