Facts previously dismissed as misinformation now admitted
On 11 January 2023 a paper was published in Cell Host & Microbe titled “Rethinking next-generation vaccines for coronaviruses, influenza viruses, and other respiratory viruses”.
There are just 3 authors, one of whom is Anthony Fauci, who served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) from 1984 to 2022, and the chief medical advisor to the President from 2021 to 2022.
Fauci is generally regarded as one of the key architects of the USA’s – and therefore the world’s – response to the pandemic, including pushing for the emergency authorisation and rollout of the Covid vaccines, and the formulation of policies which exerted huge pressure on citizens in nearly all countries to be injected with these products or else face sanctions, ranging from social ostracisation via the use of “vaccine passport” schemes, through to job losses, and even fines merely for being unvaccinated.
Fauci made some bold claims about the Covid vaccines in order to justify such coercive policies, including that they would prevent infections and limit transmission of the virus to others. These claims were then picked up by political leaders worldwide and used to justify their own policies, even when – from early data – it became obvious that the vaccines did not prevent infections or reduce the viral load of those infected.
This latest article, therefore, has quite rightly raised some eyebrows because of the astonishing concessions it contains, amongst which are the following:
- Of the influenza vaccines, the authors note:
As of 2022, after more than 60 years of experience with influenza vaccines, very little improvement in vaccine prevention of infection has been noted. As pointed out decades ago, and still true today, the rates of effectiveness of our best approved influenza vaccines would be inadequate for licensure for most other vaccine-preventable diseases.
The authors then draw parallels between the vaccines for covid and those for influenza:
The vaccines for these two very different viruses [covid19 and influenza] have common characteristics: they elicit incomplete and short-lived protection against evolving virus variants that escape population immunity.
- They propose that the reason why vaccines against covid and influenza are ineffective compared to those against mumps, measles, rubella and smallpox and varicella zoster (chickenpox) is that the former replicate predominantly in local mucosal tissue, without causing viremia.
They posit that the finding by PCR testing of the circulation of viral SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the bloodstream, is an “RNAemia” (as is seen with most mucosal respiratory virus infections), as distinct from viremia, in which infectious viruses can be cultured from the blood.
This statement is rather glossed over, but it actually has huge significance, in that it is essentially saying that the finding by PCR testing of tissues in people with mucosal respiratory virus infections like covid may simply represent the presence of RNA not culturable whole virus.
However, much has been made of these PCR findings, leading to statements that covid is “highly unusual, attacking all tissues” and “covid isn’t just a respiratory disease but a circulatory one”, notions which the authors of this paper seem not to share, the tone of the article being very much that SARS-CoV-2 sits within the broad category of mucosal respiratory viruses.
(Having said that, one point the authors did not make is that even in the absence of circulating whole virus, it could be that circulating spike protein leads to the clots and other vascular pathology seen both in infection and after vaccination, although this seems a likely potential mechanism only in more severe disease.)
- They then state that antigenic drift is the reason why we can expect people to be infected multiply both with influenza and SARS-CoV-2.
- Tying these all together, they conclude that:
It is not surprising that none of the predominantly mucosal respiratory viruses [of which influenza and SARS-Cov-2 are examples] have ever been effectively controlled by vaccines.
They then write that:
This observation raises a question of fundamental importance: if natural mucosal respiratory virus infections do not elicit complete and long-term protective immunity against reinfection, how can we expect vaccines, especially systemically administered non-replicating vaccines, to do so?
How indeed? This is one of the points that those who questioned the design of the Covid vaccines have been making repeatedly.
- In a section which looks like it was written before the (thankfully temporary) purging in 2020 of prior immunology theory and knowledge, they then discuss in some depth the complexity of the highly-evolved mucosal immune response, and the delicate balance that it must (and therefore by implications so must vaccines) achieve between tolerance (preventing tissue damage) and infection control (which may ultimately result in an aberrant immune response).
Some sample extracts:
The immunologic “Faustian bargain” between tolerance versus infection control, which permits transient, moderated infection by respiratory agents of low or intermediate pathogenicity to restrain the destructive forces of an immune elimination response may be problematic for vaccine control of respiratory viruses, not only in the local and systemic sensing of vaccine antigens but also in eliciting optimal immune responses.
The immune system is complex with many effectors. Serum antibody titers to various viral epitopes may only indirectly correlate with protection because of association with other more critical (but not usually measured) immune effectors.
In short, correlations between serum antibody titers and susceptibility to influenza infection may be statistically valid in large studies, but imperfect in the context of individual variation, rapid viral evolution, and waning titers.
A closely related question is whether vaccines that generate immune responses only against single critical epitopes conserved across virus strains and subtypes, or a limited number of such epitopes, can perform as well as vaccines that elicit broad humoral and cell-mediated responses against multiple epitopes. Although such conserved epitopes seem ideal candidates, vaccines based on this approach have not been particularly successful.
Attempting to control mucosal respiratory viruses with systemically administered non-replicating vaccines has thus far been largely unsuccessful, indicating that new approaches are needed.
In summary, this article reads like an admission of failure – of the vaccines to prevent infection and transmission at least. But the most notable point is that the reasons given are based on immunological theory and knowledge which was commonly known before 2020, meaning that the assertions made about them preventing infection and transmission must have been known – or at least strongly suspected – to be untrue. Is this lying? We leave it to the reader to judge.
Even after data emerged which confirmed the inability to block infection and transmission, the voices raising this were suppressed and censored by forces seemingly under the control of US Federal agencies, as we have seen from the “Twitter files” releases.
This article clearly has the “fact checkers” in a bind, as to counter the article’s premises they would have to debunk those who they had previously staunchly defended. Associated Press has published a risible “fact check” which essentially states that the article does not explicitly state that the vaccines do not prevent severe disease, whilst remaining completely silent on the most important concession – the inability to block infection and transmission.
Alex Berenson’s take on this article is also worth a read, as is this piece in The Daily Sceptic by an anonymous senior Pharmaceutical Industry executive.
It remains to be seen whether this Fauci article has any effect on mainstream opinion which seems immobile, despite the weight of accumulating evidence against both the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines.
Another example of former covid vaccine enthusiasts expressing concerns and apparently recanting, but without any mainstream acknowledgement, can be found in an article written by Paul Offit, an American paediatrician specialising in infectious diseases, vaccines, immunology, and virology. Notably, Professor Offit has been a member of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
His article in the prestigious and decidedly establishment journal NEJM titled “Bivalent Covid-19 Vaccines — A Cautionary Tale” raised the worrying spectre of “immune imprinting” (where the immune system becomes fixated on one particular antigenic sequence and therefore less able to deal with variations of the same) and concluded that:
“we should stop trying to prevent all symptomatic infections in healthy, young people by boosting them with vaccines containing mRNA from strains that might disappear a few months later”.
However, this has not been accompanied by any official toning down of the enthusiasm with which the boosters have been recommended by USA Federal officials, although many other countries have essentially stopped offering the vaccines to younger and healthy individuals.
The disconnect between real-world data and the promises made for these vaccines was jarring enough. Now we have previous proponents expressing the same doubts previously censored critics have been raising for years.
When is the mainstream media going to restore much-needed balance to the debate instead of acting as an unquestioning mouthpiece for government?