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Ecological fallacy: When a scientist (inadvertently, I hope) uses a favorite antivax form of study

A longtime favorite technique of antivaxxers has been to do bad ecological studies to imply that vaccines cause harm. Why is a Harvard investigator inadvertently using the ecological fallacy the same way antivaxxers used to do before COVID-19?

Longtime regular readers might remember the various times over the years that I discussed bad epidemiology papers by antivaxxers that claimed to have found associations between various vaccines and bad outcomes. You know the studies, for example, the study ten years ago by Neil Z. Miller and Gary S. Goldman that claimed to find an association between the vaccination schedules of various countries and infant mortality rates. (Yes, they incorrectly claimed that schedules with more vaccines were associated with higher infant mortality rates.) A couple of years before that, antivaccine activist J.B. Handley had published a report that used a cherry picked group of nations to try to argue not only that nations that require more vaccines have higher rates of infant mortality but higher prevalence of autism in children under five. A year before even that, in 2008, the father-son duo of antivaccine quack activists Mark and David Geier had tried to use a similar technique to “show” (incorrectly) that increased vaccine uptake was associated with and increased prevalence of autism. The flaw at the heart of all of these studies was the ecological fallacy. Sure, there were, as you might imagine, many other problems with these studies, such as failure to control for confounders and cherry picking nations used in the analysis (they were done by antivaxxers after all), but the main problem always came back to the ecological fallacy.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 cranks and antivaxxers have also been engaging in the ecological fallacy. For example, believers in hydroxychloroquine as a miracle cure for COVID-19 tried to correlate the use of hydroxychloroquine in various countries with the death rate from COVID-19 in an astonishingly bad pseudo-study. (Well, it was astonishing then. No study, no matter how bad, about COVID-19 or COVID-19 vaccines astonishes me any more.) Later last year, antimaskers and anti-lockdown activists tried to correlate the use of public health interventions with COVID-19 death rates, again falling prey to the ecological fallacy. As I wrote at the time, anti-lockdown ideologues’ “science” had become as bad as antivaccine “science.” Unfortunately, this trend continues, but this time not from antivaxxers but rather from people who should know better but apparently do not. I’m referring to a new paper published in the European Journal of Epidemiology that has gone viral and is being promoted by cranks like “inventor of mRNA vaccines” Robert W. Malone:

I’ve discussed Dr. Malone, his conspiracy theory that Wikipedia is “erasing him,” and his wife’s antics editing his Wikipedia entry to try to falsely portray him as the primary inventor of the technology used to produce mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines like the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines before. Let’s just say that it’s odd how much he now demonizes those same vaccines as someone who believes that he invented the technology behind them. I will also express some surprise that I was unaware of this study, which had been spreading in the antivaccine and anti-mask crankosphere for at least a few days before I learned of it yesterday morning. I guess there’s just too much misinformation. Indeed, I thought of just letting this cup pass because there is so much misinformation, but I thought that I could add to the discussion what no one else was likely to: A discussion of this study in the context of what antivaxxers have long been doing. Yes, it’s true that a certain ancient reptile who likes to combat pseudoscience has already discussed this study this week, and there is a PubPeer comment that much more succinctly sums up the key problems with this study, but, as my fans know, only rarely have previous criticisms of bad science stopped me (or even slowed me down) when it comes to applying a bit of ultra-Insolence to that very same bad science.

As another prelude, let me just point out that I don’t think that the authors, S. V. Subramanian and Akhil Kumar, are antivax. I do find it rather odd, though, to read that Akhil Kumar is apparently a Canadian high school student at Turner Fenton Secondary School in Brampton, ON. As for S.V. Subramanian, I had never heard of him before; so I Googled him and moseyed on over to his faculty webpage, where I discovered:

S (“Subu”) V Subramanian is a Professor of Population Health and Geography at Harvard University, and chair of the Faculty Advisory Group for the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University. He is a Primary Faculty in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, a Core Faculty of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, and a Faculty Affiliate of the Harvard Department of Sociology.

These are not exactly what I would consider good qualifications to do a study of this type. He’s a geographer, not a statistician or epidemiologist, much less an infectious disease epidemiologist. Still, he does have a few COVID-19 publications, such as being co-author on this one finding that mobility restrictions were associated with reductions in COVID-19 incidence early in the pandemic and this one urging mass vaccination and other public health interventions in India at the time the pandemic was producing mass illness and death there. In any event, given that Subramanian is faculty at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University, you would have thought that he’d have known better than to mimic the sort of analysis that antivaxxers have long favored since before the pandemic, either to associate harm with vaccines or to imply that they don’t work. Apparently you’d have been mistaken. Unfortunately.

Before I dig into the study by Subramanian and Kumar that Malone was promoting a week ago, let’s revisit the ecological fallacy again, so that you don’t have to click on links to previous discussions by me and others. An ecological trial is a form of epidemiological study in which the unit of analysis is not the individual person, but rather the group. I’ve discussed this issue before (here and here, among other times), in particular the “ecological fallacy,” which states that ecological studies are particularly prone to false positives (although they can also obscure actual correlations as well, depending on the specific analysis).

One of the best explanations of the ecological fallacies I’ve seen is from an epidemiologist by the ‘nym of EpiWonk. Unfortunately, the article is no longer there. Fortunately, there is the almighty Wayback Machine at Archive.org, where EpiWonk defines the ecological fallacy as “thinking that relationships observed for groups necessarily hold for individuals.” It’s worth citing again, even though I have cited this definition before:

The ecological fallacy was first described by the psychologist Edward Thorndike in 1938 in a paper entitled, “On the fallacy of imputing the correlations found for groups to the individuals or smaller groups composing them.” (Kind of says it all, doesn’t it.) The concept was introduced into sociology in 1950 by W.S. Robinson in 1950 in a paper entitled, “Ecological correlations and the behavior of individuals,” and the term Ecological Fallacy was coined by the sociologist H.C. Selvin in 1958. The concept of the ecological fallacy was formally introduced into epidemiology by Mervyn Susser in his 1973 text, Causal Thinking in the Health Sciences, although group-level analyses had been published in public health and epidemiology for decades.

To show you one example of the ecological fallacy, let’s take a brief look at H.C. Selvin’s 1958 paper. Selvin re-analyzed the 1897 study of Emile Durkheim (the “father of sociology”), Suicide, which investigated the association between religion and suicide. Although it’s difficult to find Selvin’s 1958 paper, the analyses are duplicated in a review by Professor Hal Morgenstern of the University of Michigan. Durkheim had data on four groups of Prussian provinces between 1883 and 1890. When the suicide rate is regressed on the percent of each group that was Protestant, an ecologic regression reveals a relative risk of 7.57, “i.e. it appears that Protestants were 7½ times as likely to commit suicide as were other residents (most of whom were Catholic)….ln fact, Durkheim actually compared suicide rates for Protestants and Catholics living in Prussia. From his data, we find that the rate was about twice as great among Protestants as among other religious groups, suggesting a substantial difference between the results obtained at the ecologic level (RR = 7.57) and those obtained at the individual level (RR = 2).” Thus, in Durkheim’s data, the effect estimate (the relative risk) is magnified by 4 by ecologic bias. In a recent methodological investigation of bias magnification in ecologic studies, Dr. Tom Webster of Boston University shows that effect measures can be biased upwards by as much as 25 times or more in ecologic analyses in which confounding is not controlled.

More recently, Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz described the ecological fallacy thusly in the discussion of one of the aforementioned bad studies, and it’s worth citing his description again:

The basic idea of the fallacy is this: you cannot directly infer the properties of individuals from the average of a group. Sounds complicated, but what that means is that if you measure something about lots of people — say, height — you can’t take the average measurement as an indication of any particular person’s status.

There’s a really simple example of this to do with means, or averages. Imagine you’ve got two groups of ten people, A and B. Group A has an average height of 170cm, and group B has an average height of 168cm. If you randomly select one person from each group, who is more likely to be taller, someone from group A or B?

The intuitive reaction is to say that someone from A is going to be taller than B, because the mean height is higher. However, this is not necessarily true. You can have a mean height of 170cm caused by two 200cm giants and eight 162.5cm people, and a mean of 168cm with six 170cm people and four 165cm people. In this case, 80% of group A is shorter than everyone in group B, which means that you’ll almost always get a taller person in group B if you pick randomly.

In other words, the average of a group isn’t always representative of the individuals.

Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of examples of the ecological fallacy from the nutritional literature, as Meyerowitz-Katz noted:

That’s the ecological fallacy in a nutshell. There are dozens of examples, many of them to do with countries and states. It commonly pops up in nutritional epidemiology — if we do a study and find that people who eat vegetarian diets are more likely to be depressed, it actually tells us very little about an individual vegetarian and their risk of depression. Similarly, even though people who eat more red meat tend to be less healthy, we can’t necessarily say that at an individual level eating more red meat is a good or bad thing.

With that in mind, let’s look at what Subramanian and Kumar did in their study. Looking at his faculty webpage, unfortunately I rather can’t escape the conclusion that the ecological fallacy is a big part of what he Subramanian has been doing recently, as the study under discussion seems to use similar methods to a lot of his more recent previous studies.

So let’s look at their findings before going back to discuss the methods:

At the country-level, there appears to be no discernable relationship between percentage of population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases in the last 7 days (Fig. 1). In fact, the trend line suggests a marginally positive association such that countries with higher percentage of population fully vaccinated have higher COVID-19 cases per 1 million people. Notably, Israel with over 60% of their population fully vaccinated had the highest COVID-19 cases per 1 million people in the last 7 days. The lack of a meaningful association between percentage population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases is further exemplified, for instance, by comparison of Iceland and Portugal. Both countries have over 75% of their population fully vaccinated and have more COVID-19 cases per 1 million people than countries such as Vietnam and South Africa that have around 10% of their population fully vaccinated.

And here’s Figure 1:

Ecological Fallacy scatterplot
This is not how to do a good scatterplot.

As our good reptilian buddy noted, the inclusion criteria are not exactly clear. The authors state that they included nations and counties that met the following criteria: “had second dose vaccine data available; had COVID-19 case data available; had population data available; and the last update of data was within 3 days prior to or on September 3, 2021.” As our friendly reptile with sharp pointy teeth noted, though, for some reason France, the United Kingdom, and Germany were not included, and those are some seriously glaring oversights, particularly given that the authors actually mentioned Germany and the UK in the very first paragraph:

Vaccines currently are the primary mitigation strategy to combat COVID-19 around the world. For instance, the narrative related to the ongoing surge of new cases in the United States (US) is argued to be driven by areas with low vaccination rates [1]. A similar narrative also has been observed in countries, such as Germany and the United Kingdom [2]. At the same time, Israel that was hailed for its swift and high rates of vaccination has also seen a substantial resurgence in COVID-19 cases [3]. We investigate the relationship between the percentage of population  fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases across 68 countries and across 2947 counties in the US.

