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Effect of Universal TB Vaccination and Other Policy-Relevant Factors on the Probability of Patient Death from COVID-19


  • Amos Golan

    () (American University and Santa Fe Institute)

  • Tinatin Mumladze
  • Danielle Wilson
  • Elissa Cohen
  • Troy McGuinness
  • William Mooney
  • Jisung Moon


The possibility of reoccurring waves of the novel coronavirus that triggered the 2020 pandemic makes it critical to identify underlying policy-relevant factors that could be leveraged to decrease future COVID-19 death rates. We examined variation in a number of underlying, policy- relevant, country-level factors and COVID-19 death rates across countries. We found three such factors that significantly impact the survival probability of patients infected with COVID-19. In order of impact, these are universal TB (BCG) vaccination, air pollination deaths, and a health-related expenditure. We quantify each probability change by age and sex. To deal with small sample size and high correlations, we use an information-theoretic inferential method that also allows us to introduce priors constructed from independent SARS data.

Suggested Citation

  • Amos Golan & Tinatin Mumladze & Danielle Wilson & Elissa Cohen & Troy McGuinness & William Mooney & Jisung Moon, 2020. "Effect of Universal TB Vaccination and Other Policy-Relevant Factors on the Probability of Patient Death from COVID-19," Working Papers 2020-041, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:hka:wpaper:2020-041
    Note: MIP

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Clay, Karen & Lewis, Joshua & Severnini, Edson, 2018. "Pollution, Infectious Disease, and Mortality: Evidence from the 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 78(4), pages 1179-1209, December.
    2. Alice Zwerling & Marcel A. Behr & Aman Verma & Timothy F Brewer & Dick Menzies & Madhukar Pai, 2011. "The BCG World Atlas: A Database of Global BCG Vaccination Policies and Practices," Working Papers id:3921, eSocialSciences.
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    More about this item


    BCG vaccine; coronavirus; COVID-19; health expenditure; inference; information theory; policy; pollution level;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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