https://thehighwire.com/videos/do-covid-mrna-vaccines-disrupt-the-innate-immune-system/ Video Here (Approx. 2.5 Min)
DO COVID MRNA VACCINES DISRUPT THE INNATE IMMUNE SYSTEM?
Get the science: –https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.05.03.21256520v1
Natural vs. Vaccine Immunity: Does the COVID-19 Vaccine Wipe Out Natural Immunity?
Del Bigtree and The Highwire Team Noticed an Important Discrepancy Between Public Health Claims and Science that You Need to Know About. Plus: What’s Happening with Memory B-Cells?
Sept 20, 2021
One study shows durable and long-lasting active Anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies following natural infection. Another shows loss of Anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies in people with prior infection following vaccination. Del Bigtree and The Highwire Team pointed this out in their latest episode – and it’s worth a closer look.
My friends at the Highwire routinely find disparities between public health policy (the “national narrative”, as Del calls it) and science. In their last episode, they showed a mopish Anthony Fauci admit that natural immunity might mean no vaccine for some – and Faucing admitting that he did not have an answer to the question posed by a surprisingly and refreshingly frank Sanjay Gupta. I nearly fell out of my chair the first time I saw this specific interview – Anthony Fauci admitting that he didn’t know something, in and of itself, is noteworthy.
Bigtree then reviews the results of two different studies, which, taken together, do not bode well for COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for the convalescent. The first found “durable and robust” immunity up to 250 days in people who had COVID-19 – a study of which Fauci should have been aware. That study, by Cohen et al., published in Cell Reports, as reviewed by Precision Vaccinations:
“This new study shows that most convalescent COVID-19 patients mount durable antibodies, B cells, and T cells specific for SARS-CoV-2 up to 250 days. The kinetics of these responses provide an early indication for a favorable course ahead to achieve long-lived immunity.”
In detail (since numbers matter):
“Of the 183 individuals for whom longitudinal neutralization titers were assayed, 140 (77%) had at least one time point with neutralization titers above the limit of detection (> 20). Seventy-five percent (43/57) of COVID-19 patients generated serum neutralizing antibodies between 30–50 days after symptom onset and similarly 72% (48/67) had measurable titers between 180–263 days after symptom onset.”
So, “efficacy” of natural immunity is 77%; of those 77%, 72% had durable, long-lived neutralizing antibodies of at least 180 and up to 263 days. Note that 72% of 77% is 55.4%. So long-term neutralizing Ab – type immunity from natural infection is 55.4% in the infected, according to this study. Note also that the study looked at Spike, RBD and NTD proteins, and that the two mRNA vaccines in use in the US only target the Spike protein.
The Highwire team pointed out that these results are in stark contrast to the loss of immunity reported in another study, by the Canaday et al. team, which looked at older vs. younger people who had prior COVID-19 infection. Specifically, they examined the effects of vaccination on Spike and RBD neutralizing antibodies in those with natural immunity due to prior COVID-19 who were young healthcare workers with prior infection, (“control group”), and the older NH resident group w/prior infection. The Canaday et al. study found evidence of active Ab immunity at 180 days post-vaccination in the convalescent at rates of only 19% and 35%, respectively.
The comparison of 55.4% (Cohen et al., unvaccinated following COVID-19) to 19% and 35% (Canaday et al., vaccinated following COVID-19) is unexpected and, to put it mildly, worth noting.
It’s worrisome that vaccination appears to deplete neutralizing Abs against the Spike protein gained by infection. It’s puzzling that vaccination appears also to deplete neutralizing Abs against the RBD (receptor-binding-domain) SARS-CoV-2 protein because the vaccines do not target that protein.
A caveat: We have insufficient information on the rates of exposure-produced antibodies in the unvaccinated, vaccine-naive COVID-19 convalescent population compared to vaccine-naive COVID-19 patients who were vaccinated. That would require a human challenge trial, which I think is highly unethical. But it’s unethical to NOT do the animal trials and just presume that people who have previously had COVID-19 can, and should, be vaccinated, given the state of the science on the question. Such studies should use ferrets – and they should look for evidence of disease enhancement and original antigenic sin anew, especially given that the virus has evolved to escape current vaccines.
What About Memory Cells?
It’s also worth noting that T- and B-cell memory immunity were not considered by the latter study – and they are the more important type of immunity when it comes to the question of durability.
Take, for example, an article reviewing available data on immunological decay by Cromer et al.:
Key to understanding natural vs. vaccine immunity is the fate not only of Abs, but of memory cells.