Even more interestingly (for me, anyway) the references used were not scientific ones, at least references 2 and 3. Reference 2 points to a news article about Germany mulling over restrictions for the unvaccinated as their caseload soared in July, and the article doesn’t even mention the UK other than in passing because there were antimask protests in London. (It does mention France and Greece.) Reference 3 is to an NPR story about how Israel was suffering from a new surge in COVID-19 cases in August, despite a highly vaccinated population. This is generally not how you do scientific papers and references. The article also mentions potential causes: the Delta variant, waning immunity, and how Israel’s population, even though very highly vaccinated, is not vaccinated enough to produce herd immunity against a much more transmissible variant like Delta. I mean, seriously, have Subramanian and Kumar not heard of measles or watched how measles outbreaks could occur in areas of low vaccine uptake, even in a highly vaccinated population?

Then there are issues of potential confounding. Carl Bergstrom pointed this out on Twitter:

And:

The idea is simple: Government entities (be they counties or countries) with better public health infrastructure will have better case reporting and more robust testing. Our reptilian friend noted this too, observing:

They include low GDP countries where vaccination rates are low, but testing levels are similarly low. Using data from these countries may provide with a unreasonably low level of COVID-19.

And, as noted elsewhere:

And then there was this take that called the study “hot garbage” (an accurate characterization):

The paper presents two main arguments. The first is a scatter plot of the percent fully vaccinated against COVID-19 cases per one million in 68 countries. That’s it. It’s a simple bivariate analysis. To be clear, bivariate analysis isn’t inherently wrong, but it depends on the context in which it is used. A published analysis in a prestigious journal needs to do more than simply plot two variables. This excess simplicity ignores the massive variation between countries in testing, quality of vaccines, nonpharmaceutical interventions, and reporting.

Exactly. And don’t even get people started on this issue:

Another concern I have with Subramanian 2021 is the quality of reporting between countries. Does the data coming out of Brazil, India, Libya, and Ukraine match the data quality coming out of Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom? In other words, is the reported number of COVID-19 cases as a proportion of the true number of COIVD-19 cases equal across the two groups? We already know deaths are underreported around the globe.

Indeed. If you don’t know how cases are reported and compiled in all the countries included in the analysis, you can’t determine if there are systematic flaws in the data that could either produce a false positive or mask an actual correlation. Zero attempt was made to correct for this.

Another epidemiologist made a complementary observation:

Again, remember the lessons from measles. Cases cluster in areas where vaccine uptake is low, and these areas can be smack dab in the middle of a highly vaccinated population, thus skewing the case count for the entire area. For instance, consider an town in the middle of a county (or country) that has low vaccination rates and a high case count. That will artificially inflate the case count for the entire surrounding area (county or country), even if the averaged vaccination rate of the whole county or country is high. Do these people not know basic epidemiology? We saw this sort of thing the year before the pandemic with all the measles outbreaks among populations with low vaccine uptake! We’re just seeing it now on a grander scale. I can forgive Kumar because he’s apparently a high school student, but there’s no excuse for Subramanian not to have gotten a real epidemiologist involved, along with, preferably, a real statistician before undertaking any analysis, not after.

Then there’s this:

Of the top 5 counties that have the highest percentage of population fully vaccinated (99.9–84.3%), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies 4 of them as “High” Transmission counties. Chattahoochee (Georgia), McKinley (New Mexico), and Arecibo (Puerto Rico) counties have above 90% of their population fully vaccinated with all three being classified as “High” transmission. Conversely, of the 57 counties that have been classified as “low” transmission counties by the CDC, 26.3% (15) have percentage of population fully vaccinated below 20%.

There is but one reaction appropriate to this paragraph:

Godzilla facepalm

Why? First, these percentages of vaccinated people are vaccinated adults and do not take into consideration children under 16. Remember, in the US, there is no COVID-19 vaccine yet approved (or even authorized for emergency use) for children under 16. The authors do the same thing with Israel, pointing to it as an example of a highly vaccinated country with rising case counts.

The Raptor will have none of that, and I agree:

Even though Israel had a high rate of vaccination, that was for eligible individuals over the age of 12. Actually, only 58% of the population was vaccinated, which is not high enough. It’s hard to tell what the exact herd immunity level is for COVID-19, but it’s probably close ot 88%. Israel may have been highly vaccinated, but not nearly highly enough.

Multiple critics (and now I) note that the primary endpoint examined is case number per unit population. While vaccines are certainly intended to decrease the case number and transmission of the virus if possible, the primary intent is to prevent people from getting really, really sick, winding up in the ICU, and dying. No attempt is made to analyze the data using these endpoints. Then there is the consideration that various countries were in different phases of the pandemic during the time frame used to examine case counts and vaccination rates. Then, for the county-level analysis, one must remember that states are made up of counties, which mean that groups of counties (in the same state) will tend to cluster because they will have similar testing and other policies. Even so, across the US, different counties (mainly in different states) vary widely in their access to testing, public health interventions, and vaccination rates. That’s not even considering differences in population density that can result in higher transmission in more densely populated areas, or weather. The bottom line is that there is so much wrong with this paper that, to put it kindly, the conclusions are not supported by the data.

As I was wrapping this post up, I came across this:

You know, I shouldn’t have used up that facepalm, because this really does deserve a facepalm—or, better yet, two facepalms:

Here’s what I mean:

Anti-vaxxers say they’ve found a smoking gun: a new blue-chip paper that proves COVID vaccines are ineffective.

The vaccine “doesn’t stop you from getting [COVID] at all,” claimed Daniel Horowitz, a senior editor at the Blaze, in a tweet promoting a column he wrote trumpeting the research. The headline: “Harvard researcher finds absolutely no correlation between vax rates and COVID cases globally.” Supporters of Horowitz’s perspective tweeted the piece and posted it on Facebook, where it received more than 4,000 interactions, including 2,600 shares, according to data from CrowdTangle, the Facebook-owned analytics company.

Alas, there’s just one problem for Horowitz and company: S.V. Subramanian, the Harvard professor of population health and geography behind the paper, says the vaccine doubters are completely wrong.

“That conclusion is misleading and inaccurate,” Subramanian told me of Horowitz’s Blaze column over email. “This paper supports vaccination as an important strategy for reducing infection and transmission, along with hand-washing, mask-wearing, and physical distancing.”

Really? It sure didn’t come across that way to me, and I read it before I had seen a lot of antivaccine talking points. Indeed, I’ve never seen or read Horowitz’s article, either. I did do a Twitter search after I had started writing this article, and—surprise! surprise!—virtually every Tweet linking to the study other than the ones I’ve already cited came from antivaxxers touting this study as slam-dunk evidence that COVID-19 vaccines don’t work because there was no correlation between case numbers and percentage of people vaccinated in the country or county analysis. Indeed, what I found was only the top of the iceberg:

Despite the misinterpretation, anti-vaxxers and vaccine doubters like Horowitz have held up and shared Subramanian’s paper as vindication on an array of platforms that have struggled to fight false anti-vaccine information. Horowitz’s own column has been tweeted out to at least half a million users. Posts bringing attention to the paper have done well on anti-vax and right-wing Reddit groups; a summary was posted to more than a dozen subreddit communities with over 34 million followers.

On Facebook, posts sharing a link to the paper’s abstract have also gone viral thanks to similar pages. Bernhard Zimniok, a member of European Parliament representing Germany’s far-right AfD party, shared it to his 24,000 Facebook followers, netting over 1,000 likes, shares, and comments. Slobodny Vysielac, a xenophobic, nativist Slovakian publication which has been likened to Infowars, also shared a link to the study to its 85,000 followers. Across the platform, CrowdTangle analytics show it was shared by pages with over a collective 2 million followers and was interacted with 7,000 times

Subramanian is surprised that his paper was picked up by antivaxxers? How naïve can he be? Also, how clueless can the reporter, Ali Breland, be? He writes the article to frame Subramanian as being unfairly mischaracterized and misinterpreted by antivaxxers. I can see an argument that it is being mischaracterized, but not by a lot. Whether he realizes it or not, Subramanian unwittingly provided a number of antivax-ready quotes in his article.

Go back to the Tweet above by Carl Bergstrom, in which Bergstrom criticizes Subramanian for making prescriptive statements based on a crappy analysis. That whole paragraph basically is, whether Subraminan realizes it or not, parroting an antivaccine talking point, namely that we rely too much on vaccination and that the vaccines are much less effective than advertised. Worse, Subramanian tells us we’re relying too much on vaccination alone (a not unreasonable point)based on an analysis that falls for the ecological fallacy and can very easily be interpreted to suggest that the vaccines don’t work. After all, the key finding of Subramanian’s paper is that there is no correlation between the percentage of the population vaccinated and COVID-19 case counts.

Just look at Subramanian’s concluding paragraph:

In summary, even as efforts should be made to encourage populations to get vaccinated it should be done so with humility and respect. Stigmatizing populations can do more harm than good. Importantly, other non-pharmacological prevention efforts (e.g., the importance of basic public health hygiene with regards to maintaining safe distance or handwashing, promoting better frequent and cheaper forms of testing) needs to be renewed in order to strike the balance of learning to live with COVID-19 in the same manner we continue to live a 100 years later with various seasonal alterations of the 1918 Influenza virus.

Yes, Subramanian states that we should be using standard public health interventions in addition to vaccination to control COVID-19, but then he finishes with a comparison frequently used by antivaxxers, namely likening COVID-19 to seasonal flu and saying that we have to learn to live with it!

If he happens to see this post, I’m sure Subramanian will think I’m being very harsh and very unfair. Maybe. But I don’t think I’m being unfair. Although I don’t think that he or his coauthor are antivaccine, I do think there is considerable value in pointing out how similar the study he did is to the sorts of awful studies prone to the ecological fallacy that antivaxxers did before the pandemic (and still do) to try to attribute harms to vaccines that they don’t cause or imply that they don’t work. Even more importantly, scientists like Subramanian who do studies involving COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines really do need to be aware of how their words can be weaponized by antivaxxers and COVID-19 minimizers and conspiracy theorists, so that they don’t craft studies like this one that are so easily co-opted for such purposes.

In fact, I hope that this comparison shocks some scientists. The vast majority physicians and scientists before the pandemic were blissfully unaware of the sorts of distortions of science that antivaxxers routinely engaged in. Some of them were even openly contemptuous of efforts by skeptics to combat health misinformation, quackery, and antivaccine pseudoscience and conspiracy theories, viewing it as beneath them or shrugging it off as unnecessary, not believing that anyone could “believe such nonsense.” I hate to say, “I told you so,” but I told you so. So did a number of others. Unfortunately, we were (and remain) a pitiful band compared to the forces arrayed against us spreading misinformation. It would help if scientists on “our side” didn’t provide ammunition to antivaxxers, which is what Subramanian did.

