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Geert Vanden Bossche is to COVID-19 vaccines as Andrew Wakefield is to MMR

Geert Vanden Bossche is a scientist who published an open letter warning of global catastrophe due to deadly variants of COVID-19 selected for by mass vaccination. His argument sounds a lot like an argument Andrew Wakefield once made for MMR. There’s even grift likely involved!

I’ve frequently discussed how in the age of the pandemic, at least in terms of antivaccine misinformation and pseudoscience, everything old is new again. Over the last several months, I’ve listed a number of examples of this phenomenon of antivaxxers recycling hoary tropes to apply them to COVID-19 vaccines; for example, claims that vaccines kill, cause infertility, cancer, autoimmune disorders, and Alzheimer’s disease, and are loaded with “toxins,” among several others, such as the claim that they “alter your DNA.” One such claim that I hadn’t yet seen is a another favorite antivax claim, although admittedly it’s a rather niche claim in that you don’t hear it too often. Specifically, I’m referring to the abuse of evolutionary theory by antivaxxers to claim that vaccines select for more deadly variants of pathogenic viruses and bacteria, making mass vaccination programs dangerous or even potentially catastrophic. Such claims are generally an offshoot of another favorite antivaccine claim, namely that the diseases being vaccinated against are so innocuous that vaccinating against them is overkill and allowing infection and “natural herd immunity” to occur is better, a trope that has also been resurrected about COVID-19, a disease that’s killed well north of 500K people in just the US in a little over a year. This brings us to our topic, a misinformation-filled “open letter” by a scientist named Geert Vanden Bossche that went viral over the weekend. It’s been accompanied by a video interview posted to—where else?—antivaxxer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense website. Reading the letter, what it reminded me, more than anything else, is an article that Andrew Wakefield wrote about the MMR vaccine and measles, published a few months before the pandemic hit. (Truly, those were simpler times.)

Dr. Vanden Bossche has publicized his letter on Twitter:

More recently, he set up his own website to publicize his letter:

Along with science, maa-aan!

He’s also started making rounds on the podcast/vlog interview circuit:

Before I get to Vanden Bossche’s open letter and his “warning to the world” that mass vaccination with the current COVID-19 vaccines is likely to lead to a global catastrophe due to the proliferation of ever more transmissible COVID-19 variants (as if the COVID-19 pandemic itself hasn’t been a global catastrophe!), let’s just review what Wakefield claimed about the MMR vaccine. Central to the concept in his article, published in the house organ of that John Birch Society of medical conspiracy theories and antivaccine disinformation disguised as a legitimate medical professional society, the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), was that the MMR vaccine, by selecting for more aggressive measles strains, could result in a “sixth extinction event.” (I kid you not.) He even entitled his nonsensical screed The Sixth Extinction: Vaccine Immunity and Measles Mutants in a Virgin Soil.

As I go through Dr. Vanden Bossche’s open letter, I’ll point out the similarities, while also noting differences where they occur. By the time I get through this, I suspect you’ll understand why the misinformation that Dr. Vanden Bossche is selling (and I use the word “selling” intentionally, as I suspect there’s grift involved) is nonsense and nothing more than repackaged antivax tropes.

Quoth Bossche: “I am all but an antivaxxer!”

Before he gets to his concerns, like anyone spreading antivaccine disinformation, whether as an antivaxxer or someone who’s misguided, Dr. Vanden Bossche, like RFK Jr., must proclaim himself so very firmly “not antivaccine“:

I am all but an antivaxxer. As a scientist I do not usually appeal to any platform of this kind to make a stand on vaccine-related topics. As a dedicated virologist and vaccine expert I only make an exception when health authorities allow vaccines to be administered in ways that threaten public health, most certainly when scientific evidence is being ignored. The present extremely critical situation forces me to spread this emergency call. As the unprecedented extent of human intervention in the Covid-19- pandemic is now at risk of resulting in a global catastrophe without equal, this call cannot sound loudly and strongly enough.

As stated, I am not against vaccination. On the contrary, I can assure you that each of the current vaccines have been designed, developed and manufactured by brilliant and competent scientists. However, this type of prophylactic vaccines are completely inappropriate, and even highly dangerous, when used in mass vaccination campaigns during a viral pandemic. Vaccinologists, scientists and clinicians are blinded by the positive short-term effects in individual patents, but don’t seem to bother about the disastrous consequences for global health. Unless I am scientifically proven wrong, it is difficult to understand how current human interventions will prevent circulating variants from turning into a wild monster.

Racing against the clock, I am completing my scientfic manuscript, the publication of which is, unfortunately, likely to come too late given the ever increasing threat from rapidly spreading, highly infectious variants. This is why I decided to already post a summary of my findings as well as my keynote speech at the recent Vaccine Summit in Ohio on LinkedIn. Last Monday, I provided international health organizations, including the WHO, with my analysis of the current pandemic as based on scientifically informed insights in the immune biology of Covid-19.

Does the tone of this sound familiar? Bossche sounds a lot to me like Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, the surgeon-immunologist who came up with an idée fixe that vaccinating those who’ve had COVID-19 or have subclinical cases of COVID-19 will be very dangerous and cause cardiovascular events and death. Like Dr. Noorchashm, Dr. Vanden Bossche has not published his concerns in the scientific literature. Like Dr. Noorchashm, Dr. Vanden Bossche bases his concerns not on data, but theoretical “basic science” concerns about immunology. Like Dr. Noorchashm, Dr. Vanden Bossche has sounded his “warning” to various health authorities. Like Dr. Noorchashm, Dr. Vanden Bossche has taken to social media to air his concerns, and his message has been enthusiastically embraced by antivaxxers:

Let’s just say this. If you claim to be “not antivaccine” but your message is so attractive to a rabid antivaxxer and leader of the antivaccine movement like Del Bigtree that he spends an hour promoting it, you are either deluding yourself about being “not antivaccine,” or you’re a useful idiot for the antivaccine movement, possibly both.

Unlike Dr. Noorchashm’s publications, which were only fitfully amplified by RFK Jr., Dr. Vanden Bossche’s open letter has gone viral and is being spread on antivaccine social media everywhere as “slam dunk” evidence that COVID-19 vaccines will cause a global catastrophe by selecting for the evolution of highly transmissible and deadly variants of COVID-19 that will escape immunity due to vaccines. (I note that Dr. Vanden Bossche only set up his Twitter account two weeks ago and already has over 16K followers.) In any case, I got a particularly strong “Dr. Noorchashm” vibe from this passage:

While there is no time to spare, I have not received any feedback thus far. Experts and politicians have remained silent while obviously still eager to talk about relaxing infection prevention rules and ‘springtime freedom’. My statements are based on nothing else but science. They shall only be contradicted by science. While one can barely make any incorrect scientific statements without being criticized by peers, it seems like the elite of scientists who are currently advising our world leaders prefer to stay silent. Sufficient scientific evidence has been brought to the table. Unfortunately, it remains untouched by those who have the power to act. How long can one ignore the problem when there is at present massive evidence that viral immune escape is now threatening humanity? We can hardly say we didn’t know – or were not warned.

There you have it, the lone scientific maverick who is the only one willing to speak out about against a “horror” being perpetrated by conventional medicine and science that “they” don’t want you to know about or discuss, a horror that’s so “urgent” that he must speak now. Not for him is the too-slow process of seeking feedback from fellow experts or publishing in the scientific literature (even on a pre-print server). Don’t you see? The situation is just too urgent! And Dr. Vanden Bossche’s concerns are based on Science! Remember Dr. Noorchashm’s invoking an unbending principle of immunology to justify his concerns, without any clinical or epidemiological evidence to support it? The same thing is happening here. Remember how Dr. Noorchashm became a useful idiot for the antivaccine movement? I don’t know if the same thing is happening here, but for someone who is so “not antivaccine,” Dr. Vanden Bossche sure is good at providing ammunition to the antivaccine movement.

While Dr. Vanden Bossche’s rhetoric and behavior remind me strongly of Dr. Noorchashm, the content of his letter reminds me of Andrew Wakefield’s warning about the MMR vaccine. Because Ed Nirenberg produced an excellent rebuttal of Dr. Vanden Bossche’s mangling of immunology in his letter, I’ll stick more to my lane (mostly, anyway), although there will be some overlap. I will note that it is truly astounding how many statements that are just plain out-and-out wrong a supposed “expert” in immunology and vaccines can make.

On COVID-19 vaccines, Dr. Vanden Bossche channels Andrew Wakefield’s MMR misinformation

Let’s compare Dr. Vanden Bossche’s letter to what Wakefield wrote back in 2019. Here’s the crux of his concern, in which he likens escape from vaccine immunity to antibiotic resistance:

THE key question is: why does nobody seem to bother about viral immune escape? Let me try to explain this by means of a more easily understood phenomenon: Antimicrobial resistance. One can easily extrapolate this scourge to resistance to our self-made ‘antiviral antibiotics’. Indeed, antibodies (Abs) produced by our own immune system can be considered self-made antiviral antibiotics, regardless of whether they are part of our innate immune system (so-called ‘natural’ Abs’) or elicited in response to specific pathogens (resulting in so-called ‘acquired’ Abs). Natural Abs are not germ-specific whereas acquired Abs are specifically directed at the invading pathogen. At birth, our innate immune system is ‘unexperienced’ but well-established. It protects us from a multitude of pathogens, thereby preventing these pathogens from causing disease. As the innate immune system cannot remember the pathogens it encountered (innate immunity has no so-called ‘immunological memory’), we can only continue to rely on it provided we keep it ‘trained’ well enough. Training is achieved by regular exposure to a myriad of environmental agents, including pathogens. However, as we age, we will increasingly face situations where our innate immunity (often called ‘the first line of immune defense’) is not strong enough to halt the pathogen at the portal of entry (mostly mucosal barriers like respiratory or intestinal epithelia). When this happens, the immune system has to rely on more specialized effectors of our immune system (i.e., antigen-specific Abs and T cells) to fight the pathogen. So, as we grow up, we increasingly mount pathogen-specific immunity, including highly specific Abs. As those have stronger affinity for the pathogen (e.g., virus) and can reach high concentrations, they can quite easily outcompete our natural Abs for binding to the pathogen/virus. It is precisely this type of highly specific, high affinity Abs that current Covid-19 vaccines are inducing. Of course, the noble purpose of these Abs is to protect us against Covid-19. So, why then should there be a major concern using these vaccines to fight Covid-19?

