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UK study tests if BCG vaccine protects against COVID

LONDON (Reuters) – The widely used BCG tuberculosis vaccine will be tested on frontline care workers in Britain for its effectiveness against COVID-19, researchers running the UK arm of a global trial said.

Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine, used to protect against tuberculosis, induces a broad innate immune-system response and has been shown to protect against infection or severe illness with other respiratory pathogens.

“BCG has been shown to boost immunity in a generalised way, which may offer some protection against COVID-19,” Professor John Campbell, of the University of Exeter Medical School, said.

“We are seeking to establish whether the BCG vaccine could help protect people who are at risk of COVID-19. If it does, we could save lives by administering or topping up this readily available and cost-effective vaccination.”

The UK study is part of an existing Australian-led trial, which launched in April and also has arms in the Netherlands, Spain and Brazil. The BCG vaccine is also being tested as a protection against COVID-19 in South Africa.

The British trial is recruiting volunteers ahead of winter months that officials have warned may be tough as the country grapples with a second wave of infections.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has indicated that restrictions to curb the pandemic could be in place until spring.

The trial’s UK arm, which is being run from Exeter, southwest England, is seeking to recruit 1,000 people who work in care homes and community healthcare nearby.

Globally, more than 10,000 healthcare staff will be recruited.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Christina Fincher)

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UK Study Tests if BCG Vaccine Protects Against COVID | Top News

LONDON (Reuters) – The widely used BCG tuberculosis vaccine will be tested on frontline care workers in Britain for its effectiveness against COVID-19, researchers running the UK arm of a global trial said.

Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine, used to protect against tuberculosis, induces a broad innate immune-system response and has been shown to protect against infection or severe illness with other respiratory pathogens.

“BCG has been shown to boost immunity in a generalised way, which may offer some protection against COVID-19,” Professor John Campbell, of the University of Exeter Medical School, said.

“We are seeking to establish whether the BCG vaccine could help protect people who are at risk of COVID-19. If it does, we could save lives by administering or topping up this readily available and cost-effective vaccination.”

The UK study is part of an existing Australian-led trial, which launched in April and also has arms in the Netherlands, Spain and Brazil. The BCG vaccine is also being tested as a protection against COVID-19 in South Africa.

The British trial is recruiting volunteers ahead of winter months that officials have warned may be tough as the country grapples with a second wave of infections.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has indicated that restrictions to curb the pandemic could be in place until spring.

The trial’s UK arm, which is being run from Exeter, southwest England, is seeking to recruit 1,000 people who work in care homes and community healthcare nearby.

Globally, more than 10,000 healthcare staff will be recruited.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Christina Fincher)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Another study suggests common cold protects some from COVID-19

The common cold can make you miserable, but it might also help protect you against COVID-19, a new study suggests.

The researchers added that people who’ve had COVID-19 may be immune to it for a long time, possibly even the rest of their lives.

The research focused on memory B cells, long-lasting immune cells that detect pathogens, produce antibodies to destroy them, and remember them for the future.

The study authors compared blood samples from 26 people who were recovering from mild to moderate COVID-19 and 21 healthy people whose samples were collected six to 10 years ago, long before they could have been exposed to COVID-19.

They found that B cells that attacked previous cold-causing coronaviruses appeared to also recognize the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

This could mean that anyone who’s ever been infected by a common cold coronavirus — nearly everyone — may have some amount of immunity to COVID-19, according to infectious disease experts at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y.

The researchers also found that COVID-19 triggers memory B cells, which means those immune cells are ready to fight the coronavirus the next time it shows up in the body.

“When we looked at blood samples from people who were recovering from COVID-19, it looked like many of them had a preexisting pool of memory B cells that could recognize [the coronavirus] and rapidly produce antibodies that could attack it,” study author Mark Sangster said in a university news release. He’s a research professor of microbiology and immunology.

Because memory B cells can survive for decades, they could protect COVID-19 survivors from subsequent infections for a long time, but further research is needed to confirm that, according to the authors.

“Now we need to see if having this pool of preexisting memory B cells correlates with milder symptoms and shorter disease course — or if it helps boost the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines,” study co-author David Topham, professor of microbiology and immunology, said in the release.

The study was published in the September/October issue of the journal mBio.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on COVID-19.

Copyright 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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HPV vaccine protects against cancer, large study finds

The HPV vaccine substantially reduces a woman’s risk of developing cervical cancer, especially in women who were immunized at a younger age, a large Swedish study found.

The risk of developing cervical cancer was reduced by 88 percent in women who had been vaccinated before age 17, and by 53 percent in those vaccinated between ages 17 and 30, according to the study of nearly 1.7 million girls and women that was published in Thursday’s issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

The researchers said the study is significant because while previous research has shown that the HPV vaccine can protect against the human papillomavirus infection, genital warts and cervical precancer, solid evidence that the vaccine actually prevented invasive cervical cancer was lacking.

“This is the first study to show that HPV vaccination protects against cervical cancer on the population level,” study author Par Sparen, a professor of medical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said in an email to NBC News.

“The study reassures that HPV vaccination is protective against cervical cancer, and that vaccination at young age is important for good protection,” Sparen said.

Women who were vaccinated as younger girls likely had better protection because they were immunized before they were exposed to HPV through sexual activity, the researchers said.

Human papillomaviruses are a group of viruses that cause genital warts and most cases of cervical cancer. HPV also can cause cancers of the vagina, vulva, anus, penis and throat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that HPV causes nearly 35,000 cancer cases every year in women and men in the United States.

The study, which used nationwide registry data in Sweden, followed 1.7 million girls and women who were ages 10 to 30 between 2006 — the year the HPV vaccine was approved in that country — and 2017. Of them, 527,871 had received at least one dose of the vaccine during the study, most before age 17. Cervical cancer was diagnosed in 19 vaccinated women and 538 unvaccinated women during the study period.

The study is important because it “confirms what we know and also goes a step further,” Debbie Saslow, managing director of HPV and gynecological cancers at the American Cancer Society, said.

“We have really strong data that show that HPV vaccination prevents advanced cervical precancer, and all scientists in the world who work in cervical cancer agree that if you prevent advanced pre-cancer you prevent cancer, and that that is the accepted marker,” she said. “However, there are some critics and naysayers who say, ‘Yeah but show me that it prevents cancer,’ and this does that.”

Related: More than two-thirds of healthy Americans are teeming with wart viruses of all types, a new survey finds.

With the new paper, “we now have absolute numbers and data that say in the girls and young women who were vaccinated, they had very strong protection against cervical cancer, as compared to the women who weren’t vaccinated,” Saslow said.

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HIPAA Regulation Protects In opposition to Improper Disclosure Of Health Data By Health Care Providers

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HIPAA Law Protects In opposition to Improper Disclosure Of Health Information By Health Care Providers

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