Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, MPA, director of ICAP at Columbia University, is quoted in a June 23 article on the Quanta Magazine website about why COVID-19 infections are relatively low in South Asia.
One hypothesis involves the BCG vaccine, which is used universally in South Asia. However, according to the article, “the WHO examined three studies still undergoing peer review in which the authors observed that countries routinely using the BCG vaccine had less incidence of COVID-19. The WHO concluded that ‘such ecological studies are prone to significant bias from many confounders,’ including differences in national demographics, testing rates for COVID-19 infections, and the stage of the pandemic in each country.”
Wafaa El-Sadr, a professor of epidemiology and medicine and the director of ICAP at Columbia University, agreed. “This is only a hypothesis, yet to be proven,” she said.