Well, similar to the rules applying to classical antimicrobial antibiotics, it is paramount that our self-made ‘antiviral antbiotcs’ are made available in sufficient concentration and are tailored at the specific features of our enemy. This is why in case of bacterial disease it is critical to not only chose the right type of antibiotic (based on the results from an antibiogram) but to also take the antibiotic for long enough (according to the prescription). Failure to comply with these requirements is at risk of granting microbes a chance to survive and hence, may cause the disease to fare up. A very similar mechanism may also apply to viruses, especially to viruses that can easily and rapidly mutate (which is, for example, the case with Coronaviruses); when the pressure exerted by the army’s (read: population’s) immune defense starts to threaten viral replication and transmission, the virus will take on another coat so that it can no longer be easily recognized and, therefore, attacked by the host immune system. The virus is now able to escape immunity (so-called: ‘immune escape’).

I have to point out that coronaviruses, in particular SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, do not mutate especially fast as RNA viruses go. This particular coronavirus happens to have a proofreading mechanism that results in a low mutation rate compared to that of a lot of other RNA viruses, such as, for example, the influenza virus. Seriously, as a “vaccine expert,” how is it that Dr. Vanden Bossche does not know this? Even so, concern about immune escape is one reason why Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna used the entire SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, rather than specific segments of it that might serve as antigens, so that the polyclonal antibody immune response generated would be broad and unlikely to be “escaped” with single mutations—or even multiple mutations. A recent review article suggests that immune escape by variants of SARS-CoV-2 is a possibility, but one that hasn’t been definitively observed or demonstrated yet:

So is there cause for concern? Clearly, variability in the spike glycoprotein can affect the efficiency of antibody neutralisation. The role of spike protein variability inT cell immunity is likely to be elucidated in experimental studies in the next few months; a priori, the enhanced repertoire of T cell epitopes makes the loss of cytotoxic activity or recognition improbable. But only ongoing clinical trials will show whether vaccinated individuals recognise SARS-CoV-2 variants differently, and whether mutations decrease vaccine protection in some vaccinated individuals. The ongoing phase 3 trial of an adenovirus-vectored spike-based vaccine (Johnson & Johnson, NCT04505722) in South Africa, where the 501Y.V2 (B.1.351) strain with the Glu484Lys substitution is rapidly replacing pre-existing variants,11 might provide an opportunity to examine this question. Ultimately, most vaccines are based on a recombinant spike protein sequence.

And, echoing what I’ve said before:

Thus if evidence emerges that particular variants do appear to influence vaccine efficacy, it should be possible to periodically reformulate the vaccines so that they better match the circulating strains.

Exactly. If there emerge SARS-CoV-2 variants that are less susceptible to the immunity produced by COVID-19 vaccines, the answer is to reformulate the vaccines!

Now, let’s compare the passage above to what Andrew Wakefield wrote about MMR and vaccines:

Antibiotic use has selected out multiply resistant, more dangerous, and more pathogenic strains of bacteria. This growing threat has led what many senior public health officials in the UK and the U.S. to describe as the “post-antibiotic apocalypse” and the “end of modern medicine.” It is estimated that 50,000 annual deaths occur in Europe and the U.S. from infections that “antibiotics have lost the power to treat.” So in fewer than 80 years, we have reached the point at which, for example, with prosthetic surgery, wards are being closed down, patients are being sent home, and operations are no longer possible, because once the prosthesis becomes infected with such bacteria, it is virtually impossible to get rid of them.

Are vaccines destined for a similar fate? It’s a very interesting question. One answer is, why not? For vaccines, resistance equates to strains of the microbe, the virus, or the bacteria that can elude the imperfect immunity created by the vaccine.

Wow. Just wow. Dr. Vanden Bossche is using an eerily similar argument about COVID-19 vaccines and SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, to the one used by Wakefield about MMR vaccine and measles. Actually, it’s not just eerily similar, it’s almost exactly the same, namely that immunity from vaccines is an evolutionary selective pressure just like the evolutionary selective pressure from antibiotics to which the organism can become resistant. In the case of antibiotics, it’s called developing antibiotic resistance; in the case of vaccines, it’s called immune escape. And it’s true. There is always concern that a virus or bacteria can mutate to a form such that the antibodies produced by a vaccine against it no longer bind to it, so that the vaccine-induced immune response no longer kills or neutralizes the pathogen.

Again, this is an argument antivaxxers have made dating back at least to the pertussis vaccine. It’s a common argument among antivaxxers that the reason we’re seeing more cases of pertussis in people who have been vaccinated against it is because pertussis is either “evolving resistance,” or because it is shifting to a different strain not covered by the vaccine. I’ve written about this (at least twice), as has Skeptical Raptor. You can read the links if you want to know more, but the short version is that the acellular pertussis vaccine works, but that its immunity wanes; this can be corrected with additional booster shots. Also, as I said at the time, while it is possible that the B. pertussis bacteria is developing “resistance” to the vaccine through natural selection, the evidence that it is doing so struck me as weak and preliminary, just as the evidence claiming that SARS-CoV-2 is evolving to be “resistant” to current vaccines strikes me as weak and preliminary. After all, as Nirenberg and the review article I quoted above note, while it is true that variants of concern demonstrate reduced antibody neutralization, we do not as yet have an absolute correlate regarding how high an antibody level is required to be protective, making the practical meaning of this observation difficult to determine.

Nirenberg goes further and notes that the antibody titers induced by vaccines are MUCH higher than those seen after infection, and we see hallmarks of memory responses induced by these vaccines from even a single dose, suggesting that, even though there is a decrease in neutralization by vaccine-induced SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, that might not portend a loss in protection. (Indeed, thus far, it appears that this is the case.) Even if it were evolving resistance, once again, the answer would be to reformulate the vaccine in order to include the altered antigens, the same conclusion made when considering the possibility that B. pertussis was evolving resistance or that evolutionary drift was leading to the predominance of strains not covered by the vaccine. Again, the possibility that COVID-19 might be developing “resistance” to vaccines or “immune escape” is not a reason to halt the vaccination campaign. It’s a rationale for developing reformulated booster vaccines that cover variants not well covered by the currently used COVID-19 vaccines.

In fact, I basically said the same thing in 2019 when writing about Andrew Wakefield’s invocation of the same argument regarding the MMR vaccine and measles variants. I noted then that there was no evidence that mass vaccination with MMR had produced variants of the measles vaccine resistant to the immunity produced by the vaccine, just as I note now that there is as yet no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 variants are resistant to the immunity produced by current COVID-19 vaccines.

Up to this point, at its core and leaving aside minor variations, Dr. Vanden Bossche’s argument about COVID-19 vaccines and COVID-19 is pretty close to exactly the same argument that Wakefield fallaciously made about MMR and measles. It’s at this point, though, that Dr. Vanden Bossche throws in a twist specific to COVID-19 in which he argues that undertaking a mass vaccination campaign during a pandemic is dangerous. Why? He claims that it’s because there’s so much coronavirus circulating and so many people might produce suboptimal levels of antibody to the virus that, as is the case when antibiotics are used at levels too low to eliminate bacteria and thereby result in strong evolutionary selection for resistant strains of bacteria, a mass vaccination program is doomed to result in resistant variants of coronavirus, particularly when the vaccination program has started out “targeted”:

As if this was not already heavily compromising innate immune defense in this population segment, there comes yet another force into play that will dramatically enhance morbidity and mortality rates in the younger age groups: MASS VACCINATION of the ELDERLY. The more extensively the later age group will be vaccinated and hence, protected, the more the virus is forced to continue causing disease in younger age groups. This is only going to be possible provided it escapes to the S-specific Abs that are momentarily raised in previously asymptomatically infected subjects. If the virus manages to do so, it can benefit from the (momentarily) suppressed innate immunity, thereby causing disease in an increasing number of these subjects and ensuring its own propagation. Selecting targeted mutations in the S protein is, therefore, the way to go in order for the virus to enhance its infectiousness in candidates that are prone to geting the disease because of a transient weakness of their innate immune defense.

This is a very confused argument. First of all, note how Dr. Vanden Bossche is conflating vaccine-induced immunity with natural immunity. He’s arguing that vaccinating the elderly protects them, but, because the virus will therefore be “forced” to infect the young but will only be able to do so if it can somehow escape immunity to the antibodies to spike protein (S-specific Abs) transiently raised in asymptomatic subjects. (He bases this on the observation that in those infected with COVID-19 asymptomatically S-specific Ab levels decline faster than in those with symptomatic infections.) He’s also conflating innate immune responses with specific immune responses induced by either infection or vaccination. I’ll refer you to Nirenberg’s demolition of Dr. Vanden Bossche’s nonsense about “innate immunity,” as he explains why it’s nonsense better than I can.

What I’ll do is instead to point out that Dr. Vanden Bossche, whether he realizes it or not, is supporting the “conventional argument” with respect to COVID-19 vaccination. Specifically, scientists have long been pointing out that, the more we let COVID-19 circulate, the more likely virus variants that can escape the immune response to the vaccine (and/or to natural infection) are to emerge, and they use this argument as a rationale for vaccinating as many people as possible as fast as possible, in order to slow that circulation of the virus to as low a rate as possible, thus reducing the opportunities for strains resistant to the vaccine and strains able to reinfect previously infected people to emerge. Basically, it’s a race against evolution to get as many people as possible vaccinated before the virus can evolve “resistance” to the vaccine, and we’re fortunate that, contrary to Bossche’s claim, SARs-CoV-2 does not mutate very fast for an RNA virus.

But wait, says Dr. Vanden Bossche. Mass vaccination will only work if the vaccine prevents or decreases transmission; i.e., if it is not “leaky” (although he doesn’t use the term). His argument is that the COVID-19 vaccine is “leaky,” that it does not prevent transmission, allowing the evolution of nasty variants in the absence of symptomatic disease. So-called “leaky” vaccines are vaccines that prevent disease, but do not appreciably slow transmission of the pathogen. An example of a “leaky” vaccine is the vaccine against Marek disease, highly contagious and deadly viral disease of chicken that is a major problem in the poultry industry, and Dr. Vanden Bossche relies on this precedent, as Nirenberg explains:

For a moment though, let’s entertain the notion that the vaccines are leaky. In general, you would have a hard time identifying any human vaccine that could be called leaky (though emerging findings regarding influenza vaccines give hints that there may be a leaky vaccine effect involved, given their excellent efficacy among children, who are critical vectors, I am not so convinced- though if we do grant that they are leaky, this only serves to undermine Bossche’s argument). The classic example of a leaky vaccine is actually the one for Marek’s disease, caused by a herpesvirus that infects chicken and causes lymphoma among other illnesses. It has been observed that over time Marek’s disease virus has become more virulent, and this has been attributed classically to a leaky vaccine effect.