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.

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337 replies on “Ecological fallacy: When a scientist (inadvertently, I hope) uses a favorite antivax form of study”

I had looked at this paper earlier this week and concluded it was nonsense from beginning to end. One thing we are fully aware of is that COVID-19 testing is uneven across the world. You cannot use reported cases as a proxy for real cases in any comparison between countries. I have previously noted that New Zealand and Australia because of their high testing and low case numbers have probably gone close to identifying the full number of cases. Many other countries are not even close. If the positive test rate is 20% then lots of cases will be missed. Knowing cases are inaccurate, any comparison with vaccination numbers is pointless.

This is without even getting into the problem of ecological fallacies.

And not only that, testing can pick up asymptomatic cases. In my pretty highly vaccinated local area, with school starting, testing has tripled in the last month — and so have detected cases. However, hospitalizations and deaths are still quite low. Anecdotally, my pharmacist says 90% of the tests she is conducting now are for asymptomatic individuals. Anyone looking at just case numbers, though, would think we are having a dangerous surge,

Yep the paper is GIGO.

One additional comment about the following incorrect claim made in the paper:

“Of the top 5 counties that have the highest percentage of population fully vaccinated (99.9–84.3%), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifes 4 of them as “High” Transmission counties. Chattahoochee (Georgia), McKinley (New Mexico), and Arecibo (Puerto Rico) counties have above 90% of their population fully vaccinated ”

The authors picked 3 counties which all show > 99.9% vaccination of eligible population. That looked to me like a data error and the authors should have checked this. For example the official Georgia DPH site lists the current vaccination rate in Chattahoochee County as just 20%. Similarly the official NMDOH site has McKinley county is shown as currently 86%.

They used the wrong data source for county-level vaccination rates, failing to take into account that it relies on who got vaccinated there, rather than who lives there and got vaccinated. The latter is descriptive of county-level public health data, as you point out. For instance, Arecibo is the location of the stadium, a mass-vaccination site drawing people from all over.

Imagine, almost a year into these ‘miraculous’ vaccines and all we find are their backers whining about research suggesting the vaccines are not helping rather than slamming down research of their own saying they are. How low the bar has sunk!

Went over to SR (yes, exercising great discrimination, he banned me), and I can imagine him rebutting me with this:

As for the increase in hospitalization and minor increase in mortality for vaccinated is not the right comparison. You’re taking the numbers in a vacuum, but it should be compared to the risk of hospitalization and death for the unvaccinated. That’s when we see how powerfully successful vaccines have been in this fight.

Indeed, over and over again we hear the vaccine pushers argue that the risk of hospitalization and death is vastly greater for the unvaxxed. What’s wrong with that thinking? It too is taking numbers in a vacuum. For instance, for every unvaxxed person that is hospitalized or die from covid, there are multiple amounts of asymptomatic or mildly affected cases that have acquired the disease naturally and built up superior immunity. Those folks will no longer serve as cases down the road.

So, in sum, covid might be killing and hospitalizing a lot of unvaxxed people, but it’s also sparing a lot more; and, the real bonus being, possibly even more than the vaccine. Looking at things this way, trends for countries that give us generalized numbers might indeed be the most accurate reflection of things.

“It’s okay that my unvaccinated travelers die in much higher numbers than vaccinated people, or are hospitalized and left with large medical bills and lifelong damaged, because not everyone dies or is left with harm and then, if they were lucky, maybe they won’t get COVID-19 again” (and at this point, there’s no basis to think COVId-19 immunity from infection is lifelong, and quite a few indications it’s not) is not quite the winning argument you seem to think it is.

Barely superior immunity, tempered with the greater risk of death to obtain it. Maybe not even that. I can’t remember the search criteria I used but I found a study concluding that natural immunity from the original virus gave better protection against variants that develop later. However, vaccinated immunity was far better against the virus variant that the vaccine was designed for. The obvious implication is that creating a vaccine, targeting the newer variants, would be more effective than relying on natural immunity generated previously.

Funny how anti-vaxxers won’t accept any risk of adverse events from vaccines but they’ll happily accept a far greater risk (especially if it’s to other people) from which ever wild virus is circulating. Must be one of those ‘if I die it’s the will of God’ thingies coupled with some kind of eugenics. Kill off the weaklings and create a stronger super-species. Bit of a waste if the natural immunity wanes fairly quickly though.

For instance, for every unvaxxed person that is hospitalized or die from covid, there are multiple amounts of asymptomatic or mildly affected cases that have acquired the disease naturally and built up superior immunity. Those folks will no longer serve as cases down the road

By the same token, for every vaxxed person that is saved from hospitalization and death, there are multiple amounts that are vaxxed that have been robbed of their chance of gaining superior, natural immunity. By vaccinating them, we are permanently placing them at increased risk of sickness and death.. And, I emphasize ‘permanently’ because as I am arguing down thread, by vaccinating people we are screwing up their immunity to the extent that they will never stand a chance of reaping the benefits of natural infections.

So, seeing Covid vaccination as an overwhelming success requires a heavy set of blinders. Unfortunately, they are not in short supply with the vaccine pushers.

Say, Gerg, when did you pick up this shitwitted habit of using no-context blockquote tags for your own remarks?

@Greg How much superior the natural immunity is ? Your Isreali study says 1.5%. This no no reason to get a pssoble lethal infection.
Did you notice that you actually said that vaccines are protective ? (They were robbed the infection.)

Quoting myself quoting myself…

For instance, for every unvaxxed person that is hospitalized or die from covid, there are multiple amounts of asymptomatic or mildly affected cases that have acquired the disease naturally and built up superior immunity. Those folks will no longer serve as cases down the road

By the same token, for every vaxxed person that is saved from hospitalization and death, there are multiple amounts that are vaxxed that have been robbed of their chance of gaining superior, natural immunity. By vaccinating them, we are permanently placing them at increased risk of sickness and death.. And, I emphasize ‘permanently’ because as I am arguing down thread, by vaccinating people we are screwing up their immunity to the extent that they will never stand a chance of reaping the benefits of natural infections.

So, seeing Covid vaccination as an overwhelming success requires a heavy set of blinders. Unfortunately, they are not in short supply with the vaccine pushers.

And, I am thinking all of this doesn’t have to be just mere speculation. I am considering there must be some very skilled statisticians in the audience. Run a modeling comparing two hypothetical populations — one completely vaccinated and one completely not.

For your modeling, you will likely make use of such variables as the Israeli study showing natural immunity to be 13 times more protective than vaccination; the absolute risks of catching; becoming sick, and dying from covid if you are vaxxed or unvaxxed; the rapid waning of the vaccines over time; and perhaps more. Go to it boys and girls!

PS: A word of caution to anyone attempting this exercise. Should get the ‘wrong result, the iron maiden awaits.

I was not 13 times, as I have said any number of times. It was 98.5 and 99.9. Click bait absract forgot the divisor.

@Greg So you are saying that it is actually that OK COVID kills ltoss of unvaxxed people ? You should add that unvaxxed asymptomatic people spread the disease.

Greg So you are saying that it is actually that OK COVID kills ltoss of unvaxxed people

No, Aarno, I am saying it’s great that Covid is saving lots of unvaxxed people, and, consequently, lots of vaxxed people too. I am saying it’s not ok that you guys are actually killing lots of vaxxed and unvaxxed people.

No, Aarno, I am saying it’s great that Covid is saving lots of unvaxxed people….

From what? Breathing?

Greg.

I don’t say this lightly because I’m usually not a fan of psychoactive drugs or counseling unless a person is seriously in crisis. You just might be. I strongly recommend you seek help. I mean it. You don’t have to live life this way. You can break free from this nonsense and live your best life. There must be people who care about you and don’t want to see you behaving like this.

As an aside: I truly hope you don’t have any young children or firearms in your home.

Greg.

I don’t say this lightly because I’m usually not a fan of psychoactive drugs or counseling unless a person is seriously in crisis. You just might be. I strongly recommend you seek help. I mean it. You don’t have to live life this way. You can break free from this nonsense and live your best life. There must be people who care about you and don’t want to see you behaving like this.

As an aside: I truly hope you don’t have any young children or firearms in your home.

Thanks, Medical, for your concern, but what if I enjoy living my life like this. Seriously, I am getting tremendous pleasure participating on this blog. Whatever psychological issues I might have, this blog is addressing them.

You’re all my counselors in assisting me to break free and be my best. Sure I have a wife and kids who love me and care about me, but I also have you guys; you, Narad, Orac, Squirrel, Athaic, Denice… Ok — not Denice! Good gawd — she might just drive me over the edge with her phony therapist spiel. Reading her crap, perhaps if I had a gun in the house I might just use it.

That was a joke Medical, but Denice can be quite annoying. Still, I got the rest of you assisting with my mental health and I am greatly appreciative.

“Whatever psychological issues I might have, this blog is addressing them.”

i do not believe that it has at all. ps your brains and bits of spinal cord are in the bag by the sink. I feel like your SO is not feeling too impressed about all that. Even though you gave it the ol’ college try. Thank you for allowing me to be your excuberant arbiter it has been a hoot. Now please kindly fuck off and die in a fire. Awkward.

Vaccines are saving vaxxed people, and unvaxxed, too,if heard immunity is reached. Vaxxing does not an effect to unvaxxed, but COVID does.

I’m interested to see the evidence that “natural” immunity surpasses vaccine-induced immunity. Controlling for risk of hospitalization/death. I’m waiting.

Greg: Not sure how much of your response is jokey, but if a blog is seriously helping you mentally, it’s best to stop posting.

The language about stigmatizing populations also reads as “don’t criticize those who don’t vaccinate.”

If the goal was to help the high school student get a resume bump, by the way, I worry that it will misfire and hurt the kid in ways that writing a flawed paper usually doesn’t hurt high school students, and shouldn’t.

Well I would tell the kid to smoke more pot and not worry about it so much. I know my views are not popular but I have never courted popularity.

–Orac mentions that vaccines prevent ” people from getting really, really sick, winding up in the ICU, and dying” HOWEVER, through what I can only imagine must be deliberate obfuscation, denialists leave out these figures and cite cases “rising” although it has been shockingly easy to find these numbers. For example, where I live, an early hot spot for Covid, the government has provided daily tallies of numbers- positive tests, people in hospital, in ICU, deaths- which I’ve followed. The cases have shown several waves since March 2020 BUT the numbers of hospitalised, in ICU, on vents and deaths has steadily decreased as vaccine coverage increased since April 2021. If you leave out these numbers, you misinform.

