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16.04.2020 | Tracker

BCG is seen as a possible ‘game changer’ in COVID-19 treatment

By Nathan Cripps

We have been tracking how healthcare professionals (HCPs) respond to drug launch news, as it happens in CREATION Pinpoint’s Drug Launch Trackers. For the next few months we are going to track and report on the COVID-19 vaccination discussion and highlight the key topics by HCPs online.

Between April 1st and 15th, 6,146 HCPs posted 11,072 times in relation to  COVID-19 vaccines. The two most discussed topics that drew HCP attention were about the possibility of the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine being used for COVID-19 immunisation and the recognition of Kizzmekia Corbett as a leading scientist working on finding a COVID-19 vaccine.

BCG (TB) vaccine seen as a positive vaccine candidate for COVID-19

Luke O’Neill, an immunologist from Ireland, commented on the BCG vaccine saying that it could be a ‘game changer’ in protecting against COVID-19. This was retweeted 24 times by HCPs across the world. A doctor from South Africa stated that the evidence that he reviewed showed results to suggest that the BCG vaccine might prevent COVID-19.

https://twitter.com/laoneill111/status/1245810499297652749
https://twitter.com/Lebo_G/status/1247531199397900289

While some HCPs are positive about prospective vaccines, others were more sceptical. An epidemiologist in Canada asked journalists to ‘be more critical & cautious’. He was glad to see the WHO BCG vaccination for COVID-19 brief recommending  ‘[skipping] the hype and [getting] on with trials’. This view was shared by other HCPs such as one epidemiologist in Spain who asked people to wait for trials to be clear.

https://twitter.com/agbasteiro/status/1247542669603221505

Kizzmekia Corbett recognised as a leading scientist

HCPs shared the news reports from CNN and NBC spotlighting Kissmekia Corbett as the leading scientist in America working on a vaccine for COVID-19. There were over 200 posts relating to this including many retweets of Sherrilyn Ifill (President & Director-Counsel of LDF) and Anderson Cooper (journalist). These posts suggested that there could be a vaccine from sequence to the public in eight months and that ‘we might be saved’ because of the work of Kizzmekia.

You can keep up to date with what HCPs are saying about COVID-19 vaccines and other pharmaceutical tracking updates within the Tracking section of CREATION Knowledge, or by signing up to our monthly eJournal.

Methodology notes:

  • Data for this research was analysed from the online Twitter conversations of HCPs talking about COVID-19 vaccines in English language (all other languages are available), between April 1st 2020 and April 15th 2020.
  • Between April 1st 2020 and April 15th 2020, 6,146 HCPs shared posts about COVID-19 vaccines 11,072 times all over the world.

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Meet the Author

Nathan Cripps

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