As I noted when Andrew Wakefield explicitly used the example of Marek’s disease to claim that a “leaky” vaccine to MMR would cause a global catastrophe by selecting for deadly measles variants, yes, a leaky vaccine changes the selective pressure and permits the evolution of highly virulent strains because the virus retains the ability to continue to spread among vaccinated populations, leading to the vaccine selecting for the most virulent mutations. However, even if this phenomenon occurs with a human vaccine—it doesn’t, as far as we know—that’s an even more compelling reason to be vaccinated. After all, if a human vaccine lets deadlier versions of a disease flourish, that is all the more reason to be protected from those deadly strains. As any chicken farmer knows (or any veterinarian like Dr. Vanden Bossche should know), vaccinating against Marek’s disease has population health benefits in that it prevents mass death due to the disease, even if the vaccine can allow more virulent strains to evolve. Moreover, as Nirenberg points out, there is an increasing body of evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine is not “leaky,” that it does decrease virus transmission significantly. Sure, we don’t yet have a firm grasp of how much the vaccine decreases transmission, but there is emerging good evidence that it does significantly decrease transmission. He also points out that there is new research challenging the previous dogma that “leaky” vaccines always select for more virulent strains of pathogen and cannot produce herd immunity.

Basically, Dr. Vanden Bossche’s open letter is a mess that directly channels Andrew Wakefield. As I like to say, if you ever write anything that channels Andrew Wakefield, you really should reconsider your life choices.

Who is Geert Vanden Bossche?

What’s particularly dangerous about Dr. Vanden Bossche’s misinformation is that, on the surface, appears to be a vaccine expert, whom antivaxxers touting his open letter and all the followup “science” he’s been Tweeting and posting to his website as a “world’s expert” in vaccines. Before this open letter, I hadn’t recalled ever having heard of Dr. Vanden Bossche before, so I looked around. His LinkedIn profile lists several impressive positions, including Head of the Vaccine Development Office for the German Centre for Infection Research (for seven months, August 2017-February 2018); Chief Innovation & Scientific Officer for Univac, where he claimed to be an inventor of a new vaccine technology based on natural killer (NK) cells (2014-2016); and the managing director of VARECO, claiming to be a consultant about vaccine development (2012-present). He also states that he’s worked with GAVI:The Vaccine Alliance the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, although searching the websites, I could find no reference to him other than a report written by him and others to GAVI about progress on an Ebola vaccine. He does apparently have some history working on vaccines.

However, Dr. Vincent Iannelli asked the question, “Who is Geert Vanden Bossche?” too and is…unimpressed. And so am I. I searched PubMed for what I expected to be an extensive publication record on vaccines and found…eight publications, the most recent of which was from 1994 and none of which have anything to do with vaccines. However, Dr. Vanden Bossche’s claims to have worked with the Gates Foundation, GAVI, and other vaccine-related enterprises does seem to be legitimate, which makes me wonder: Has he gone crank or is he a grifter?

It’s here that his LinkedIn profile helps, specifically, his entry under Univac:

I founded Univac as inventor of a new vaccine technology which I subsequently further developed as CSO of the Company. The technology enables the development of universal vaccines educating the host immune system to redirect immune targeting away from canonical antigens to a widely divergent spectrum of vitally vulnerable pathogen-derived ‘self-mimicking’ antigens, irrespective of MHC polymorphism. Although ‘non-self’ and exposed on the surface of infected or pathologically altered cells, these antigens are not effectively recognised upon natural infection or disease.

This new type of vaccines harnesses the power of the immune system by unlocking the untapped potential of self-centered Natural Killer (NK) cells capable of recognising these unconventional antigens. The resulting type of immune response is unprecedented and licenses the host immune system to readily eliminate infection or to cure disease across a broad range of unrelated pathogens and/ or mammalian species. This sharply contrasts with conventional targeting of natural immune responses as induced by conventional vaccines.

Because of their fast (NK cells) and universally protective effect, Univac vaccines are uniquely suited to prevent pathogenic agents from escaping host immune responses as of an early stage of infection or immune-mediated disease. The technology obviates the need for traditional adjuvants, multiple boost injections or expensive manufacturing processes and is readily compatible with intradermal or mucosal administration. Hence, it also offers unprecedented advantages in terms of safety, convenience and cost-effectiveness.

And now, back to his open letter:

Paradoxically, the only intervention that could offer a perspective to end this pandemic (other than to let it run its disastrous course) is …VACCINATION. Of course, the type of vaccines to be used would be completely different from conventional vaccines in that they’re not inducing the usual suspects, i.e., B and T cells, but NK cells. There is, indeed, compelling scientific evidence that these cells play a key role in facilitating complete elimination of Covid-19 at an early stage of infection in asymptomatically infected subjects. NK cells are part of the cellular arm of our innate immune system and, alike natural Abs, they are capable of recognizing and attacking a broad and diversified spectrum of pathogenic agents. There is a sound scientific rationale to assume that it is possible to ‘prime’ NK cells in ways for them to recognize and kill Coronaviruses at large (include all their variants) at an early stage of infection. NK cells have increasingly been described to be endowed with the capacity to acquire immunological memory. By educating these cells in ways that enable them to durably recognize and target Coronavirus-infected cells, our immune system could be perfectly armed for a targeted atack to the universe of Coronaviruses prior to exposure. As NK cell-based immune defense provides sterilizing immunity and allows for broad spectrum and fast protection, it is reasonable to assume that harnessing our innate immune cells is going to be the only type of human intervention left to halt the dangerous spread of highly infectious Covid-19 variants.

If we, human beings, are committed to perpetuating our species, we have no choice lef but to eradicate these highly infectious viral variants. This will, indeed, require large vaccination campaigns. However, NK cell-based vaccines will primarily enable our natural immunity to be better prepared (memory!) and to induce herd immunity (which is exactly the opposite of what current Covid-19 vaccines do as those increasingly turn vaccine recipients into asymptomatic carriers who are shedding virus). So, there is not one second left for gears to be switched and to replace the current killer vaccines by life-saving vaccines.

As I suspected, Dr. Vanden Bossche is selling something. He’s selling his idea of a vaccine designed to activate natural killer cells. It’s hard for me not to believe that he’s grifting, and this demonization of existing COVID-19 vaccines based on speculative science and no strong data yet is a sales pitch. Come to think of it, the similarities between Dr. Vanden Bossche and Andrew Wakefield strike me as stronger than ever now, given that, as well documented by Brian Deer, Wakefield basically published his fraudulent science to support the claim that the MMR vaccine causes autism in order to make a market for his own single vaccine against the measles. Naturally grifters are going to use the same arguments, although I don’t see any fraud in Dr. Vanden Bossche, other than his scientifically risible arguments.

Amusingly, as I was looking this post over earlier this morning for a final edit, I saw that no less a grifter than RFK Jr. himself had published a “rebuttal” to Dr. Vanden Bossche’s open letter by someone named Rosemary Frei, The ‘Not-So-Hidden Agenda’ Behind Bossche’s Concern Over COVID Mass Vaccination. Noting how quickly Dr. Vanden Bossche’s letter was embraced by antivaxxers, Frei then writes:

But from my experience as a former long-time medical writer and journalist (1988-2016) — particularly a four-month stint with media-relations giant FleishmanHillard in 1994 (yes, I’ve worked for the dark side) — this has all the hallmarks of a drug-company astroturf campaign. It’s another step in the decades-long erasure of the fact that our sophisticated and highly effective immune systems work well and don’t need any assistance from the biomedical/pharmaceutical industry.

There’s abundant evidence that Vanden Bossche has a not-so-hidden agenda. For example, just before the three-minute mark in the video interview of Vanden Bossche by McMillan, Vanden Bossche indicates he’s a long-time vaccine developer. He adds he’s now focusing on vaccines that “educate the immune system in ways that are to some extent more efficient than we do right now with our conventional vaccines.” Clearly he’s got significant conflicts of interest. Therefore he has zero credibility when it comes to advising the public or anyone else about how to avoid negative effects of mass vaccination.

However, Bigtree, Coleman and others don’t point out any of the red flags. Despite taking Vanden Bossche’s assertions extremely seriously, these high-profile alternative-media figures don’t even do basic due diligence such as looking into McMillan, who’s the man who interviewed Vanden Bossche, or the company McMillan is apparently affiliated with, Vejon Health.

It turns out that Vejon Health appears to be a dormant company, if it exists at all. Even more hilariously (and a bit uncomfortably) Frei is pretty spot on when she notes:

However, this is on very shaky ground. Because, among other things: 1) Neither in the original March 6 piece nor his March 13 follow-up does Vanden Bossche provide any direct, non-theoretical evidence that this is happening; 2) The ‘natural antibodies’ that are produced after encountering a pathogen are only a small part of a quick, effective and broad-based first-line immune-system defense — known as ‘innate’ or ‘passive’ immunity — which in fact largely comprises other components; and 3) Vanden Bossche downplays the effectiveness of the antibodies our bodies naturally produce as part of the second-line (‘adaptive’) part of the immune system that also has served us extremely well for millennia.

You know what? I think that grifters recognize fellow grifters, and Frei recognized that Dr. Vanden Bossche is stoking fear of existing COVID-19 vaccines to produce a sales rationale for his own NK-based vaccine, just as Andrew Wakefield stoked fear of the MMR in order to support his own measles vaccine. Grifters of a feather, and all that, and, of course, grifters gonna grift. Always.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

92 replies on “Geert Vanden Bossche is to COVID-19 vaccines as Andrew Wakefield is to MMR”

A. I think he’s an aspiring or wanna be Wakefield. He hasn’t arrived yet.

B. To add to your point about revising vaccines, the FDA said that it will not require adaptation of the current mRNA vaccines to go through the same full process, but will be satisfied with more limited clinical trials on the revised vaccine. So this can be done fairly fast, as vaccines go.