— One f the loons I survey ( PRN) insists that opponents to Covid vaccines and other PH measures are now, NOT alties like him, but the “orthodoxy” itself: MD/ PhDs, esteemed professors, researchers with hundreds of PubMed studies, etc. and he lists people like Malone and McCullough amongst others. I sure that Subramanian will be another.

— Orac says ” ..we may remain a pitiful band..” BUT, of late I have seen encouraging signs- surveys show people accepting vaccines more, supporting mandates more, being harsher on anti-vaxxers, companies mandating vaccines and workers accepting ( high rates of vaccination United Airlines, HCWs, college admissions)
the amount of strong refusers remains below 20%. These figures are easy to find and are mentioned on the news. MSNBC has two powerful advocates in Joy Reid and Chris Hayes who frequently sound like Orac and Company but since anti-vaxxers usually avoid liberals, they won’t be heard by them.

You’re welcome.

I don’t like to leave statements unsourced so..
— NY had to fire 25 000 healthcare workers because they won’t get vaccinated which is 3% of the total NewsDay
— United Airlines let 220 employees go.. OUT OF 67 000 Yahoo News
There are additional similar reports about university students and professors but I couldn’t find them quickly

The last paragraph is where I am day to day. I keep hearing from very woo-ish people how upset they are that there are still so many unvaccinated people and how stupid their reasoning is, but these same people spend their days at the chiro, acupunturist, naturopath or reiki salon. They take masses of suppements, believe our food is poisoned, that Pharma is trying to kill us all, that doctors “know nothing about nutrition”, that GMO’s are a threat to humanity, that “science doesn’t know everything”, that there are numerous types of “energy” that defy scientific explanation, and so on ad infinitum, They see my occoasional interjections of reason as annoying, and at best, amusing. Most of these people are well-educated–in liberal arts. They say they trust science, but most of their actions say otherwise. FB doesn’t get it either. They ban the most egregious but the garbage persists and isn’t even recognized.

A new heroine for antivaxers: California critical care doc Patricia Lee, who’s written a letter to the CDC and FDA (publicized on Twitter and dubious “news” websites) describing horrific Covid-19 vaccine reactions in her patients, including Pneumocystis pneumonia, cytomegalovirus colitis, obstetric complications including chorioamnionitis and septic shock, and quadriplegia. All of these events must have been due to vaccines, although details including time course are largely lacking and we’re supposed to take her word about lack of other risk factors.

Dr. Lee hired a law firm which boasts of taking on numerous cases for the, um, vaccine-hesitant and has also represented Del Bigtree’s ICAN outfit. Her lawyers sent their own followup letter barely a week later to the CDC and FDA demanding action, i.e. a meeting with this doc to discuss her concerns. Both the law firm and the doc urge the feds not to focus on her but on her allegations, which makes one wonder why focusing on her might be detrimental to her cause.*

*which also includes opposing Covid vaccine mandates.

What an interesting list of conditions…all of which would be caused by an unchecked HIV infection. I wonder if that’s where she got her little list from?

Both the law firm and the doc urge the feds not to focus on her but on her allegations, which makes one wonder why focusing on her might be detrimental to her cause.

Unsurprisingly, California has five M.D.’s named Patricia Lee. Triangulation of the USC degree and San Jose practice leads here, if anybody feels like looking around.

I wonder, statistically speaking, what’s the likelihood that one doctor would see all these ‘vaccine reactions’ yet my entire town, of 100,000 people or so, hasn’t had any horror stories making the rounds at all. What, enquiring minds would like to know, does this say about California?

Seriously, look at Worldometer figures for today. Why is lightly vaxxed India with a population of over a billion reporting half the cases of heavily vaxxed UK with a population of over 60 million? This trend of UK reporting more cases has been going on now for months. Really, what’s up there? Does ecological fallacy account, or are Indians just plain bad at counting their cases. Or, is it the case that India went through a brutal delta wave and their population is now reaping the benefits of superior natural immunity? Yes, let’s double — triple!– our efforts to vaccinate the world; we need more UKs.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

“Yes, let’s double — triple!– our efforts to vaccinate the world; we need more UKs.”

They could put it in half-smoked Pall Mall butts and airburst/carpet bomb the hot spots.

And then give the Pall Malls to the poor and children of the poor. And Jeff and Blue Origin, to congratulate him on making Shatner cry*, and to swear a little for becoming the Ferengi of their own vision.

*** https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7q6BtcZ7Ugk

Solemn.

If you really believe your sh!t, go get infected, Greg.
There are studies looking for volunteers to study the normal course of an infection.

But you are a coward. We all know it.

If you really believe your sh!t, go get infected, Greg.
There are studies looking for volunteers to study the normal course of an infection.

But you are a coward. We all know it.

So much so that the sphincter seems to have closed right up in response to the question.

Nevermind India, but what is occurring in Brazil, South Africa, and even the US south? All these places had recent surges — largely unvaxxed surges– and their unvaxxed cohort is pretty much now immune and accounting for the drop in their cases

The general worldwide decline in cases that we’re seeing is largely due to this — not from vaccination. Next, look to the virus to start picking off the vaxxed.

Yes, they are now mostly immune, just like most vaccinated people.
They can also be dead, which of course means they will never get Covid-19 again, nor have to suffer from any other illness. Or they suffer from long covid. and don’t forget that having Covid-19 often isn’t a walk in the park either.

That would explain why hospitalizations and deaths have dropped slightly. Seems to have happened in the Netherlands as well, and maybe Chile.

Quoting myself…

Seriously, look at Worldometer figures for today. Why is lightly vaxxed India with a population of over a billion reporting half the cases of heavily vaxxed UK with a population of over 60 million? This trend of UK reporting more cases has been going on now for months

Indeed, and now we’re being told it’s due to a surge in Delta Plus cases which apparenty only one person just noticed: Gottlieb. Hhmmnn!

This fact that a mere sub-lineage of Delta is beating the vaccine speaks to its failure. And, I will also take credit for providing the scientific details why this is so: mRNA vaccination produces one type of restrictive antibody and which goes on to suppress the formation of new antibodies, and even during reinfections. In fact, reinfection that that ordinarily provides a chance for the attainment of new antibodies is bastardize into serving this domination.

Yes, mRNA vaccination is proving to be the ultimate nightmare. If natural infection won’t save us, what will? You guys should be shitting. We all shout be shitting.

https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/1507806/coronavirus-delta-plus-variant

And, I will also take credit for providing the scientific details why this is so: mRNA vaccination produces one type of restrictive antibody and which goes on to suppress the formation of new antibodies, and even during reinfections. In fact, reinfection that that ordinarily provides a chance for the attainment of new antibodies is bastardize into serving this domination

And, I would like to re-emphasize that last sentence. MRNA vaccination critics often complain that these vaccines are ineffective at sterilizing the virus; I am saying it’s far more sinister than that! They are actually interfering with the body’s natural defenses for achieving sterilization.

MRNA vaccination critics often complain that these vaccines are ineffective at sterilizing the virus

I do so enjoy these gaffes.

Yeah — I am hearing all the whispers: ‘So, I wonder if my smarty-pants, Greg, can layout in full details the precise science of how mRNA vaccination is messing up natural immunity’? K guys, a full explanation is pending.

It’s even better when he doesn’t understand what’s being referred to and just throws in a non sequitur.

Two in a row, baby — keep ’em coming.

Quoting myself…

Yeah — I am hearing all the whispers: ‘So, I wonder if mister smarty-pants, Greg, can layout in full details the precise science of how mRNA vaccination is messing up natural immunity’? K guys, a full explanation is pending.

And, as promised….

We begin with what happens during natural, Covid infection. The invading virus triggers an innate response with immune cells rushing to the scene. The virus may be eliminated at this stage. but, if it is not, the adaptive system kicks in. Here, we have antigen presenting cells recognizing the virus and building antibodies against it. The immune cells will recognize the multiple variety of antigens on the virus and build multiple corresponding antibody producing cells . Some of these plasma cells will eventually evolve into memory cells after the virus is neutralized, but, again, the variety will be maintained. Also, at this adaptive stage where the system fine tunes, special helper cells will release signals to inhibit the innate, non-specific response.

Next, we consider Covid mRNA vaccination. Here, essentially we have jumped right into the adaptive stage where spike antibodies are produced. However, unlike with natural infection, only the spike producing antibody cells will be produced and no other. Plasma cells that evolve into memory cells will also strictly be spike memory cells.

Now, let’s consider what occurs with re-infection after vaccination. Here, the spike memory cells will only become activated after they recognize the spike antigen on the virus. Effector cells that follow will also only produce spike antibodies, and memory cells that are also eventually spawned will also remain as strictly spike memory cells. Essentially, no variety in antibodies are achieved unlike with normal infections before the vaccination. That this adaptive response will also shut down the innate response further seals this monopoly, with no rogue inflammatory cells having any say in the matter.

With this spike hijacking, the individual is left as permanent prey to reinfections. He simply does not have an adequate antibody repertoire to quickly deal with the slightest mutations in the virus. ‘Quickly” should be emphasized because even if the spike antibody eventually recognizes the virus, it is often too late. Perhaps not late enough to make the vaccinated person seriously sick or kill him, but late enough that the person can become infected or contagious. The person can then pass the .infection on to other vaccinated people with similar, narrow protection, and with the virus becoming analogous to a ball that is trapped in a ping-pong box where there is no escape.

And, this brings me to a last important point, The horror with Covid is not that it might escape the virus.; If it does, natural immunity might once again have a chance to deal with it. The horror with Covid and stubborn strains such as Delta is that they may never escape the vaccines, and, instead, remain permanently trapped in that ping-pong box of mutations, infections, resolved infections, more mutations and infections, and so on, and so on.

Quickly” should be emphasized because even if the spike antibody eventually recognizes the virus, it is often too late. Perhaps not late enough to make the vaccinated person seriously sick or kill him, but late enough that the person can become infected or contagious.

Indeed, there has been a lot of speculations about why the unvaxxed and vaxxed can both be contagious but with the vaxxed less prone to serious sickness or death. Time explains this. It takes time for the vaxxed person’s one type of antibody to detect the virus, and the vaxxed person may become infected and contagious during that wait. For the unvaxxed person who has no arsenal of defense, the wait will be even longer as he builds one up. As I outlined, he will likely build a more formidable defense, but he is at an increased risk of getting seriously sick or dying during that period.

And, this brings me to a last important point, The horror with Covid is not that it might escape the virus.; If it does, natural immunity might once again have a chance to deal with it. The horror with Covid and stubborn strains such as Delta is that they may never escape the vaccines, and, instead, remain permanently trapped in that ping-pong box of mutations, infections, resolved infections, more mutations and infections, and so on, and so on.