This figure from Cromer et al. may be the most important figure on the matter to date:
The little subfigure in the upper right that shows INCREASES in Memory B-cells – all trending toward 100% of patients – across different studies – proves that we have the ability to store long-term information in our immune systems against the SARS-CoV-2 proteins measured. That’s great news!
We know from other studies that there is a minor, and now we know, temporary “boost” in Ab production in those who have had prior infections following vaccination. These studies are being used to push vaccination in people who have natural immunity. But we don’t know if that “boost” is (a) helpful, or (b) harmful to the entrainment of the immune response to exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in the future. The new data suggest that, in the long run, immunity from natural infection is more durable in the absence of follow-up vaccination. The very bad news is that the current COVID-19 vaccines, designed to address the Wuhan-1 SARS-CoV-2 virus, show weaker and potentially negative efficacy against the Delta variant (e.g., Brackenridge County data). These two realities may be related due to a phenomenon known as “original antigenic sin”, which you can read about here. Or it could be disease enhancement due to pathogenic priming – and given the mangled mess of clinical diagnosis of COVID-19, it’s hard to tell.
For me, two key questions on natural vs. vaccine immunity are:
(1) Since memory B-cells against proteins that are measured by the studies in Cromer et al. show trends toward 100%, can we expect the same for an unknown number of the >50 potential immunogenic targets in the SARS-CoV-2 virus I reported in April, 2020? I think the answer is a strong “Yes!”. That means long-lived, durable and, very importantly BROAD (i.e., redundant) immunity from prior SARS-CoV-2 infection will likely be found to be vastly superior to the narrow immunity attempted by COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, which target only a single antigen source (the Spike protein).
(2) Does vaccination against the single antigen target, the Spike protein, undo the robust and durable – and broad immunologic learning by the memory cells of the human immune system against these other SARS-CoV-2 viral antigens in people who have had COVID-19? I think the answer is “Possibly”, and that studies designed to measure memory B- and T-cell duration that represent long-term immunologic memory against a wide variety of SARS-CoV-2 proteins would be needed to answer that question.
For now, the data on the likely and plausible effects of COVID-19 vaccines on SARS-CoV-2 Spike and RBD protein Ab production from infection are absolutely damning, and this is critical information that should be incorporated into public health policy now.
In short, the data suggest – and the precautionary principle supports the position that those with prior COVID-19 infections should not be vaccinated until we more fully understand the effects of COVID-19 vaccines on broad, durable, and in some cases hard-won, natural immunity.
An Evolutionary Explanation on Why Natural Immunity is Vastly Superior
The Shape of the Adaptive Landscape of the Virus Explains Why Those Who Survive Infection Should Be Left Alone
I have been waiting for some time to write this article, in part because it involves complex ideas from evolutionary theory that most people will have little reasons to immediately understand, and in part due to the need for data to emerge to determine whether the predictions supported by evolutionary biology would bear out.
I also hoped for definitive evidence such as whistleblowers or results from FOIA on the biasing of case rates from the vaccinated and unvaccinated in the US. More on that another day.
There is now little doubt that SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is causing vaccine-induced immune escape. The data in support of the evolutionary escape of the virus from the vaccine are coming in from all over – especially from Israel, the country whose population was sold to Pfizer as an experimentation population for widespread vaccination.
In this Rapid Communication on data from Israel, the authors write:
“(These data challenge) the assumption that high universal vaccination rates will lead to herd immunity and prevent COVID-19 outbreaks. This was probably true for the wild-type SARS-CoV-2 virus, but in the outbreak described here, 96.2% of the exposed population was vaccinated. Infection advanced rapidly (many cases became symptomatic within 2 days of exposure), and viral load was high.”
Counts of Cases, Hospitalizations and Deaths (CHDs) Are Biased in the US
A new study from Yale University shows that the vaccinated can indeed develop severe COVID-19. The authors of that study found that more than a quarter of fully vaccinated patients admitted to the hospital with SARS-CoV-2 were severely or critically ill with COVID-19. However, and importantly, they did not consider people who had received both doses “vaccinated” unless they developed first symptoms or tested positive 14 days following the second dose of the two-dose vaccines, or after seven days of the single-dose vaccine.
The importance of not counting the recently exposed as “vaccinated” as a confounding factor in all analyses of breakthrough cases, hospitalizations and deaths (CHDs) cannot be understated: it biased Moderna’s first efficacy calculations by nearly a third (95% if you exclude people who got COVID-19 before they could be given the second dose; 75% if you include everyone).