C. I wonder if Bigtree will pedal back given Frei’s letter. Then again, he and his followers don’t see an issue with the fact that Bigtree’s own main income appears to be his work promoting anti-vaccine misinformation – they don’t seem to see that as a COI.

Del ( today, the High Wire cast) says we can now support his cause by buying new merch featured at High Wire.com/ store:
tee shirts, hoodies, hats, water bottles, cups- some saying ” Be Brave!”

You’d have to be brave to wear stuff like this in public.

“water bottles”

It’s perfectly cromulent fashion and protection from very lightweight, high velocity projectiles {or neutrons, if that is the particular public’s flavor poison at the moment) when standing outside. Standing, as I wouldn’t want to walk very far in this heavy DIY crap.

I took you seriously until you stated that Geert is alone in sounding the alarm. He is not alone. Hope you took the shot. You can be the experiment.

The issue is whether I’m to believe you or him and I have no reason to trust you. You are pushing for a mandatory medical procedure using an experimental therapeutic with limited clinical trial data and you seem to think that’s OK. That’s definitely not the attitude the FDA took when it was founded. 2 months of clinical trial data with a control group… 6 months without… and now whatever statistical footprint you/they want to paint. I have no problem with experimenting on human beings but at least be ethical about it and let them know they are being experimented on. Forcing medical mandates in a fledgling field of science where no scientist on earth fully understands the complexities of our individualized immune system response paints you as someone kicking the can with brute force. Back off… go take your experimental jab and be happy; leave everyone else to make their own grownup decisions. The world can do without your authoritarian dictatorship.

The “jab” is no longer “experimental.” All of the COVID-19 vaccines currently under emergency use authorization (EUA) were tested in phase 3 studies in tens of thousands of subjects. After that, between the COVID-19 vaccines currently in use, a total of BILLIONS of doses have been administered, over 300 million in the US alone, with an excellent safety record. By any scientific measurement, that is no longer “experimental” or “investigational” or whatever other word you want to use. Calling the vaccines “experimental” is a tactic by the antivaccine movement that relies on FDA regulations that state that, until a drug or vaccine garners full FDA approval, it has to be described as “investigational.” In other words, the whole trope about the vaccines being “experimental” rests on the intentional conflation of a LEGAL definition with a scientific one. From a scientific and medical standpoint, there is no doubt that the vaccines under EUA are no longer experimental.

Fascinatingly ironic: CHD is gonna denounce Vanden Bossche for a vaccine-replacement COI, but not (ever) Wakefield for his replacement MMR vaccine COI. I guess there can only be one Wakefield for these grifters. Maybe that can be Wakefield’s next fraudumentary: “Panhandler: There Can Be Only One”

Interesting also that Noorchashm denounced Vanden Bossche as well last night on his FB page, which seems lock step with CHD.

…but, but, we’re not anti-vax

BS.

So, Orac has decided to address Dr Bossche’s covid vaccination concerns? Why does it feel like Orac is always playing catch-up with me? Orac, any word from Management about clearing your posts with me first?

Anyway, we have this…..

Specifically, scientists have long been pointing out that, the more we let COVID-19 circulate, the more likely virus variants that can escape the immune response to the vaccine (and/or to natural infection) are to emerge, and they use this argument as a rationale for vaccinating as many people as possible as fast as possible, in order to slow that circulation of the virus to as low a rate as possible, thus reducing the opportunities for strains resistant to the vaccine and strains able to reinfect previously infected people to emerge

No, I don’t remember that being the dominant argument. I remember when the vaccine race was on and there were concerns that the vaccine may mutate and escape a prospective vaccine, the counter argument was the virus was spreading so successfully that there was not much pressure for it to mutate. Essentially scientists back then were agreeing with Bossche that the mutation pressure rises when the virus had less places to go. In fact, I remember Orac also making this claim.

Not exactly. The argument was that there wasn’t much selective pressure on the virus to become less deadly, as many pandemic minimizers claimed there would be given the experience with some other pandemics. That particular claim was used to justify opposition to lockdowns, masks, etc., the expectation being that the pandemic would fizzle and COVID-19 would, under that selective pressure, weaken to be just another flu-like illness or cold. That, obviously hasn’t happened. The reason there wasn’t that much selective pressure is because, even if COVID-19 did have an infection fatality rate of 1%, that’s not so high that it would produce much, if any, selective pressure to decrease the deadliness of the virus. The main selective pressure on the virus is (and has been) to become more transmissible, not less (or more) deadly. The more the virus circulates, the more chances it has to develop mutations that turn out to be more transmissible or that can escape preexisting immunity.

This is likely one of the reasons why Ebola, for example, has never caused a pandemic. It just kills too high a percentage of its hosts. When the virus is out in the wild, then there’s selective pressure from the immune responses of those who’ve recovered and now from vaccines for the virus to mutate such that it can still remain transmissible; in other words, the selective pressure is to produce the sorts of mutations that result in the sorts of variants that we’re seeing now: Variants that are more transmissible and not as efficiently neutralized by the antibody response to current vaccines and to the immune response from previous infection. Nice try, though.

Straw man alert, comparing Bossche to Wakefield — this argument lacks any context, given that there was no global measles pandemic at the time of Wakefield’s debacle…completely unlike the current global Covid-19 pandemic.

“Straw man alert, comparing Bossche to Wakefield”

Still, in 1998 Wakers was demonizing MMR vaccines, which first were approved in 1971 in the USA, while at the same time had a patent to replace the MMR vaccine: https://briandeer.com/wakefield/vaccine-patent.htm

I have transcribed a bit of the first part: “The present invention related to a new vaccine for the elimination of the MMR and measles virus and to a pharmaceutical or therapeutic composition…”

Now here is this new grifter who claims the Covid vaccination programs are bad, but yet wished to sell his brand new “NK vaccine”, which like Waker’s “invention” also does not exist.

Wakefield told parents to not let their kids get any form of the MMR vaccine, which led to several children getting and dying over the next twenty years. Including several dozen dead children in Samoa a couple of years ago.

Bossche wants to suspend vaccination of a disease that has killed over half a million Americans in just one year, and will kill much more if allowed to circulate. Just so he can claim glory and cash with his new invisible invention.

Same song, just in a different key. While Wakefield “just” has blood on his hands because measles has mostly been controlled, if anyone takes Bossche seriously… the blood will up to his neck because the harm will be so much greater.

One other difference: in 1998 Twitter was not much a thing, so Wakers had to actually write a small case series. Which should have been ignored if it was not for him grandstanding to the press. Bossche just went to Twitter, because he can. Still same song, just in a different key.

And as part of the similarity that Orac pointed out in the article: Wakefield’s 2019 article and Bossche’s present whining about vaccines creating more dangerous variants:

They both know diddly squat about epidemiology. Zilch, zip, totally nothing. Which one can expect from both a surgical gastroenterologist and a veterinarian. Both of whom have been out of practice for decades. So they both have to grift.

“assume that it is possible”
“Unless I am scientifically proven wrong”

This guy considers himself a scientist?

It would, in some sense, have been better if it was a bioweapon because they are programmed not to go off every which way willy nilly. Could have been amatures, though; newbies. CRISPER-CAS9 did to our parents what they said 3-d printers and bittorrent would do to us.

@ Chris

Including several dozen dead children in Samoa a couple of years ago.

A couple? That epidemic started/was in the news in September 2019. Almost “just” one year ago. OK, closer to one year-and-half.
It seems older than that. 2020 came by…

And naïve us thinking it would make a dent in the antivax movement. Nope. They fed of this tragedy.

Not exactly. The argument was that there wasn’t much selective pressure on the virus to become less deadly,

Really, what’s the difference? Isn’t that just another way of saying, there wasn’t much selective pressure for it to mutate? How does it become more deadly? It mutates!

You clearly don’t understand evolution. The virus mutates regardless. A certain mutation rate is baked into the replication of the virus’ genome. Selective pressures are what determines whether a given mutation is more or less likely to propagate. 🙄

Orac, evolution isn’t the only thing!

Greg has succeeded in getting you to correct him a few times- do I see a new record?

selective pressure for it to mutate

The is NO selective pressure to mutate. Mutation occurs because of errors in genome replication. It just happens. Selection comes after mutation if a mutation actually changes anything other than base(s) in the genome.

This is just another example of how little of even the most rudimentary stuff antivaxxers know.

Oops! I see Orac already addressed that. I MUST remember to read all the replies before I response.

You clearly don’t understand evolution. The virus mutates regardless. A certain mutation rate is baked into the replication of the virus’ genome. Selective pressures are what determines whether a given mutation is more or less likely to propagate. 🙄

Thanks, Orac, for the clarification. See! I do give praise when it’s deserved.

So, I have another burning inquiry, and I am hoping you drug-pushers will help: If the vaccine is not neutralizing — killing! — the virus, what is?

And naïve us thinking it would make a dent in the antivax movement. Nope. They fed of this tragedy.

Indeed, Chris, as an antivaxxer, even I marvel at how relentless we are. Wonder what is the ultimate fuel that drives us? Autism!

In a strange way, sometimes I really do feel sorry for provaxxers. You guys have so much power and influence, and at times it may even feel like ultimate victory is just around the corner. Fate will not have it though. Autism is not on your side. Yes — it’s all so maddening.

If the vaccine is not neutralizing — killing! — the virus, what is?

White blood cells and antibodies. Ones that have been trained by the vaccine to recognise the virus. Those are killing the virus.
Or maybe you were trying to pull a gotcha.

‘That, obviously hasn’t happened’.
Um really? Even though cases are up in the recent waves experienced in Europe and the US, it seems to me that deaths are steadily declining, am I right.
Vanden Bossche is by no means the only virologist or scientist in general that is disagreeing with the mainstream narrative. There are big groups of them all over the place (including one group that has a lawsuit pending against the CDC, WHO etc) but you won’t hear too much about them because of the huge amount of censorship of ANYTHING that goes against the mainstream narrative.
WE have had, amongst others, the inventor of the PCR test criticizing it’s use for Covid19, The inventor of mRNA technology Dr Robert Malone criticizing the use of vaccines for Covid19 when early treatment can be so effective, and early treatment specialists like Dr Peter Mcullough pointed out that death rates were through the roof early in the pandemic because effective early treatment was shutdown by the above organizations by demonizing all the effective treatments.
The same thing has happened here in Australia with renowned physician Dr Thomas Borody who has a proven early treatment being sidelined by health officials in October last year.
The truth is my friend, health officials and advisory bodies worldwide are making criminal decisions and are complicit in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.
If you look on the VAERS register and see the amount of deaths and adverse reactions after the vaccine, ask yourself, if that info was published and circulated as much as the hysteria around ‘cases’, would anyone in their right minds actually get a vaccine???

