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Part II of a series. Read Part I. Dr. Moy previously has recommended ending COVID segregation at Mass.
The available COVID vaccines are essentially security blankets: They lend people a sense of comfort, but, in reality, they provide incomplete and unsatisfactory protection from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Moderna has reported that their mRNA COVID vaccine elicits transient neutralizing antibodies. However, these antibodies have been observed to decline by 50% after 3 months for patients between the ages of 55 and 70 and by 75% for those over the age of 70. Moreover, T-cell immunity was only documented in healthy, non-elderly individuals. It has also been well-documented that long-term smoking, obesity, diabetes and advanced age impair T-cell immunity or impede activation of T-cell immunity in response to vaccines. Thus, individuals who possess any of these risk factors may manifest a modest humoral immune response and/or fail to achieve T-cell immunity, resulting in a false sense of security whereby such individuals may be no more protected from infection than an unvaccinated individual. Finally, these vaccines do not provide respiratory mucosal immunity, which can still permit nasal transmission.
The point of emphasis of COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials was a reduction in symptoms. Thus, the clinical trials did not evaluate viral transmission. In fact, reports from animal studies have documented that, in the wake of mRNA and adenoviral vaccine administration, viral particles were still present in respiratory secretions. Therefore, one's decision to take a COVID injection provides neither absolute assurance to the public that one is protected nor a failsafe against future transmission of the virus.
The oft-touted concept of "herd immunity" represents a point where a critical fraction of the public has achieved immunity against a viral pathogen so that, for all intents and purposes, viral transmission ceases. Once herd immunity is achieved, there are a negligible few that remain vulnerable to infection.
Public health institutions like NIH, CDC and WHO allege that herd immunity can only be achieved once 70% of the population has been vaccinated. However, this public health opinion is fallacious for several reasons. First, our government is discounting the fraction of the population that achieved natural immunity, which is currently hypothesized to be at approximately 30%. Second, herd-immunity models assume that the vaccine is very effective in providing recipients protection against the virus. This is difficult to achieve with a subunit vaccine that elicits a weak immune response that requires boosters. There is little evidence that these vaccines stop transmission because of a lack of conferred respiratory mucosal immunity. Third, achieving herd immunity assumes that the virus is static and is not changing. However, as previously discussed, COVID-19 is an RNA virus that is changing and producing variants that genetically differ with regard to the spike protein.
According to CDC data, the incidence of new cases was already on the decline before the vaccine was rolled out. Additionally, the rate of decline of new cases was unaffected by the promulgation of the vaccine. This suggests that there was sufficient background natural immunity to reduce the incidence of new cases. Since individuals that acquire natural immunity have redundant respiratory mucosal, humoral and T-cell immunity, there is a lower chance for the emergence of variants that will overwhelm health care resources. In light of the foregoing, we can deduce that rather than mandating vaccination for college students and schoolchildren, we should look to establish in them natural immunity — a safer and more effective remedy for this age group, since such individuals have a high recovery rate and mild presentation of the illness. A natural immunity in these demographics would also help to interdict the emergence of variants.
It is standard protocol to weigh the risks versus benefits of any medical treatment. For example, health care professionals encourage but do not mandate pneumonia vaccinations for the elderly (who are at increased risk should they develop pneumonia). We typically do not give healthy young adults pneumonia inoculations even though the vaccine has proven safe. Yet, there has been an absurd and obsessive effort to vaccinate children and college students against COVID, despite the fact that the risk of viral transmission in the former is extremely low and the risk of death from COVID-19 is virtually zero in these age groups. Moreover, many college students have recovered from COVID-19 and have developed natural immunity. A study from the Cleveland Clinic found that the vaccine offered no additional benefit to those individuals who already recovered from COVID-19. Consequently, these experimental vaccines offer no benefit to children and college students, as well as young, healthy individuals working in hospitals. Rather, gene therapies pose significant health risks for them.
A gene therapy operates by delivering a gene into a cell and/or tissue of interest, where the gene is converted into a protein, which, in turn, mediates some specific biological activity. Gene therapy has historically been reserved for treating rare genetic diseases and refractory cancers. Prior to COVID, there has been no approved use of gene therapy to vaccinate against an infection.
With gene therapies, the spike-protein gene is delivered to specific immunological cells, where the protein is then expressed on the cell surface. These immune cells then present the spike protein to other immunological cells, which then activate other immunological cells to elicit systemic humoral and T-cell immunity. Unfortunately, this gene therapy also expresses the spike protein on unintended targeted cells (e.g., brain, heart, reproductive organs and vascular cells).
Spike proteins give rise to several mechanisms of concern, mechanisms that could reduce safety; but there are two mechanisms of particular importance: (1) spike protein toxicity and (2) autoimmune responses. First, the spike protein freely circulates in the bloodstream and activates any cell that expresses the ACE-2 receptor. Platelets and endothelial cells (cells that line the wall of blood cells) express ACE-2 receptors. Circulating spike proteins activate these vascular cells.
Activated platelets tend to aggregate and adhere to activated endothelial cells, which are sticky. These actions promote blood clot formation. Additionally, activated endothelial cells become leakier, which could lead to the extravasation of fluid and blood into tissues. Second, spike proteins are expressed in undesired tissues. The patient's immune system would not be able to differentiate between a virus expressing spike protein and an individual's own tissue that expresses the same spike protein.
Under this condition, an individual who has acquired natural immunity could provoke an acute or chronic autoimmune response. Additionally, individuals who acquired natural immunity could be more susceptible to bleeding and thrombosis because their vascular cells are rechallenged with circulating spike protein from the vaccine.
Thus, the vaccine offers a very unfavorable risk-versus-benefit scenario for children and college students, particularly if they have previously recovered from COVID. In contrast, high-risk Catholics may have a more justified risk-versus-benefit scenario, provided that those individuals are fully informed of the moral issues and medical risks and benefits of these experimental vaccines.
According to the CDC's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which is a passive reporting system that is said to report only a tiny percentage of the true incidence of adverse events, there have been over 15,472 deaths and 1.5 million injuries from the injections in Europe. In the United States, the injections have led to more than 6,113 deaths, 5,172 permanent disabilities, 6,435 life-threatening events and 51,558 emergency room visits. Individuals are required by law to receive informed consent before they receive an experimental vaccine under the National Research Act of 1974. While the government is pushing mass vaccination, it is interesting that approximately half of the employees at NIH and the CDC have not been vaccinated.
Read Part III.
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