Indeed, as I antivaxxer, I am inclined to love a person like Bossche who preaches that mass vaccination is sending us to he’ll, but I disagree with him that it may definitely lead to the evolution of escape variants. Folks, please understand that this dissent is really hard 😫.

I have to agree with Bossche’s critics who point out that the virus depends heavily on the Spike to enter cells and any radical mutation in that protein may render the virus less contagious. With the Spike targeted, the virus is limited as to how much it can evolved, but, with such a narrowly tailored intervention, this is where the hell comes in. Essentially, we have trapped the devil. We do not allow him to escape, but we also don’t kill him. We allow him to haunt us for eternity.

@Greg you forget things. Remember that your favorite paper said that infected people benefit from vaccination:
In model 3, we matched 14,029 persons. Baseline characteristics of the groups are presented in Table 1b. Examining previously infected individuals to those who were both previously infected and received a single dose of the vaccine, we found that the latter group had a significant 0.53-fold (95% CI, 0.3 to 0.92) (Table 4a) decreased risk for reinfection, as 20 had a positive RT-PCR test, compared to 37 in the previously infected and unvaccinated group.
No spoiling is happening
MRNA vaccination does not bypass innate immune system, which is the reason why adjuvant is not needed. Mechanism is Toll like receptors:
Pascolo S. (2008) Vaccination with Messenger RNA (mRNA). In: Bauer S., Hartmann G. (eds) Toll-Like Receptors (TLRs) and Innate Immunity. Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology, vol 183. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-72167-3_11
Toll like receptors recognize internalized foreign RNA, and this activates innate immune system. MRNA vaccines have same effect.
UK COVID cases have a simple explanation. Restrictions were removed when vaccinationm rate of young people was 50%. Lots of contacts, lots of infections

And, I see a hand in the audience….

‘Greg you keep emphasizing how mRNA spike intervention is too fine tailored and does not lend to diversity in the production of antibodies, what if we replace that campaign with whole virus vaccines.’

Good question, but it’s too late for that. Introducing people vaccinated with a mRNA vaccine to a whole virus vaccine won’t solve the restrictive antibody predicament. The existing spike antibody from mRNA will just seek out spike antigens from the new pathogen. No new antibodies will be spawned.

Essentially, natural immunity or other vaccines won’t save us. We are permanently locked into this mess. All we can do is keep boosting and change the concoction now and again when the virus mutates sufficiently and the immune system starts reacting too slowly.

More incredible accounting! Cases are rising in UK because of — Delta Plus! It has nothing to do with my argument that mRNA vaccination is producing antibodies lacking variety to deal with the evolving virus. Cases are rising because of — Delta Plus! Oh well, whad ya gonna do when we keep giving her our best effort yet nature keep throwing these surprises?!

@Greg: Which specific cells of the innate immune system? Which, specific antigen presenting cells? What is the receptor? What is the co-stimulation signal? Which specific cells of the adaptive immune system? Which trafficking and homing signals are activated? Which ones are downregulated?

And where is your evidence that antigen spread is not taking place? Where are the papers?

(W)here is your evidence that antigen spread is not taking place? Where are the papers?

You speak once more out of turn sir and I’ll have you booted from this lecture hall! Others have paid good money to hear me speak; give them a chance!

What’s your name, sir? ‘JustaTech’? Who are you affiliated with? ‘Pharma Shill Inc’? Oh yes, I remember you from a blog, Respectful Insolence. You are actually one of the more tolerable ones. Don’t know what got into you today.

JustaTech, you ask for evidence that antigen spread is not occurring? Well, if you look at the persistency of cases over such a long period, this is an indication that a lot of reinfections are occurring and that the vaccines are not handling the mutations adequately. Lack of antigen spread should be suspected.

More direct evidence comes from Nussenszweig et al….

Between prime and boost, memory B cells produce antibodies that evolve increased neutralizing activity, but there is no further increase in potency or breadth thereafter. Instead, memory B cells that emerge 5 months after vaccination of naive individuals express antibodies that are similar to those that dominate the initial response.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-04060-7

Next?!

Another question, go ahead madam….

“Greg, you have done a masterful job explaining the flaw with mRNA vaccination and why it’s doing such a poor job containing the virus. I understand everything now! But, what you are say also got me thinking; do you believe governments and public health officials’ reluctance to give props to natural immunity stems from knowing that mRNA vaccination is screwing it up?”

Another very good question. Outside of believing that the lying, pharma whores are just out to depopulate the world or stuff their pockets with cash at people’s expense, I really do believe there is genuine frustration that the pandemic is dragging on so long. I really do believe if they felt natural immunity would be beneficial, they would’ve tipped their hats there.

But, I also believe they are fully aware that the vaccines are messing up natural immunity. They cannot endorse it by suggesting the vaccinated people need not worry after getting re-infected after their shots. They know that experience won’t benefit them as it ordinarily would have.

I imagine the could tell just the unvaxxed that had Covid that they need not worry, but that would amount to selling the farm. People would quickly figure things out. Best then to just keep tight-lipped and remind ‘everyone’ to get their vaccines.

Yes Sir, what is your question?

“Greg, lately in the news is talk of a Delta Plus, particularly in the UK. Greg, how does what you’re saying explain these variants causing outbreaks but when they analyze them, they find they are not really escaping the vaccines?”

Another good question! Folks, again, you must remember with these mRNA vaccines, highly specific antibodies have been selected to match the spike protein on the original virus. Any slight mutation in that protein will temporarily fool those antibodies until the protein is eventually recognized. So, again, it’s an issue of the time delay in recognizing the protein and not that the protein has mutated enough that it’s unrecognizable. That delay results in cases, and, if we have enough of those slight changes –variants – in a particular area, they will coalesce into a variant outbreak for that area.

Essentially then, we should stop seeing the emergence of these variants as instances of the virus exercising it’s stealth, and, instead, see them more as a matter of the limitation of mRNA vaccines. Related to this, had we pick whole-virus vaccines to be the work horse, I believe we would’ve seen less of these variant outbreaks. Again, whole virus vaccines yield more diversity and breadth of antibodies.

A work of caution, I am an antivaxxer who sees vaccines as one of the greatest sin to ever afflict mankind; nothing I say here should be taken as me championing vaccines. I am strictly discussing hypotheticals.

Yes young lady, what is your question….

“So Greg, if it’s now impossible for natural immunity or other vaccines to intercede and pull us out of this mess, will mankind fall prey to these outbreaks for eternity”?

Possibly! It all dependents on how many combinations of slight mutations are possible. If they are limitless, then we are screwed.

@Greg You again cite Nussenzweig et al. It did not say what you think. Citation:
” While individual memory antibodies selected over time by natural infection have greater potency and breadth than antibodies elicited by vaccination, the overall neutralizing potency of plasma is greater following vaccination. ”
Vaccine efficiency against asymptomatic cases is known. There is one from US:
Thompson MG, Burgess JL, Naleway AL, Tyner HL, Yoon SK, Meece J, Olsho LEW, Caban-Martinez AJ, Fowlkes A, Lutrick K, Kuntz JL, Dunnigan K, Odean MJ, Hegmann KT, Stefanski E, Edwards LJ, Schaefer-Solle N, Grant L, Ellingson K, Groom HC, Zunie T, Thiese MS, Ivacic L, Wesley MG, Lamberte JM, Sun X, Smith ME, Phillips AL, Groover KD, Yoo YM, Gerald J, Brown RT, Herring MK, Joseph G, Beitel S, Morrill TC, Mak J, Rivers P, Harris KM, Hunt DR, Arvay ML, Kutty P, Fry AM, Gaglani M. Interim Estimates of Vaccine Effectiveness of BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 COVID-19 Vaccines in Preventing SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Health Care Personnel, First Responders, and Other Essential and Frontline Workers – Eight U.S. Locations, December 2020-March 2021. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Apr 2;70(13):495-500. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm7013e3. PMID: 33793460; PMCID: PMC8022879.
“Among unvaccinated participants, 1.38 SARS-CoV-2 infections were confirmed by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) per 1,000 person-days.§ In contrast, among fully immunized (≥14 days after second dose) persons, 0.04 infections per 1,000 person-days were reported, and among partially immunized (≥14 days after first dose and before second dose) persons, 0.19 infections per 1,000 person-days were reported”
So unvaccinated spread COVID 1.38/0.04 = 34.5 times more efficiently
It is curious that you go full Pharma Shill Gambit if someone asks details of your theory. So there is no details in your theory, obviously.

Yes, Sir?

Greg, does what you’re saying apply to the explosion of cases occurring now in Singapore?

Singapore’s situation is due to two factors: They have been successful in vaccinating practically their entire population with mRNA vaccines, and then they decided to open up after a strict lockdown. This has provided fertile grounds for ‘slight mutatios’ to rapidly ravage their people who are now exposed. Other countries, including some countries in Europe and Canada, also have high Pfizer vaxxed rates, but they weren’t in as strict lockdowns and the ‘slight mutations’ were gradually absorbed over time.

Expect Portugal to become another Singapore. They have also achieved a very high mRNA vaxxed rate and have recently lifted their strict lockdown.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/20/asia/singapore-covid-19-deaths-intl-hnk/index.html

@Greg You again cite Nussenzweig et al. It did not say what you think. Citation:
” While individual memory antibodies selected over time by natural infection have greater potency and breadth than antibodies elicited by vaccination, the overall neutralizing potency of plasma is greater following vaccination. ”
Vaccine efficiency against asymptomatic cases is known. There is one from US:
Thompson MG, Burgess JL, Naleway AL, Tyner HL, Yoon SK, Meece J, Olsho LEW, Caban-Martinez AJ, Fowlkes A, Lutrick K, Kuntz JL, Dunnigan K, Odean MJ, Hegmann KT, Stefanski E, Edwards LJ, Schaefer-Solle N, Grant L, Ellingson K, Groom HC, Zunie T, Thiese MS, Ivacic L, Wesley MG, Lamberte JM, Sun X, Smith ME, Phillips AL, Groover KD, Yoo YM, Gerald J, Brown RT, Herring MK, Joseph G, Beitel S, Morrill TC, Mak J, Rivers P, Harris KM, Hunt DR, Arvay ML, Kutty P, Fry AM, Gaglani M. Interim Estimates of Vaccine Effectiveness of BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 COVID-19 Vaccines in Preventing SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Health Care Personnel, First Responders, and Other Essential and Frontline Workers – Eight U.S. Locations, December 2020-March 2021. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Apr 2;70(13):495-500. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm7013e3. PMID: 33793460; PMCID: PMC8022879.
“Among unvaccinated participants, 1.38 SARS-CoV-2 infections were confirmed by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) per 1,000 person-days.§ In contrast, among fully immunized (≥14 days after second dose) persons, 0.04 infections per 1,000 person-days were reported, and among partially immunized (≥14 days after first dose and before second dose) persons, 0.19 infections per 1,000 person-days were reported”
So unvaccinated spread COVID 1.38/0.04 = 34.5 times more efficiently
It is curious that you go full Pharma Shill Gambit if someone asks details of your theory. So there is no details in your theory, obviously.