As a veterinarian I’m clearly biased, but I think I had to learn quite a bit of epidemiology, because herd/flock health is a big part of food animal veterinary practice. Clearly Bossche forgot to attend those lectures.

Its always embarrassing when these goobers claim “veterinarian” as a reason to trust them and then spout utter nonsense. I’m sure its worse having an M.D. and watching Wakefield…

I’m sure its worse having an M.D. and watching Wakefield…

Or, speaking as a French scientist, watching virologist Luc Montagnier’s descent into energy woo and other… weird… ideas.

@Texas DVM

It just surprised me that he’s making any claims at all for people based on his particular use of Dr.

Admittedly, I’d see a mainstream vet before I’d see a woo-doctor, but I always understood that vets don’t give medical advice to people.

Vets give medical advice to people, but it is about the health of their pet and not their personal health.

Hardly the average vet…
“Geert Vanden Bossche received his DVM from the University of Ghent, Belgium, and his PhD degree in Virology from the University of Hohenheim, Germany. He held adjunct faculty appointments at universities in Belgium and Germany. After his career in Academia, Geert joined several vaccine companies (GSK Biologicals, Novartis Vaccines, Solvay Biologicals) to serve various roles in vaccine R&D as well as in late vaccine development. Geert then moved on to join the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health Discovery team in Seattle (USA) as Senior Program Officer; he then worked with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) in Geneva as Senior Ebola Program Manager. At GAVI he tracked efforts to develop an Ebola vaccine. He also represented GAVI in fora with other partners, including WHO, to review progress on the fight against Ebola and to build plans for global pandemic preparedness. Back in 2015, Geert scrutinized and questioned the safety of the Ebola vaccine that was used in ring vaccination trials conducted by WHO in Guinea. His critical scientific analysis and report on the data published by WHO in the Lancet in 2015 was sent to all international health and regulatory authorities involved in the Ebola vaccination program. After working for GAVI, Geert joined the German Center for Infection Research in Cologne as Head of the Vaccine Development Office. He is at present primarily serving as a Biotech/ Vaccine consultant while also conducting his own research on Natural Killer cell-based vaccines.”

I thought Highwire was banned on Youtube? Reported that one, and another one I spotted as ban evasion.

Everything I know about pandemics comes from playing two full seasons of the board game Pandemic: Legacy, and even I can spot the holes in Bossche’s logic big enough to drive a semi-truck through. Thanks for laying everything out so coherently for easy forwarding to credulous in-laws ;-).

There is a lot of commentary on twitter about Vanden Bossche wanting to stop COVID-19 vaccination in order for his NK cell vaccine to be used instead. While this would be a plausible explanation, I don’t think Vanden Bossche’s vaccine actually exists. If that is the case, the alternative (and much less favourable explanation) is that Vanden Bossche worries that the current vaccines will stop the pandemic before he has the chance to cash in on it and he wants his turn. The third explanation is that Vanden Bossche has indeed gone full crank.

His arguments for stopping vaccination are really nonsense. From an evolutionary point of view, there will be considerably more creation of variants with the virus circulating widely in the community than there will be if vaccination reduces circulation and production of virus particles to almost nothing. Perhaps the biggest risk of new variants being selected by vaccination would be where vaccination is patchy and there is a mix of people producing large amounts of virus particles with many variants among people who are vaccinated and are not hosts for most of the variants. Ironically, the arguments Vanden Bossche is making would result in exactly the scenario he is arguing we should avoid.

Thanks for this detailed response it is appreciated.

I’d like to push back some on your characterization of those having concerns/questions about the vax as “antivaxxers” or “useful idiots for antivaxxers”. This could be true for some, but many of us are not experts and we do not automatically defer to authority, particularly when a seemingly new technology (perhaps from our pov only) is rushed through a normally very thorough process. I would add that some have become more resistant to the vax precisely because of imperious, morally-based demands that everyone vax, while simultaneously dismissing those with valid questions as only coming from useful idiots carrying water for antivaxxers. That attitude is both insulting and wrong and, as I said, counterproductive re the goal.

Secondly, I personally respond better to direct factual and scientific arguments and impute obfuscation or over-emotionalism to authors who attack and ridicule someone who is wrong. Perhaps in scientific circles this treatment prevents recurrence and ensures researchers publish with due care for their reputations, but to us who are seeking information, it’s a bad look. We can take facts and the theory on Bossche’s motives you outlined and use them to form our opinion on his reputation and his thesis.

Third, for us, when reviewing this type of information, which again we’re truly grateful for, what we would really like is a high level double check. Is his plea just a grift or is any of it potentially a bigger concern than previously believed.

Fourth, no question that tou and others destroyed his argument. But the thing that really strikes me about Bossche is, when watching his video, he seems truly and honestly worried. So I guess we’re also trying to figure out how the heck did we get deceived? What he intentionally deceitful to the point of near criminality? Are we just hopelessly naive? I mean, something really bad went wrong here that so many people were fooled by this guy. What was it?

Lastly, I must say, I have gone through a quite long list of issues raised by concerned people and everyone has fallen apart. I’m ready to get the vax, knowing there could be some very unpleasant side effects. But, I must say, I still have a few unanswered questions:

1/ Why wasn’t a tradition dead or weakened virus type vax developed? After studying how mRNA works it seems reasonable and it definitely looks like it works. But, this would be the first mRNA vax I’ve taken. Why not stick with the tried and true?

2/ Why is one still susceptible to getting covid after taking the vax? When you take any other vax (okay maybe not flu) you expect the vax prevents the illness. Why not with this vax?

3/ Since the effect of the vax fades with time, does that mean whatever changes were caused by the vax disappear with time? What switches off the production of the spike protein with cells taking i the mRNA? (I’m not raising a concern here, just curious.)

Thanks again for an excellent, very understandable analysis on the Bossche paper.

Answers:

  1. One huge advantage of RNA-based vaccines is that you can scale up their production much faster than traditional killed organism-based vaccines; even better, once you have a formula that works you can rapidly alter it to account to cover new variants. All you need is the sequence of the variants, and then you can design a new mRNA to replace or be added to the old mRNA in the formulation. As for a weakened virus vaccine? It takes time to figure out how to weaken the virus in a manner that will render it incapable of causing disease.
  2. No vaccine, not even the measles vaccine, is 100% effective. (The measles vaccine is roughly 95% effective after the full series is administered.) There will always be a percentage of people who are vaccinated but still susceptible to the disease. The better the vaccine, the lower that percentage is. Moreover, even if you’re not totally immune, frequently vaccination means that, even if you do get the disease, it will be less severe due to partial immunity. We do know that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are very effective at preventing symptomatic disease, hospitalization, and death.
  3. The mRNA is not designed to stick around. It’s designed to be transient, because immunity lasts long after an exposure. (How long after the vaccine, we don’t yet know for sure.) The idea behind an mRNA vaccine is that the mRNA in the vaccine causes a burst of production of spike protein, which stimulates the immune system against it. The mRNA degrades fairly rapidly and is gone within a few days, with the spike protein being gone within a week or two (as I understand it).

As for my sarcasm in discussing people like Vanden Bossche. That’s just my style. Some people respond to it and find it entertaining as well as educational; some people don’t. I’m not about to change, and, if anything, I’m a lot less nasty than I was when I started this blog 15-16 years ago. (Go back and peruse the archives from 2006-2010 if you don’t believe me.) The framing of the discussion to compare Vanden Bossche’s arguments to those of Andrew Wakefield serves a definite purpose, as does pointing out that Vanden Bossche’s argument is nothing new in antivaccine circles. Whether he is antivaccine or not, he is parroting an old antivaccine trope.

Finally, just because Vanden Bossche might come across as sincere (or might even actually be sincere) doesn’t mean that his conflict of interest isn’t real. Most people aren’t even aware of their own COIs or, when they are aware of them, deny that their thinking is affected by them.

What is probably not useful to the layman is that any search of Google or (preferably) DuckDuckGo for the phrase “leaky vaccine” leads to a plethora of articles from arguably respectable layman-aimed publications such as National Geographic, PBS, NPR, etc., in which leaky vaccines (notably for Marek’s Disease in chickens) — as detailed as a cause of greater viral shedding and faster mutations to potentially deadlier forms of viruses — are largely presented as a given fact.

Granted that most of those references seem to date from 2015, so perhaps the topic simply hasn’t been revisited in the mainstream media since then. In fact *this page was the first and so far only comprehensive refutation I could find.

Perhaps if journalism were not so abysmally broken beyond repair, and the news media acted in an investigational manner, rather than as mere agitprop megaphones for governments and pharmaceutical companies, someone within the discredited practice of mass media “journalism” might have had intellectual curiosity to actually look into the claims made, and to dispell them if found demonstrably untrue. I do not think your blog is quite going to do the trick.

The public remembers Thalidomide. The public also remembers Vioxx. That the public might give misplaced credence to a veterinarian displaying what appears to be genuine concern is perfectly understandable given that they are being urged relentlessly from all sides to accept an injection of any formulation about which they knew less than nothing only a year ago, and whose proponents and manufacturers readily admit said formulas do not constitute an infection or transmission prevention agent, but rather a **symptom alleviation treatment modality.

“Just shut up and take the needle/pill, peasant. We know what we are doing and you are hopelessly, contemptibly ignorant.” as an approach never goes over very well, and is unlikely to succeed any better in the face of a virus whose primary victims so far have been those previously known to have been afflicted with Alzheimer or other dementia (over 80% at this point), or those who were morbidly obese and in rather precarious health prior to infection.

Point taken, Sqwain. But as for

someone within the discredited practice of mass media “journalism” might have had intellectual curiosity to actually look into the claims made, and to dispell them if found demonstrably untrue. I do not think your blog is quite going to do the trick.

;

It is precisely following this blog and it’s commenters that gave me hope and confidence in the mRNA tech and, to a lesser extent, the adenovirus vector ones.

“Just shut up and take the needle/pill, peasant.”

