COVID-19 infection and previous BCG vaccination coverage in the ecuadorian population

Daniel Garzon-Chavez, Jackson Rivas-Condo, Adriana Echeverria, Jhoanna Mozo, Emmanuelle Quentin, Jorge Reyes, Enrique Teran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is a well-known vaccine with almost a century of use, with the apparent capability to improve cytokine production and epigenetics changes that could develop a better response to pathogens. It has been postulated that BCG protection against SARS-CoV-2 has a potential role in the pandemic, through the presence of homologous amino acid sequences. To identify a possible link between BCG vaccination coverage and COVID-19 cases, we used official epidemic data and Ecuadorian Ministry of Health and Pan American Health Organization vaccination information. BCG information before 1979 was available only at a national level. Therefore, projections based on the last 20 years were performed, to compare by specific geographic units. We used a Mann-Kendall test to identify BCG coverage variations, and mapping was conducted with a free geographic information system (QGIS). Nine provinces where BCG vaccine coverage was lower than 74.25% show a significant statistical association (χ2 Pearson’s = 4.800, df = 1, p = 0.028), with a higher prevalence of cases for people aged 50 to 64 years than in younger people aged 20 to 49 years. Despite the availability of BCG vaccination data and the mathematical models needed to compare these data with COVID-19 cases, our results show that, in geographic areas where BCG coverage was low, 50% presented a high prevalence of COVID-19 cases that were young; thus, low-coverage years were more affected.

Original languageEnglish
Article number91
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • BCG vaccine
  • BCG vaccine coverage
  • COVID-19
  • Ecuador


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