The fact that CDC is willing to sequence cases that have a PCR cycle threshold > 40 if they are unvaccinated, but only “scrutinize” and report cases of COVID-19 if their cycle thresholds are <28 AND the patient is hospitalized or dead means a systematic bias exists in what CDC considers “breakthrough cases” (in fact, there are two sets of data, one up to June, 2021 and one thereafter).
The Yale University publication is peppered notably with the usual caveats on the “rarity” of severe COVID-19 among the vaccinated, betraying either undue optimism for technology to stay ahead of SARS-CoV-2 evolution, or a misunderstanding of the fact that rare genotypes can sweep to fixation in a population in a short amount of time in a “selective sweep”, meaning that if the pathogenicity of the virus is related to escape of specific neutralizing antibodies, many if not most vaccinees might, right now, be primed to be at risk of enhanced disease from SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to the unvaccinated or the naturally immune.
COVID-19 New Case Rates Higher in Vaccinated Countries
In an analysis published last month (9/10/2021), I reported that the Our World in Data (OWID) data shows that the higher the vaccination coverage in a country, the higher the new case rates (See: “Do OWID Data Show That Countries with Higher Vaccination Rates Have Higher Numbers of New Cases of COVID-19?”). I reproduce the figure from that analysis here.
It is not a given that the data from the US reporting higher COVID-19 cases in the US is at all reliable, which brings us back to data that appears to be most reliable: Israel (as described above), and Barnstable, County, Massachusetts.
Barnstable County Data Show Vaccine Effective is Zero or Negative
CDC reported that in July 2021, in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, 74% of cases were fully vaccinated. They found the Delta variant in 90% of patients. Importantly, this report showed the Cycle threshold distributions for the vaccinated and the unvaccinated – and found they were similar among specimens from patients who were fully vaccinated. This means there was not a diagnostic-based selection bias in the groups studied. One reason the study found this result was that they defined their groups as individuals who developed COVID-19 within 14 days of exposure vs those who did so 14 days or more after exposure. In other words, they did it right.
This report caused CDC Rochelle Walensky to issue a warning that the vaccinated should still mask, socially distance and otherwise presume that they could still contract and spread SARS-CoV-2. To many who were vaccinated, this felt like betrayal: Fauci and the CDC had promised a return to normal in as a trade for people taking on vaccine risk. Their promise has de-materialized, and Fauci now thinks we’re not going to have Christmas.
Why Natural Immunity is So Much Better Than Artificial Immunity
In my April 2020 analysis which introduced the world to the idea of #PathogenicPriming, I found a total of 54 immunogenic epitopes across all of the SARS-CoV-2 proteins. Nearly all of these epitopes had similarity to human proteins – that is, they had the capacity to induce reactogenic immunity, potentially leading to autoimmunity. Since that publication, the results were validated by researchers at Harvard University and elsewhere; the autoimmune risk associated with SARS-CoV-2 epitopes, including epitopes in the spike protein, has been laboratory-validated, and studied extensively and the number has been expanded to 79 (See Pubmed1 and Pubmed2).
By my estimation, in the spike-protein-only vaccines, all of the humoral response, that is, the adaptive immunity response, is mounted against a maximum of 5 epitopes. It’s not just that the human immune system primed to focus on the original SARS-CoV-2 spike protein will not be able to protect against variants that emerge and escape the vaccine-induced humoral response; it’s also that the vaccines themselves provide selection pressure against a very small part of a very small protein. In other words, when mutations in the spike protein arise, the act of vaccination itself will cause the emergence of – specifically the increase in frequency of – variants for which the vaccine is useless.
That’s simple Darwinian natural selection, and the epidemiologists who blame new breakthrough cases on “the variant” should stop and consider a root-cause analysis: whatever caused the variants to emerge (i.e., spread) also ultimately caused the breakthrough cases. The variant is a penultimate causal factor…. (See link for entire article)
- To boost the immune system to produce more antibodies that do not work is madness. (Regarding boosters)
- From an evolutionary standpoint, durable immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is expected to be more resilient and far, far more effective – and last decades – where dozens of types of memory B- and T-cells have been generated, preventing the emergence of types that can surpass the immune escape threshold. Multifactorial approaches to control viremia are also available – and will help reduce viremia in every patient, instead of forcing them to sit at home and incubate new variants (See: Who Are the World’s Leading Authorities in COVID-19 Treatments?).