Does TB Vaccination Reduce COVID-19 Infection?: No Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Analysis

9 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2020

See all articles by Masao Fukui

Masao Fukui

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Kohei Kawaguchi

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Hiroaki Matsuura

Shoin University

Date Written: April 9, 2020

Abstract

In the middle of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the BCG hypothesis, the prevalence and severity of the COVID-19 outbreak seems to be correlated with whether a country has a universal coverage of Bacillus-Calmette-Guerin (BCG), a vaccine for tuberculosis disease (TB), has emerged and attracted the attention of scientific community and media outlets. However, all existing claims are based on cross-country correlations that do not exclude the possibility of spurious correlation. We merged country-age-level case statistics with the start/termination years of BCG vaccination policy and conducted a regression discontinuity and difference-in-difference analysis. The results do not support the BCG hypothesis.

Note: Funding: No external fund is used for this research.

Conflict of Interest: There is no conflict of interest to declare.

Keywords: COVID-19, Bacillus-Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination, Regression discontinuity, Difference-in-difference

JEL Classification: I18, I15

Suggested Citation

Fukui, Masao and Kawaguchi, Kohei and Matsuura, Hiroaki, Does TB Vaccination Reduce COVID-19 Infection?: No Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Analysis (April 9, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3572090 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3572090

Masao Fukui

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

Cambridge, MA
United States

Kohei Kawaguchi (Contact Author)

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology ( email )

6070 LSK Building, HKUST
Clear Water Bay
Kowloon
Hong Kong

Hiroaki Matsuura

Shoin University ( email )

9-1 Morinosato-wakamiya
Atsugi, Kanagawa 243-0124
Japan

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