What’s your name, Sir? ‘Aarno;? Do you know JustaTech? Oh, so you do! And, I can just imagine that you are affiliated with the same company! ‘Why am I asking;? Because you are also bloody interrupting without putting your hand up! I wish I could communicate how much you are wearing our patience thin.

As to your spiel, what the hell are you talking about?! Your colleague and I were discussing antigen spread, which is defined below as,,,

Antigen spread (also known as “epitope spread,” “determinant spread,” or “antigen cascade”) is the expansion of an immune response to secondary epitopes that either were not part of the original therapeutic or were not targeted by the therapy (21).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5441294/

In the context of the topic at hand, I explained mRNA vaccination will not lead to new antigens being targeted upon re-infection with Covid. How does Nussenszweig et al finding not support this? If the memory b-cells are not gaining diversity how will it be possible that new antigens will be targeted during subsequent infections? I recommend you answer quickly because I am considering calling security.

Yes, madam?

“Greg, I have a question, but first let me tell you how truly honored I am being here today to hear you speak.

Greg, do you believe the deployment of mRNA vaccination was a huge oversight in which scientists and researchers failed to assess all the possible complications?”

So many good questions!

I’ll start by saying I am an antivaxxer but I can see how the drug pushers would find mRNA vaccine technology attractive. It’s a much faster technology than what’s involved in producing traditional vaccines. It also lends better to adaptations and modifications. Not to mention, in that it relies less an adjuvants and additives, it can also see it being safer. Consider that with traditional vaccines causing autism, much of the harm is coming from the adjuvants.

So, with all this said, I can see why the drug pushers in the height of a pandemic would jump on that technology. Yet, if it seems like I am defending them, I will also add as bright as they are, they can also be quite incompetent. They have a solid track record of overlooking the simplest things

Did any of them reflect that training the immune system with one restrictive antibody could possibly confound things. I wouldn’t put it pass them that none of them did.

Ok, one last question, go ahead madam….

“Greg, what’s up with the need for boosters”

Such a smart crowd!

Ideally, for long-term protection, we want to depend on memory cells. This is largely due to the fact that antibodies often fade quickly. Yet, with Covid vaccination, we have Nussenszweig et al torpedoing everything by telling us that the memory cells that are being produced are inferior in that they are lacking breadth. This is bad in that mutations will be missed, or, as I keep emphasizing, there will be delays in detecting them.

In that we can’t rely on those memory cells, we have no choice but to interfere with the injection of fresh antibodies. Perhaps ‘fresh’ is misleading because we must remember that we are boosting with that same specific spike antibody. We are just flooding the system with lots of them hoping that lacking diversity they will find their target in
numbers. So, we should actually think of boosting as a sledgehammer intervention.

Yet, the lesson we learn in science is our unorthodox interventions often comes with a price. Will this continual bombardment with highly specific antibodies lead to other issues such as ade or autoimmunity? Perhaps only time will tell. Or — maybe they are already telling in those ‘unreliable’ VAERS reports!

@Greg Perhaps you could answer my points anyway ? Actually, the fact that unvaccinated spread the disease 34.5 times more efficiently. would explain Singapore, too. It shows, too, that mRNA vaccines are not leaky, and are quite efficient,so your imaginary conversation with a madam is quite besides of point.
I have said multiple times that immune system does not create immunity to a future infection,but a current one. Diversity does not change anything. It is still a diverse reaction to current infection

I have said multiple times that immune system does not create immunity to a future infection,but a current one. Diversity does not change anything. It is still a diverse reaction to current infection

Oh, the absolute petulance! The lecture is over, Mr Aarno.

Where did I say the immune system creates immunity to a few infection? Natural immunity creates diverse antibodies that will respond to MATCHING diverse antigens during subsequent reinfections. I am explaining that mRNA vaccines that train the immune system with one restrictive antibody is interfering with this process.
Mr Aarno, there is no diverse reaction occurring if after mRNA vaccination the immune system just targets the spike protein that it was singularly trained to look out for and ignores everything else.

Mr Aarno, what really are you not understanding?Better yet, security!

So Greg, as usual, completely ignores 80% of my question, provides a single paper (better than usual), but fails to address antigen spread in T cells (does Greg not know that memory T cells can also exhibit antigen spread?).

Also, N of 32? I’d like to see a much larger data set.

So Greg, as usual, completely ignores 80% of my question, provides a single paper (better than usual), but fails to address antigen spread in T cells (does Greg not know that memory T cells can also exhibit antigen spread?).

JT, now that I have finished my lecture, I will address you directly. JT, whether we are dealing with B-cells, T-cells, or Helper cells, they seem to be doing pretty much the same thing. They might target different things but they do so in the same predictable, repetitive manner. JT, knowing also that these cells are communicating and coordinating with one another, what reason is there to believe that if memory B-cells are not diversifying memory T-cells are also not doing the same? I would say at this stage the onus is actually on you to cite papers suggesting otherwise.

Another point that I did not address in my lecture is why we’re starting to see a gradual decline in cases in the US.

The late summer Delta surge impacted both vaxxed and unvaxxed despite the pundits dubbing it ‘the pandemic of the unvaxxed’. The unvaxxed cases registered more simply because the unvaxxed were more likely to be symptomatic and there were less testing of the vaxxed. Having acquired superior natural immunity, the unvaxxed cases are starting fall and this is what’s driving the overall decline.

By contrast, as I explained, the vaxxed narrow protection probably is likely leading to them bouncing mutations and strains back and forth amongst each other and there is no real real movement there. That natural immunity is off the table for them also serves this. Indeed, there might come a time where the unvaxxed pool will be totally infected and immune and leaving just the vaxxed as cases. Then of course we would have the ‘pandemic of the vaxxed’.

@Greg You do not know what you are claiming. You are saying that diverse antibodies produced against current variants offer protection against future variants. This is exactly same thing as saying that they offer protection against future disease. Infection caused by new variant is the thing we are discussing, are we not ?

@Greg US cases are down, for some imaginary reason, why this does not apply to other countries ? Remember that unvaccinated spread COVID 34.5 times more efficiently. Include this to your theory.
And remember that immune system mount defnse to current variant, not future ones. It does not have a crystal ball, after all.

Greg US cases are down, for some imaginary reason, why this does not apply to other countries ? Remember that unvaccinated spread COVID 34.5 times more efficiently. Include this to your theory.
And remember that immune system mount defnse to current variant, not future ones. It does not have a crystal ball, after all.

Aarno, cases are down from their summer peaks in other countries as well, and, again, this is due to their unvaxxed people, that they test more, building immunity. The decline is actually more pronounced in the US because, relatively speaking, the US has more unvaxxed people..

Funny, Aarno, you of all people once said something that supports this theory. When I pointed out the surges in cases in Singapore, you mentioned they were due from Singapore testing everyone including asymptomatic individuals. This of course would imply that Singapore is finding the asymptomatic vaxxed cases that are being overlooked in other countries.

To your second point, Aarno, I really don’t know where the confusion is coming from about ‘the immune system mounting a defense against a future variant’. Let me spell things out with a clear example: A person naturally infected with a pathogen that has protein a, b, c, d, and s on it’s outer shell will likely build antibodies against those proteins. During a subsequent reinfection, if the pathogen mutates to now express proteins a, b, c, e, s, the person’s immune system will have antibodies a, b, c and s to target the pathogen, but not e.

Aarno, contrast this with a mRNA vaccinated person that is equipped with just antibody s. Encountering a subsequent infection with a mutated pathogen expressing proteins a, b, c, e, and s, that person has only antibody s to target the virus. He has not acquired antibodies a,b,c, or e to fight the virus because he wasn’t previously trained with them. And, of course, there is also the real sting that he will not acquire those antibodies from this current infection. He is a victim of ‘the origin sin’.

Interstingly, the article on ‘the original antigenic sin’ that I linked is suggesting that the mRNA vaccinated person’s immune system is not acquiring N antibodies during subsequent reinfections. N antibodies were described as being more effective at neutralizing the virus. At this stage, I don’t desire to postulate about which antibodies are more effective at neutralizing the virus. Instead, I am strictly agreeing with the idea that mRNA vaccination is impeding the acquisition of diverse antibodies.

Let me spell things out with a clear example: A person naturally infected with a pathogen that has protein a, b, c, d, and s on it’s outer shell will likely build antibodies against those proteins. During a subsequent reinfection, if the pathogen mutates to now express proteins a, b, c, e, s, the person’s immune system will have antibodies a, b, c and s to target the pathogen, but not e.

Aarno, contrast this with a mRNA vaccinated person that is equipped with just antibody s. Encountering a subsequent infection with a mutated pathogen expressing proteins a, b, c, e, and s, that person has only antibody s to target the virus. He has not acquired antibodies a,b,c, or e to fight the virus because he wasn’t previously trained with them. And, of course, there is also the real sting that he will not acquire those antibodies from this current infection. He is a victim of ‘the origin sin’.

We could update this example by giving the proteins a number to represent sublineages. So s1 could be the original spike protein; s2 could be delta, and s3 could represent delta plus. The spike antibody can still detect any of these sublineages, it is just slower detecting the ones with the greater numbers. Indeed, as I have argued, despite all the noise, there is nothing special about the mutated proteins or sublinages; they just look different and the antibodies are slower to pick them up.

So, what we have is mRNA inspire spike antibody searching for one protein, and and a specific sublineage at that. Contrast this with natural infection — pre vaccination! — creating antibodies for that same protein and its sublineage, but also for multiple different proteins. This give us a clear sense of why natural immunity is far superior.

And, why has UK buck the trend of cases dropping in NA and amongst its European neighbors. UK and Israel are two countries in a unique situation of rolling out the vaccines quickly before a great portion of their populations were naturally infected. Both countries have a smaller cohorts of unvaxxed people to bring their cases down. That the vaccines’ protectivity is falling also doesn’t help.

I believe these more than anything is driving the high cases in the UK and not any particular variant. Isreal has been able to mitigate these factors with boosters, but I believe it will prove to be a short-term solution and their cases will also significantly rebound.

Actually, T cells protect people against viral infection.
Interesting that you mentioned original antigenic sin. This applies to natural immuniry, too. If natural immunity is partially protective, immune response is mounted from immune memory, and is suboptomal.
All proteins you listed are in current variant. All antibodies (let us speak about them) are targeted to them. If one of proteins mutates, and a virus with this protein einfects people with natural immunity, suboptoimal response is a possibility

Actually, T cells protect people against viral infection.
Interesting that you mentioned original antigenic sin. This applies to natural immuniry, too. If natural immunity is partially protective, immune response is mounted from immune memory, and is suboptomal.
All proteins you listed are in current variant. All antibodies (let us speak about them) are targeted to them. If one of proteins mutates, and a virus with this protein einfects people with natural immunity, suboptoimal response is a possibility

Aarno, I have read this multiple times, and all I can decipher from it is your indirect confirmation that ‘the original antigenic sin’ is indeed plaguing mRNA vaccination– too!