I would if I could. Also, there might be a pill/gelcap coming {probably not anytime soon}:

https://www.jpost.com/health-science/israeli-company-says-oral-covid-19-vaccine-on-its-way-662712

“self-administered”. Hmm. Perhaps I’ll be the first to OD on a vaccine and a $30 bottle of Fox Tail should things get any more screwed up around here and I’m unable to shake off my Trump Derangement Syndrome.

“Just shut up and take the needle/pill, peasant. We know what we are doing and you are hopelessly, contemptibly ignorant.”

A name, please. I’ve only ever heard this from anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers who claim that’s the message, yet it’s never heard from a medical professional. Give a name or retract your claim.

“primary victims so far have been those previously known to have been afflicted with Alzheimer or other dementia (over 80% at this point)”

Did you know that 78.4% of quoted statistics are pulled from the speaker’s nether regions.

Natural Abs are not germ-specific

OK, I have to back to my immunology textbooks. What are these innate non-specific antibodies he is talking about?
Is he confusing antibodies from the adaptative response with sensors like the TLRs from the innate response? (or simplifying the names)

Addendum

Constitutively-produced, all-purpose IgMs.
Went to read the blog linked by Orac, which linked to this article: natural IgM

OK, I learned something. Biology is amazing.

There is a long time lag between “peak viral load” and death in COVID-19. I would argue that this results in almost complete decoupling of virulence from other selective pressures. As long as that time lag remains, whether the disease kills 1% of infected people or 100% of them is irrelevant to propagation of the virus. If a change in virulence resulted in people getting very sick very quickly and therefore rapidly withdrawing from circulation, then there would be selective pressure against that increase in virulence.

If his NK cells fail to completely block infection there will be an adaptive immune response to clean up the leftovers. One might argue that if all the adaptive response has to do is a little work, it might be weak. If his NK activation is not permanent and swift, the weak adaptive response is more likely to be leaky.

I have yet to hear anti-vax/ woo rumblings about this BUT MSM ( NYT, NBC etc) report that Moderna will test its vaccine on children 6 months old to age 11. Pzifer and Moderna have already been testing on older kids (12-16 or 18)
I can imagine what will transpire when anti-vaxxers wrap their minds around that! Experimental DNA tampering vaccines given to babies! Horrors

Fun fact: Moderna’s stock symbol is MRNA .

Oh, man, antivaxxers are going to flip. A friend’s teenage son is in, I think, the Pfizer teen trial, and she’s gotten some very ugly comments directed at her by antivaxxers, despite the fact that her son was the one who stumbled across an announcement that the trial was recruiting in their area and requested to apply. It’s going to even worse with younger kids.

@ Greg

Besides what Orac wrote that viruses are ALWAYS mutating, especially RNA viruses, there is now clear documentation that people who have been infected with COVID have been reinfected, though almost all cases were mild because immune system primed for COVID, so they would shed some viruses. And suspected that many who had asymptomatic first cases also reinfected, again mild, so again, they would shed some viruses. So, this also another instances of circumstances that might have selective pressures.

And the suggestion that one shouldn’t vaccinate during pandemic is absurd. The WHO smallpox vaccine program certainly did. The WHO polio vaccine program certainly did.

As usual, you just grasp at straws. Comment after comment by you refuted and, instead of admitting you really don’t understand microbiology, immunology, epidemiology, the history and current status of vaccine-preventable diseases in the world, you just keep on. And continue to refer to Children’s Defense Fund, founded by Robert Kennedy Jr, who has promoted lie after lie, the biggest one that there has never been a placebo controlled trial of vaccines. As I suggested earlier, you should check out the Flat Earth Society webpage, lots of good science, at least for scientific illiterates like you.

And the suggestion that one shouldn’t vaccinate during pandemic is absurd. The WHO smallpox vaccine program certainly did. The WHO polio vaccine program certainly did.

Actually, I believe Bossche addressed this by pointing out how corona infections were exceptional

So some of the other work, I mean, they have a very insidious strategy in the sense that they hide in cells, that they can already at the mucosal barrier penetrate, you know, immediately into cells. And then the cells may migrate, for example, to the lymph nodes.

So they are shielded from the antibodies and that makes it very, very difficult because we know that we can catch them to some extent in the blood, but what they do all the time is that they insert mutation and they escape, they fully escape to our antibody responses.

Several months ago, I also linked an article from Prof Frazer of Queensland University sounding pessimistic about covid vaccination. He also explained how vaccinating against upper respiratory track nfections has proven quite challenging because that area is not readily accessible to immune cells. I also followed that up with Dr Bhakdi arguing the same. So, does the validity of Bossche’s arguments stems from coronas posing such a unique immunity challenge?

PS: “And then the cells may migrate, for example, to the lymph nodes”. Hhmmnn! Didn’t Orac recently write about breast swellings and lymphadenopathy?

“Hiding antibodies inside the cells”. All viruses replicate inside cells. T cells kill infected cells, ans are main defense against viruses. Bossche certainly knows that, so he purposefully misleading.

“Hiding antibodies inside the cells”. All viruses replicate inside cells. T cells kill infected cells, ans are main defense against viruses. Bossche certainly knows that, so he purposefully misleading.

Aarno, I think you are misunderstanding Bossche. He is saying covid infects cells at the mucous layer where the immune system doesn’t naturally operate, and from there they can easily jump into the bloodstream and infect ordinary cells. Again, he seems to be pretty much agreeing with Prof Frazer who argues….

There are several reasons why our upper respiratory tract is a hard area to target a vaccine.

“It’s a separate immune system, if you like, which isn’t easily accessible by vaccine technology,” Professor Frazer told the Health Report.

Despite your upper respiratory tract feeling very much like it’s inside your body, it’s effectively considered an external surface for the purposes of immunisation.

“It’s a bit like trying to get a vaccine to kill a virus on the surface of your skin.”

https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2020-04-17/coronavirus-vaccine-ian-frazer/12146616

And, from Orac….

even better, once you have a formula that works you can rapidly alter it to account to cover new variants.

Yes, watch us now play whack-a-mole with Covid and people’s immune system. Yet, even with serial flu vaccination we are finding perils with reduced effectiveness. Does a repeat approach then makes sense for a virus that it’s next to impossible to eliminate? Well, leave it to our trusted ‘experts’ to decide.

Five’ll get you 10 that your wife is banging someone on the side, Gerg

Narad, that’s shocking news! Maybe it’s because I am spending so much time here and neglecting her. I will approach her and promise to quit RI. Then again, why should I spoil both our fun:)

Perhaps that second blockquoted bit makes sense in the original Flemish. It sure as heck doesn’t make any sense in English.

Um, experts HAVE been saying for a long time that vaccination alone wouldn’t be enough to end the pandemic. They’ve long been characterizing vaccination as a very important tool for ending the pandemic but not by itself sufficient to end it.🙄

Joel-was there ever a pandemic of polio? The WHO campaign to eradicate it began when there was no polio in the US or UK and possibly many other countries. But your main point is conceded-vaccinate whether endemic pandemic or at whatever level the disease exists

Totally unrelated, is Bossche related to Paul Offit? C’mon! — take off Offit’s glasses and it’s the same person. Have you guys checked to see that Offit hasn’t gone rogue under another alias?

Not only do you love to prove you know nothing, now you prove you can’t even make simple visual comparisons. No wonder you can’t evaluate evidence. Dr. Offit and Vanden Bossche don’t look anything alike.

You’re telling me. Only yesterday I was mobbed by fans wanting me to perform a medley of dramatic lines from the film 300. “Tonight we dine in hell”, “This is SPARTA!” etc. Not every white bloke with a beard is Gerard Butler.

“The ex-Pfizer scientist who became an anti-vax hero” https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL8N2LG2JY A Michael Yeadon news update today from Reuters from the Orac blog of Dec 21, 2020 where there is some some additional personal information, but no real insight as to why these people change the way they do.

I find it fascinating how many adult people continue to engage in self deception and cognitive dissonance, to prevent them from seeing what is right in front of them.
Geert Vanden B. or Andrew Wakefield are not anti-vax conspiracy theorists. They simply exposed the fragility of institutionalized corruption and academic indoctrination over decades.

I recommend anyone to look at Yuri Bezmenov lectures on the four stages of Ideological Subversion.
“The eyes are useless when the mind is blind.”

I might have believed your assertion that Geert Vanden Bossche is not an antivaccine conspiracy theorist, but instead, rather like Dr. Hooman Norchashm, is actually someone who’s just become so enamored of his idée fixe that he’s unknowingly repeating antivaccine tropes to support it; that is, until you included Andrew Wakefield with Vanden Bossche as also not being an antivax conspiracy theorist. While I can possibly accept that Vanden Bossche is not antivaccine, the same cannot be said of Wakefield, who is most definitely a hardcore antivaccine conspiracy theorist. He even speculated, as I discussed in this post, that the MMR vaccine could cause a sixth “mass extinction” by generating resistant variants of the measles virus. It doesn’t get much more antivaccine—and wildly so!—than that.🙄

If you want to be taken seriously about Geert Vanden Bossche and Andrew Wakefield not being antivax conspiracy theorists, don’t try to support your argument by dredging up an ex-KGB agent’s conspiratorial ravings about how Americans are being secretly indoctrinated into communism.

Wait! So Wakefield WASN’T taking money from a solicitor hoping to sue whilst lying about timelines and conditions in a study involving only twelve subjects in order to destroy confidence in the MMR vaccine and promote a single measles vaccine instead?

@Field: “They simply exposed the fragility of institutionalized corruption and academic indoctrination over decades.”

What, by proving that tired old Institutional Corruption is trailing the field miles behind their own brave rugged Individual Corruption?

Of course, there is establishment apathy and abuse. This is true in all human-made systems. Because human nature. Everybody knows it, nobody [who isn’t one its perpetrators] likes it, and some even work to end—or at least limit—it.

What’s laughable is you goobers acting like your own high priesthood isn’t running its own massive scam. Smearing all one’s competitors is, like, Step 1 in Grifting 101; and GVB, Wakefield, and the rest are playing it straight from the textbook. It’s hilarious.

And then we remember y’all enthusiastically abuse and kill children for your power and profit, and suddenly we’re not laughing at all. FOAD.

