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The VALIDATE Network, a community of over 400 researchers based in more than 200 research institutions in 63 countries, will today launch the “BCG100 Programme” marking the centenary of the Bacille Calmette-Guérin Vaccine for tuberculosis.

3D illustration of bacteria mycobacterium tuberculosis

The Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine is the first, and still a century later, only vaccine approved for humans that protects against tuberculosis.

On 18 July 1921 at the Hôpital de la Charité in Paris, a newborn infant, whose mother had died of tuberculosis that same morning, received a dose of an experimental vaccine called Bacille Calmette- Guérin. This young child would be the first human to receive the BCG vaccine, which, over the coming century, would be administered to billions of people across the planet, saving tens of millions of lives.

Starting on World TB Day, 24 March 2021, VALIDATE's BCG100 programme will consist of public events, talks with school students from around the world, a social media campaign, a series of computer games and other online activities with the aim of educating the public about the science and history behind vaccinations.

VALIDATE also hopes to draw attention to the work researchers are doing today to improve or replace the lifesaving but flawed BCG vaccine. BCG100 officially launches with the ‘BCG Then and Now’ online lecture by Professor Helen McShane (University of Oxford) and Professor Paul Fine (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine). Taking place at 6pm GMT, 24 March 2021, the talk will cover the initial development of the vaccine, moving through to the modern-day challenges in the fight against TB and the future challenges researchers face in replacing the enduring BCG vaccine.

Read the full story on the University of Oxford website.

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