@Greg Original antigenic sin is caused by new variants, Natural immunity immunity does not protect against it.
To repress variants you should reduce virus pool, not to allow variants to appear.

The situation in Portugal is pretty good three weeks later. Cases rising, but extremely slowly.

There is a certain irony that in the comments to an article about the ecological fallacy, Greg makes an ecological fallacy argument.

Is it “irony” or unfortunate because I can not discern any more and Alanis Morissette is heavily overfitted in here even though I get the idea that she is really Greg level stupid.

These situations cause me discomfort and also Reykjavík Geothermal is starting to pitch a temp about it. She was not supposed to let me in there. I can be pretty persuasive.

And, ask the ‘experts’ why we are still in the midst of a pandemic, and they will likely give you a one word response — Delta! Outside of also blaming the unvaxxed, it’s as if that one word absolves everything, including the vaccines. The pandemic is still raging not because the brilliant ‘vaccines’ failed to prevent Delta or even slow its transmission; the pandemic is still raging because of — Delta! Oh — how easy life is when one word does all the accounting!

It is not delta. Vaccination rate is still not high enough.
There is a paper about COVID among unvaccinasted/vaccinated:
COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness against hospitalizations and ICU admissions in the Netherlands, April- August 2021
View ORCID ProfileBrechje de Gier, Marjolein Kooijman, Jeanet Kemmeren, Nicolette de Keizer, Dave Dongelmans, Senna C.J.L. van Iersel, Jan van de Kassteele, Stijn P. Andeweg, the RIVM COVID-19 epidemiology and surveillance team, Hester E. de Melker, Susan J. M. Hahné, Mirjam J. Knol, Susan van den Hof
doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.09.15.21263613
” For the study period 4 April – 29 August 2021, 15,571 hospitalized people with COVID-19 were included in the analysis, of whom 887 (5.7%) were fully vaccinated.”
Comparing alpha and delta:
“The VE for full vaccination against ICU admission was 93% (95%CI 87-96%) in the Alpha period and 97% (95%CI 97-98%) in the Delta period”

It is not delta. Vaccination rate is still not high enough.

And, how high must it be, Aarno, to start blunting the pandemic? Today Singapore had another record breaking day for cases. This is a country with 84% of its population that is fully vaxxed.

So, are we to believe the unvaxxed 16% is the main driver of their surge? Aarno, I think not because some say around half of a given population already had Covid and is immune, so it must the 8% unvaxxed Singaporeans driving their surge. Oh – those selfish 8%!

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/3445-new-covid-cases-in-singapore-8-more-deaths-151332915.html

This is a country with 84% of its population that is fully vaxxed.

Canada only has just under 73% of its population fully vaccinated. They probably need to get to closer to 80% to stop the pandemic. So greater than 95% of those over 16. You should help out Greg by getting vaccinated. It is people like you who keep the COVID-19 pandemic ticking along.

Canada only has just under 73% of its population fully vaccinated. They probably need to get to closer to 80% to stop the pandemic

Chris, you are missing the point that I made to Aarno. Unvaccinated doesn’t necessarily equate to not immune. Some argue that 50% of the population at some time during the pandemic got Covid and is naturally immune. So, well over 80% of the Canadian population should be immune, whether by vaccination or natural infection or both. So, Chris, why is the pandemic still not in the rear view mirror for us?

You should help out Greg by getting vaccinated.

Does anyone really think that he isn’t? He hasn’t regaled anyone about the smooth sailing of his infection or coughed up labs, nothing.

After all, on his first time around, he insisted that everyone here was lying about being vaccinated, “tee hee”; the hypocrisy would fit right in.

Some argue that 50% of the population at some time during the pandemic got Covid and is naturally immune.

Some might argue this, but they are wrong. If 50% of people were naturally immune to COVID-19, hospitals would not be filling up so fast with the unvaccinated. C’mon Greg, be a man, roll your sleeve up and get the vaccine.

Greg:

some say around half of a given population already had Covid

According to Worldometer, Singapore has had a total of 24556 cases/million population, or about 2.5% with detected infections. Even if the actual rate is double that, it’s still nowhere near half the population.

Worldometer also says that the people of Singapore have, on average, each been tested 3.5 times.

Would you like to cite some of these “some” who say half the population of Singapore has been infected?

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

@Greg Canada has had 1670000 COVID cases, which is not 50%. Singapore vaccination rate is not uniform, they strted with older people, as everybody.

I actually think this Singapore wave is because not enough people were previously infected. Other, more knowledgeable people than me have said so. But you can see the benefit of vaccinating so many people—hospitalizations and deaths have peaked at lower rates than other countries, and those who are dying are largely old and sickly.

Canada has had 1670000 COVID cases, which is not 50%.

Greg seems to believe that cases have been massively undercounted in Canada. There is likely some undercounting, but not that much. The absurdity of Greg’s position can be illustrated by looking at other countries.

Canada currently has 4.4% of its population recorded as cases. Georgia (the country) has 16.7%. If the real value in Canada was 50%, that would mean 200% of the population of Georgia had been infected. Unless you were to postulate that Canada was much less effective at identifying cases than Georgia, which is clearly nonsense. It is a parcel of those extrapolations that 150% of boys will have autism by 2030.

Having gone through that, I should note it was a completely idiotic exercise, but this is what passes for reasoning in Greg’s head. He gloms onto a supposed factoid that supports his point without ever applying any logic to it and never lets go.

@Greg I cited a paper reporting that unvaccinated spread COVID 34.5 times more efficiently. This is the driver, not the delta variant.
As for variants, if spread of COVID if blocked, ther ewould be no variants, obviously. As obvious thing is tha that immune system produces antibodies against current infection, not to future ones,

It is absolutely Delta’s fault. Most countries had kept cases and deaths low until it became predominant. Delta happened to arrive at exactly the wrong time—vaccination campaigns were ramping up, so not enough people were immunized, and countries were lifting restrictions, so people got the impression that the pandemic was over.

vaccination campaigns were ramping up, so not enough people were immunized, and countries were lifting restrictions, so people got the impression that the pandemic was over.

I think it is much of this. And this https://youtu.be/BexsW5yRucI

Also, if anyone can point me to any Indian music that is not mostly just loud racket made with altogether unsuitable for music loud racket makers, then I might find that could and would possibly be most helpifying. Before I ecologically foul again and wipe out not just canada but possibly india over a misunderstanding of musical taste I will first grab the tiger by the tail and and idk the rest it’s ya’ll’s stupid saying.

Just be aware that if anyone (especially Bollywoodians) points me to Rikki-Tikki-Tavi I will fuck the entire planet to death.

Also, if anyone can point me to any Indian music that is not mostly just loud racket made with altogether unsuitable for music loud racket makers

What? Get Ravi Shankar’s Three Ragas if you really know nothing about Indian classical music. Some Ali Akbar Khan. Can’t go wrong with Swapan Chaudhuri for tabla in a well-populated specialty.

I feel greatly complimented to be singled out by Greg whom I “annoy”.. I wonder why that is? There are so many other worthy contributors here like Aarno, Athaic, Renate, Bacon, Dorit, Narad, Medical Yeti and the rest..
No one here is doing therapy with Greg: he, who supposedly has an undergrad degree in psych, should know that. We just give him information after he spreads nonsense to steer him towards reality and although that will probably never occur, it just might instruct a vaccine hesitant reader or two.

There’s a reason that Orac places him in auto-mod- which is a rarity usually reserved for truly outre commenters- he reiterates mistruths from anti-vaxxers and attributes unsourced malfeasance to SBM, doctors and researchers with appellations like “drug pushers”.
A while back, a few anti-vaxxers took issue with my approach especially when I quoted research that cancels their number one issue- that vaccines cause autism.
I repeatedly quoted experts’ work in physiology and neuroscience that effectively disproves this outdated and unhealthy notion. I suppose I “annoyed” them too: facing reality has a tendency to do that. Their all-too-frequent appearances diminished to a paltry, sporadic few. I imagine that they have found other venues where their “wisdom” is tolerated and even applauded but The internet never forgets.

Commenters like these anti-vax mothers are one of the reasons I contribute because they, usually quite uneducated in relevant areas although they mime expertise, blithely recount their tales of “vaccine damage” and quote altie “thought leaders’ and salesmen in order to scare younger parents away from vaccines. Their campaign and programme are aimed at reducing vaccination by any means. Research has shown that parents are more likely to trust advice about vaccines from other parents rather than from medical professionals. Anti-vax blogs, facebook groups and other internet locales are their stomping ground and they stomp out reason and fact extremely well.

No one here is doing therapy with Greg: he, who supposedly has an undergrad degree in psych….

Did this come out back when he trying to deny he was Canadian? (Good times.) Either I’ve forgotten it, or his output was too profligate for me to have noticed in the first place.

At least after this, he can always pack up the family to go tell Africans that “natural malaria” is much better than risking a little help from Mosquirix.

And, another of Greg’s famous prediction? You can’t say you didn’t hear it here first. As time passes and the vaccination failure becomes more pronounced, we will find the least vaccinated countries to be the first to emerge from the pandemic. Ecological fallacy be damned!

Please explain how you think that will work, Greg. Will everyone there just get covid? You really do think that comes with no costs, don’t you?

I would repeat this:
The VE for full vaccination against ICU admission was 93% (95%CI 87-96%) in the Alpha period and 97% (95%CI 97-98%) in the Delta period
In a paper previously cited

In other (related) news: Joe Rogan is now a full-blown antivaxxer. This is a truly sad turn of events, as he has a massive following. I found his podcast interesting and provocative but, for the first time ever this morning, had to turn it off on my drive as the baloney he and his guest were spewing unchallenged was too much. Usually he is great about checking is own opinion and attempting to ironman the argument against whatever he is saying and analyzing that position. Not any more. I just don’t get it.

It is one thing to discuss complementary factors like overall health, tobacco abstinence (He could use this,) supplementary vitamins (Can’t hurt,) exercise (KEY to overall CV capacity prior to disease,) etc. Instead? He’s basically saying the vaccine is useless based on now well-discredited media reports and fraudulent “Studies.” He argues that ivermectin helped him get over COVID faster and rails against CNN for calling it horse de-wormer. Then he and guest launch into how it is approved for human use, is a great drug, Nobel prize, WHO essential Rx list, etc, etc. That’s all true and it has absolutely nothing to do with viral inhibition.