I received the J&J and now everyone is sending me warnings about chromosomal integration or insertional mutagenesis, leading to random insertions of vaccine constructs into host cellular genomes.
Could Orac or anyone with a strong research/science background explain if this vaccine can do this because I feel like everyone is trying to really scare me

…in addition, people send me links from doctors and researchers that says because of this viral vector vaccine, my body will never stop producing spike proteins and my immune system with theoretically shut down and I will develop autoimmune disorders or cancer.
Honestly, I thought I was making a responsible and sound choice to take this vaccine. Now I feel so nervous and scared based on everything people are telling me. I just need to see some data about this or a thorough explanation.

@Denice Walter: “They ARE trying to scare you”

Brilliant! And so very simple!

Folks who understand the science in great depth and are happy to espouse that knowledge at great length often forget this incredibly powerful, accessible refutation. Some things seem too obvious, I guess; but forgetting the human factor is a serious error.

Science can be hard; and its motivations, processes, and self-corrections often appear opaque and counterintuitive to outsiders trying to make sense of an ever more complex and specialized, fast-moving world. Yet other things remain constant. Human nature being one; with its attention-seeking histrionics and cold calculating manipulation at its negative end; idealism and improvement at the positive; and ambition and caution floating somewhere in the middle.

As a layman who knows just enough science to go “hmmm, [claim] doesn’t quite pass my smell test”, I find that “let’s try to understand their motives” is often a far quicker, easier, and fairly accurate followup to that initial suspicion compared to “let’s try to understand their science”.

Modern science is barely 300 years old whereas modern society is 6000; and society didn’t survive this long without its members being able to judge who among them is trustworthy and who is not, by observing their words and actions; not just what they say and do (because those can be lies), but how they say and do it, and what rewards they reap for themselves by doing so.

So yes, @lisa, as our Denice says: If you are now feeling fear after reading their words, ask yourself this: “Is my sudden panic their true intent all along?”

For you can always study more of the science later on, in order to check your initial judgement call more rigorously.

Whereas rushed decisions formed in a blind panic do tend to be permanent; and who does that benefit? Not you.

TL;DR: Think of science not as “facts and theories” but as “bullshit filter”. So when you see people loudly attacking some science, the first question to ask is not “Is the science itself right or wrong?” but “What might they<>/em be afraid of?”

@ has:

For years, I’ve listened to an accomplished woo-meister continuously ramp up fear about how dangerous people’s diets, water, lifestyles, domestic environments, health care, meds, doctors, informational sources- and just about everything else- are
The only option for safety and security is following his advice: eat a highly restricted diet, exercise intensely an hour a day, ingest handfuls of supplements, live in the pristine countryside. avoid standard medical care, mainstream media, banking services, technology, university education and the government which are all out to control you! Whilst he of course, is only trying to help you… achieve freedom.

Medical interventions are painted as more dangerous than the conditions they treat or serve to eliminate, like vaccines..Anti-vax proselytisers have created a long list of conditions attributed to vaccines that have no basis in research but are merely scare tactics to frighten vulnerable parents away from vaccines, similarly alt med scares adults away from Covid and other vaccines for themselves. In addition, large scale woo-preneurs scare followers about civil unrest, crime, corporate greed and governmental control.

They scare them, then sell them : supplements, foods, books, videos, etc. so that they can escape from the clutches of greedy pharma/ doctors and the overbearing oppression of the government, corporations, Big Tech and the Media
” Do what I say and be Free!”.

Lisa, I’m very sorry that people are being so unkind and telling you all these things that are not true.

So, the J&J vaccine is an adenovirus-based vaccine, and it is “replication incompetent”, which means that it can not make more virus. So, that worry is done. Your body will stop making the spike protein (pretty promptly), and your immune system will not “shut down”.

And let’s think through that “immune system shut down” thing. When you get a normal viral infection, say a cold from a rhinorvirus, it comes in, replicates a bunch, and then your immune system catches on, kills the cells infected with the virus, kills the virus, and you’re no long infected. Now, that’s a real infection with replicating virus. But your immune system doesn’t “shut down” over a cold. If it did we’d all be dead.

So there’s no reason to think a virus that can’t even copy itself would be harder on your immune system than an infection with a regular virus.

As for the “chromosomal integration or insertional mutagenesis”, I’m not a molecular biologist (I’m a cancer immunologist), but I think that this was covered on some other posts here, on exactly why that won’t happen.

mRNA vaccines can’t do what they’re claiming. Also, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine isn’t an mRNA vaccine.

Repeat hundred times: hereditary molecule is DNA, it is not RNA. Onle retrovirus RNA insert itself into DNA

@ lisa:

They ARE trying to scare you: some don’t grasp the basic information and others deliberately distort it in order to either sell you products or faulty ideas thus elevating their own “in the know” profile. Anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists value being unique and “ahead of the curve” but usually they are just mis-informed rumour spreaders.

Amongst the alt med/ anti-vax believers I survey, nearly all of them cite ” doctors and researchers” although often their credentials are sketchy or they contradict consensus science on a topic. Although Covid 19 science – including vaccines.- is new, certain basics apply such as those pointed out by other commenters here; in addition, Orac meticulously goes over why we shouldn’t fear these vaccines- there’s a lot to read but it is worth the effort because he is a terrific instructor.

One objection scoffers include is that the spike protein gets into your system, wrecking havoc and you are better off without that foreign intrusion:
BUT just living you are being assailed by many viral proteins and even spikes everyday HOWEVER, the ones you encounter naturally come with other stuff attached – the rest of the virus – which is what causes illness. Nature isn’t always better..

@Lisa – Rather than re-invent the wheel or offer advice, this will answer your question.

Here’s Why Viral Vector Vaccines Don’t Alter DNA
Veronica Hackethal MD, MSc,
8-10 minutes
Special Reports > Exclusives
— It’s pretty simple — they can’t

by Enterprise & Investigative Writer, MedPage Today March 12, 2021

Adenoviral vector vaccines have been in development for decades, but very few have been approved for use in humans. What does the history of adenoviral vector vaccine development tell us about their safety and their potential to alter DNA?

How Do Adenoviral Vector Vaccines Work?

Essentially, these types of vaccines act like delivery shuttles. They use an adenovirus — which has been engineered to be incapable of replicating and causing disease — to deliver the genes for making the antigen; in this case, that’s the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. That in turn elicits an immune response and provides protection against the coronavirus.

Adenoviruses are basically common cold viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from cold-like symptoms to bronchitis, gastroenteritis, and conjunctivitis.

“I think people are unfortunately familiar with adenoviruses … [A]t far too many points, you know, you’ve had the sniffle. You’ve had the cough. You felt crummy. If it’s a cold it’s often adenovirus,” Daniel Griffin, MD, PhD, said on a recent episode of MedPage Today’s “Track the Vax” podcast. Griffin is chief of infectious disease at ProHEALTH Care, an Optum unit.

Humans are infected with multiple different types of adenoviruses throughout their lifetimes. Most serotypes cause mild illness, although adenovirus serotype 7 has been associated with more severe illness. Older adults and people who are immunocompromised or have pre-existing respiratory or cardiac disease may have worse illness.

Precisely because adenoviruses are so common, one problem with using them in vaccines is that people may already have antibodies to them, overwhelming them before they can do their assigned work. Researchers get around that issue by using adenoviruses that humans are unlikely to have encountered before.

Currently, five adenovirus vector vaccines for COVID-19 are in use worldwide.

Each works on the same basic principle, although delivery platforms differ. The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine uses the ChAdOx1 platform, which is based on a modified version of a chimpanzee adenovirus.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a proprietary AdVac platform, made up of a recombinant human adenovirus (adv26). It’s the same platform used in the company’s Ebola virus vaccine (which is approved in Europe) and its investigational Zika, RSV, and HIV vaccines.

Russia’s Sputnik V uses recombinant human adenoviruses Ad26 and Ad5 for the first and second doses, respectively. Finally, China’s CanSino vaccine uses the recombinant human adenovirus Ad5.

Adenoviral Vector Vaccines: 50 Years in Development

Research into adenoviral vector vaccines goes back decades. In the 1990s, scientists started studying adenoviruses for use in gene transfer therapy to treat diseases like cystic fibrosis. In 1993, researchers at the University of Iowa published the first results of cystic fibrosis gene therapy using an adenovirus vector in three patients. The results seemed promising, and suggested that gene transfer using this approach may compensate for the genetic defect in cystic fibrosis. Unfortunately, later studies have failed to confirm these findings, showing only partial, transient correction.

One reason this approach fizzled is that adenoviruses induce strong T and B cell immune responses, quickly causing viral clearance and limiting their purpose in gene therapy. But the very fact that adenoviral vectors induce a robust immune response made them prime candidates for developing vaccines against infectious diseases, according to Lynda Coughlan, PhD, an adenovirus vaccine researcher at the University of Maryland.

Since then, scientists have worked on adenoviral vector vaccines against a range of viruses, including Zika, RSV, HIV, influenza, tuberculosis, dengue, and MERS. During the Ebola outbreaks in West Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, two adenoviral vector vaccines were quickly developed and deployed. Adenoviruses can also be genetically modified to target and kill cancer cells.

Earlier experience with adenovirus vector vaccines proved advantageous when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Because these types of vaccines had been in development for so long, all scientists had to do was adapt them to COVID-19. For example, the platform used in the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine had been in clinical trials in humans for over 10 years for various other diseases. Going forward, that adaptability may also prove useful when updating vaccines to protect against new variants of COVID-19, according to Coughlan.

“What’s attractive about adenoviruses is that you can use them almost like a plug-and-play system. The platform doesn’t have to be changed but you can switch out the gene of interest for your disease,” she told MedPage Today.

Another advantage: earlier work provided data on dosage and safety of adenoviral vector vaccines in humans.

“We already had quite a lot of information about how adenoviral vector vaccines work in other diseases, and roughly what dose we should give humans,” said Coughlan. “Safety data from numerous clinical trials in humans showed that they are safe and induce good immune responses.”

So far, phase III trials of adenoviral vector COVID-19 vaccines in humans bear this out. Both AstraZeneca/Oxford and Johnson & Johnson have reported that their vaccines were well tolerated with no serious safety concerns. While serious adverse events were similar between vaccine and control arms of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine phase III trial, three cases of transverse myelitis occurred (one in the control group, two in the vaccine group), prompting a study pause. Upon independent review, two cases were thought unrelated to the vaccine while the third was deemed possibly related to the vaccine.

Nonetheless, adenoviral vector vaccines generally have similar side effects as other types of vaccines like flu shots, said Coughlan, such as pain at the injection site, headache, or mild fever.

“Adenovirus vector vaccines have what I would consider to be normal reactogenicity. I don’t see anything that would alarm me in terms of causing concern about receiving an adenoviral based vaccine,” Coughlan said. “There might be individuals who may have higher grade reactions than others, but that would be the case with any vaccine or any therapy.”

Potential to Change DNA?

Adenoviruses deliver DNA that can enter the cell nucleus, which brings up the question of whether they can alter DNA. That’s an easy one — no.

Adenoviruses — even as they occur in nature — just do not have the capacity to alter DNA. Unlike retroviruses such as HIV or lentiviruses, wild-type adenoviruses do not carry the enzymatic machinery necessary for integration into the host cell’s DNA. That’s exactly what makes them good vaccine platforms for infectious diseases, according to Coughlan.

And, engineered adenoviruses used in vaccines have been further crippled by deleting chunks of their genome so that they cannot replicate, further increasing their safety.

“The cell lines that are used for adenovirus vaccines are highly and well characterized cell lines. They are classified by the FDA as nonintegrating, meaning there has never been any evidence in humans and multiple animal models of vector-borne DNA integrating into a host,” said Gregory Poland, MD, of the vaccine research group at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Given this history, Coughlan says she has no personal worries about the current crop of vector-based COVID vaccines.

“I would be very happy to get an adenovirus vaccine,” she said. “I think they’re great vaccines, and I consider them safe. There’s nothing I can really tell you that I would be concerned about administering nonreplicating adenoviral vectors in humans.”

Just published today:

“The Bottom Line
Bossche has created a scientific-sounding argument that vaccination will encourage the production of COVID-19 variants that our immune systems will be unprepared to fight. Because his proposed solution appears to be a fantasy, its effect would be to stop vaccinations completely and replace them with nothing. This is an absurdly counterproductive solution if Bossche were truly concerned about variants. Mutations occur during viral transmission and in the bodies of unvaccinated people. Immunocompromised individuals with persistent COVID-19 infections, in particular, may play a huge role in the development of variants.

The solution to that risk is to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible, thereby reducing both transmission of the virus and the number of environments in which mutations could occur. This is what COVID-19 vaccines do, and their ability to reduce the opportunities for the virus to mutate is why rapid vaccination is imperative. “We’re in a race with the new variants,” Sara Del Valle, a computational epidemiologist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico explained in a March 2021 feature in the scientific journal Nature.

Waiting for Bossche’s “universal vaccine” is no way to win such a race.

Alex Kasprak
Published 26 March 2021

https://www.snopes.com/news/2021/03/26/geert-vanden-bossche/?utm_source=agorapulse&utm_campaign=1p&fbclid=IwAR0ruhYAivbs0OhVfCX66ZJJtFTIGraPazTRBez1BQWmEzQbdi_-tRfZ-t4

I watched this interview summarised by Del Bigtree, but looking back Geert is clearly pro vaccine. He said that the vaccines should not be given during a pandemic, but what evidence is there for a pandemic other than the bias mainstream narrative, which if you follow the money behind the pandemic and the vaccine pushers they have conflicts of interest in the vaccine industry. Look at SAGE, for instance, and Anthony Fauci of the US. The WHO changed the defintiion of a pandemic in 2009. The WHO’s largest sponsor is Bill Gates and what King Gates wants he gets. It’s sad but true. It’s never been about saving lives.

I tell you something about the WHO and its role as a norm setter. The WHO has the powers since from 2007 when the international health regulations were published and were in power, the WHO has the power to define in health. They can define what is a pandemic, they can define viruses so the reason why a pandemic spreads, they can define the diseases even and say what is an infection and how to can recognise an infection. So, they have the power of defining anything of infectious diseases that are possibly spreading around the world, and this is what they do. We see, or we have seen, that they defined a pandemic first in 2000, a pandemic was very serious very dangerous with many people getting very ill and dying. You would see them in the streets, you would see them everywhere and you would see the whole population being endangered. This used to be a pandemic spreading rapidly over many countries making many people ill and letting them die. And this changed in 2009 with the swine flu because the swine flu or the mild flu, it was one of the mildest flus ever and they had prepared all those vaccinations (inaudible) and all those contracts worldwide the pharmaceutical industries so they pressed WHO to change the pandemic, the definition of pandemic and they just wiped out that there should be many severe cases and many deaths, they just took disease rapidly spreading over many countries and with a new virus, because a new virus is always new otherwise it cannot spread so you can have a pandemic each year and this is what they did not change. They changed the definition of pandemic again just some months ago when they said we have something like a permanent pandemic, we have an inter-pandemic period and then we have a post-pandemic period, and then we have the pandemic period and they made us think and understand pandemic as a permanent thing with waves coming again and again, and this is the picture now WHO uses and this is also what Bill Gates uses , what the pharmaceutical industry uses, they frighten us with the next wave to come and with new mutations, so it’s a very good business model where they, for sure, promise that they can earn a lot of money for many years – Dr Wolfgang Wodarg

Also, what evidence fo you have of the 500,000 COVID-19 deaths? Only a PCR test, which is not a test to detection infection. Even the inventor of the PCR test, Kary Mullis, said that with enough amplification cycles the test can find pretty much anything. https://www.bitchute.com/video/feU1Wh1mSdgY/. The mass testing is what is keeping the ‘pandemic’ going, and it will be used to crash the economy into whatever the World Economic Forum, the United Nations and its disgusting anti christ policies, and the WHO want it to be. COVID has been a deception from the outset with zero science for any of the restrictions, planned in event 201. They are laughing at people. Satan is behind it all dividing families, scarinig people to death into compliance. Big tech censor anything against the mainstream, while the mainstream media has cast a spell of fear onto people by promoting deaths, used applied psychology upon people, and created the biggest religious cult in the world called COVID. Hear it straight from the horses mouth: https://www.bitchute.com/video/M81kCWL78Shv/. The testing has become the new daily mass. Wonder why these two companies have not responded to my emails: https://www.covidtruths.co.uk/2021/03/sars-cov-2-antigen-swab-test-fraud/

Do not be deceived. If COVID has deceived you, the next great deception will be the anti christ leader yet future, but these world leaders and non govenrmental organisations are using the hoax of climate change to reduce the population because they think that they are Gods who can buy anyone they want, and destroy whoever they want. God will judge the wicked, and Jesus upon his second coming will destroy them with the Word of God. The great tribulation is next, 7 years of God’s wrath upon unbelievers, but it is also a time of grace where people can put their trust in Jesus as Saviour. The next world leader, the leader of the one world religion will be the beast / the antichrist, who will have all of the lying signs and wonders of the dragon (Satan). He will perform miracles that deceives mankind into believing that he is the messiah. Mankind will believe that he is the saviour when he comes in peacably and peace will come for a short time until he demands he be worshipped as God and the false prophet of the one world religion will require all people to take a mark in their right hand or forehead, and without it no one will be able to buy or sell Revelation 13:16-17. Vaccination passports are coming and no one blinks an eyelid. Make no doubt about it…this is all conditioning for what is coming. They need a cashless society so how better to say that money is a disease spreader. It’s all to control you. Do not be deceived. Only Jesus Saves. He died for our sins and rose again. Heaven is a perfect place and no sin can dwell there. We must be born again. I can only warn you of what is coming. The future is bright for born again believers, but those trusting in religion and good works to get to heaven have been deceived by the wicked one. Good works can never take away sin, and to go to heaven sin must be washed away by the blood of the lamb, Jesus Christ. Believe the wonderful gospel message for everlasting and share this good news with others: https://youtu.be/StgAtwxiix0

I must say, I’m amazed at the number of antivaccine and COVID-19 denial/minimization tropes you could pack into a defense of Vanden Bossche, plus conspiracy theories about The WHO and Bill Gates. Truly, you have mad skillz cutting and pasting conspiracy theory nonsense! Then you say about him: “He said that the vaccines should not be given during a pandemic…” Sorry, but that’s pretty much the definition of antivaccine. When else is the need for vaccination more critical than during a pandemic?

Be that as it may, I’ve discussed pretty much every single one of the conspiracy theories and COVID-19 denial tropes you rattled off elsewhere on this blog. The search box will guide you, but I can’t resist spoon feeding you a few examples.

Regarding the PCR testing and the claims that this is a “casedemic” or a “fake pandemic” based on false positive PCR tests. It’s not, and the claim is based on a misunderstanding of PCR. I don’t care what Kary Mullis said. He turned into a crank after he won the Nobel Prize for PCR, and, although he is correct that too many samples can cause spurious amplifications, it’s incorrect to say that you can “amplify anything.” What happens when you use too many cycles is that you start amplifying things other than your target. How do I know? Only because I’ve been doing PCR since the 1990s and have personally run thousands of PCR reactions and had to design and troubleshoot more primer pairs than I can remember.

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2020/11/30/casedemic-the-latest-covid-19-conspiracy-theory/

As for your claim that H1N1 being the “mildest flu ever,” all I can say is: I want some of whatever you’ve been smoking.🙄

“He died for our sins…”

Only if there exist closed time-like curves.

He will perform miracles that deceives mankind into believing that he is the messiah. Mankind will believe that he is the saviour when he comes in peacably and peace will come for a short time until he demands he be worshipped as God and the false prophet of the one world religion will require all people to take a mark in their right hand or forehead, and without it no one will be able to buy or sell Revelation 13:16-17. Vaccination passports are coming and no one blinks an eyelid. Make no doubt about it…this is all conditioning for what is coming.

The paragraphs/page breaks are a nice touch. German phizer guy creeps me out. That devil, he be cleaver. Ohh I have a hundred dollars of gold here… well, I have a hundred dollar chichen. Or, I have 67 bazillion kagillion nutsac … get outta here.

https://pennstate.pure.elsevier.com/en/publications/imperfect-vaccination-can-enhance-the-transmission-of-highly-viru-2?fbclid=IwAR0kEo-eDis1xSFV5FW6qmhaGAGVCPBQEI7NdQCnXmSg5ksogsEhauOHJQ4

the leaky vaccine idea has been well documented as far back as 2015, and again in 2019.

If you look to where the earliest of vaccine trials were conducted prior to mass roll out, there’s a link between these areas and the subsequent emergence of a variant of interest.

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