But India! Ivermectin stopped COVID there! Baloney. That paper was a complete fake. I have an MPH as my primary training in research (Believe it or not, most doctors don’t get a lot of research training) and even I can spot the issues with that “Study.” Indeed, a medical student fist noticed issues with the study data.

Anyway, I just thought this was shame. I know he’s not everyone’s cup of tea but he really has taken a wrong turn here.

I know he’s not everyone’s cup of tea but he really has taken a wrong turn here.

AFAIK, Rogan took a wrong turn when he got behind a microphone. I mean, his arguing with Howard Stern is “news.”

I’ve already mentioned that I had to put up with stuff when I staying with a friend on the North Side, hour after hour. If I sat down with him in the afternoon to try to chat while the program was on, I was constantly scrambling to try to filter what he was getting from the program into something that would yield an opening without pissing him off.

Sort of the reverse of trying to talk about race in a Florida retirement community: Either don’t bother, or try to get one simple concession. At least Morton Downey, Jr., skipped the pretense. The world would be no worse off without any of the programs.

“when I staying with a friend on the North Side”

Well I hope ya’ll are getting just as equally gentrified as the “South Side” because I don’t even live there at all. Only there is a NORD server there I sometimes hit up to stalk an ex. It is a pretty shitty server.

for the first time ever this morning, had to turn it off on my drive as the baloney he and his guest were spewing unchallenged was too much.

That is what I did with Alex Jones in 2014. A bit late, for some.

But Rogan? Yeah, he had a draw for sure https://youtu.be/KzPnihZ41h4?t=24

Yeah, Musk had a role in the whole HCQ early on. But word has it that wasn’t martite sparkling up the test and breaking the ship. I think he may have come around.

I saw this “in the wild” the other day, someone posted it on a friend’s post where vaccine mandates for nurses was mentioned. My impression on reading it was that it looked like a student wrote it and wondered how it passed peer review. It’s ridiculous how people with an agenda will grab anything that supports it no matter how terrible it is.

I have been away from this blog, but I see Gregor Samsa is still here and not dead from Covid-19 – God looks after fools and children.
A common place to see the ecological fallacy is in issues of race, ethnicity, and nationality. Once you ascribe certain qualities to a given group, then you can make a factually untrue syllogism, like the punchline to the old joke, “Very funny, you not look Jewish.” The obverse is the fallacy of extrapolating from one to an entire group.
Gregor, your entire purpose on this blog is to gainsay anything anyone says that is pro-vaccine. Funny, it all started with MMR and when the tiny bit of thimerosal was removed, then it had to be any and all vaccines, and if they happened to correlate with reduced mortality and morbidity from the disease, it had to be due to improved sanitation and nutrition, an idea that falls flat knowing vaccination campaigns eradicated rinderpest from its last endemic areas. No antivaxxer here has ever tried to refute that it was due to the vaccine for it.

Yep, the paper is GIGO. No need to embellish that.

One additional point regarding a claim that was in the paper:

“Of the top 5 counties that have the highest percentage of population fully vaccinated (99.9–84.3%), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies 4 of them as “High” Transmission counties. Chattahoochee (Georgia), McKinley (New Mexico), and Arecibo (Puerto Rico) counties have above 90% of their population fully vaccinated ”

The authors picked 3 counties which all show > 99.9% vaccination of eligible population. That looked to me like a data error and the authors should have checked this. I did and the official Georgia DPH site lists the current vaccination rate in that Chattahoochee County as just 20%. The official NMDOH site currently reports 86% for McKinley – which too is below the 90% claimed.

Yep the paper is GIGO.

One additional comment about the following incorrect claim made in the paper:

“Of the top 5 counties that have the highest percentage of population fully vaccinated (99.9–84.3%), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifes 4 of them as “High” Transmission counties. Chattahoochee (Georgia), McKinley (New Mexico), and Arecibo (Puerto Rico) counties have above 90% of their population fully vaccinated ”

The authors picked 3 counties which all show > 99.9% vaccination of eligible population. That looked to me like a data error and the authors should have checked this. For example the official Georgia DPH site lists the current vaccination rate in Chattahoochee County as just 20%. Similarly the official NMDOH site has McKinley county is shown as currently 86%.

Sorry for the multiple comment spam. The comment system kept glitching for me and it wasn’t clear that anything had posted. Next time I’ll try waiting longer…

It’s possible, I suppose, that Subramanian didn’t understand how the paper would be picked up and used by anti-vaxers… if he’s really, really stupid. But given that the paper still includes an endorsement of vaccination efforts, albeit a very weak one, I suppose it’s best not to put the authors in the “anti-vax” bucket. I’d say “COVID minimizing” is a more appropriate rubric. What’s telling of the politics here is not just the line about “learning to live with COVID-19” but how they define “non-pharmacological prevention efforts” which amounts mainly to asking people to do keep social distancing and wash their hands more often. That’s some serious, effectively denialist weak-sauce right there. Now, if it’s true that “The sole reliance on vaccination as a primary strategy to mitigate COVID-19 and its adverse consequences needs to be re-examined, especially considering the Delta variant” what “non-pharmacological intervention” may actually “need to be put in place alongside increasing vaccination rates”? Could that be, say, masking mandates? Now why didn’t Subramanian and Kumar mention those? (Nudge, nudge, wink wink…)

And, except for Doug, no one seems to want to take even the tiniest steps towards the dance floor. C’mon you immunology experts, contest my argument that Covid vaccination pror to natural infection will interfere with the benefits of such infections

Which benefits?
The chance of dieing?
The chance of long covid?
The chance of ending in an ICU?
The chance of ending in a hospital for some time?
Or just the chance for sick-leave for several weeks?

From Israeli study you are constantly touting:
“In model 3, we matched 14,029 persons. Baseline characteristics of the groups are presented in Table 1b. Examining previously infected individuals to those who were both previously infected and received a single dose of the vaccine, we found that the latter group had a significant 0.53-fold (95% CI, 0.3 to 0.92) (Table 4a) decreased risk for reinfection, ”
You notice that nothing was robbed from people having natural immunity. Actually, vaccination decreased risk for reinfection.

From Israeli study you are constantly touting:
“In model 3, we matched 14,029 persons. Baseline characteristics of the groups are presented in Table 1b. Examining previously infected individuals to those who were both previously infected and received a single dose of the vaccine, we found that the latter group had a significant 0.53-fold (95% CI, 0.3 to 0.92) (Table 4a) decreased risk for reinfection, ”
You notice that nothing was robbed from people having natural immunity. Actually, vaccination decreased risk for reinfection.

Aarno, that’s comparing the unvaccinated to the unvaccinated who were boosted. It’s not comparing the the vaccinated who had two doses of Pfizer vaccine to the unvaccinated who had none. When they did that calculation, they found that the unvaccinated who had prior Covid were –13 times!–more protected against reinfection than the vaccinated.

Notably, Israel with over 60% of their population fully vaccinated had the highest COVID-19 cases per 1 million people in the last 7 days. The lack of a meaningful association between percentage population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases is further exemplified, for instance, by comparison of Iceland and Portugal. Both countries have over 75% of their population fully vaccinated and have more COVID-19 cases per 1 million people than countries such as Vietnam and South Africa that have around 10% of their population fully vaccinated.

Yeah, you are so full of it Subramanian and Kumar! I am going to shut you up right now with US states’ data. The CNN article below reports great news of Covid cases declining in 36 of the 52 states. That means they are increasing are holding steady in just 30% of states, fellows.

Now, Subramanian and Kumar, we know the top three vaccinated states are Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. I can guarantee you that they are not included as states with holding cases or increasing cases. I guarantee you their cases are also most definitely falling.

Let me check. Just a minute now; yes, almost there. Holy shit! All three are counted amongst the 30% of states with holding steady or increasing cases.

It means nothing, Subramanian and Kumar! Just another example of the ecological fallacy at play. Yes sirree Bob!

https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2020/health/coronavirus-us-maps-and-case

This is all the pig-wrestling I plan to do here today, but since Greg brought up the subject of most vaccinated states…

The four states (Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Maine) with the highest percentage of residents vaccinated against Covid-19 in the U.S., all rank in the bottom ten nationally for death rates from Covid-19 per 100,000 people.

By contrast, the four states with the lowest Covid-19 vaccination rates in the U.S. (West Virginia, Idaho, Wyoming and Alabama) all rank in the top four for Covid-19 death rates nationally.

http://beckershospitalreview.com/public-health/states-ranked-by-percentage-of-population-vaccinated-march-15.html

http://beckershospitalreview.com/public-health/us-coronavirus-deaths-by-state-july-1.html

Greg will have to look for a new shiny object to try to distract us from these glaring facts.

Strawman alert, Dangerous One! And, I will say, one I already addressed.

We cannot consider cases of sickness and deaths in a vacuum. We must also consider how well the vaccines are controlling the virus, particularly, eliminating it. If we are not eliminating the virus, lives saved today might not be so tomorrow. Case in point, Colin Powell was a double vaccinated success story yesterday.

Dangerous One, Subramanian, Kumar and myself are pointing to the clear examples of the vaccines doing a poor job at controlling the virus. This is not good.. Dangerous One, please advise if you’re understanding all this.

Case in point, Colin Powell was a double vaccinated success story yesterday.

Can it just be nuked now?

“We know where the weapons are. Somewhat north south east and west of Tikrit and thereabout.” — my memory of what he said

I am most dreadfully embarrassed. That may have been Donald Rumsfeld who is unsurprizingly equally dead now.

Powell had leukemia so what is rummy’s excuse? Old age? What a pussy.

FWIW, I sometimes choose not to engage with commenters who do not even attempt to argue in good faith. Although occasionally I’ll see a reference that merits investigation. Some people don’t even provide that.

It seems that Vermont is trending on the current list of cherry-picked anti-vax gotcha claims.

I decided to add a comparison for the six most vaccinated versus six least vaccinated states to see how that affected the delta wave in their states. i added Massachusetts and New Hampshire, Louisiana and Mississippi to your lists. The plan is to look at cases and deaths in the periods 20% below the delta peak and 50% below as well. It’s still ongoing because a couple of the vaccinated states are hovering at their crest and only two of the less vaccinated states are below 50% again.

But here are some observations.

The more vaccinated states controlled the spring outbreak better with summer lows ranging from 4-46 cases vs. 26-295 for the less vaxxed.

The less vaccinated states peaked sooner from 13 August to 16 September compared to 13 September to 16 October (???). New Hampshire and Vermont are still hovering around there peak and may not have reached it yet.

The Delta peak for Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island were less than 40% of their winter peaks and only Vermont exceeded its winter peak. For the less vaxxed states, only Idaho and Wyoming fell short of their winter peaks. The other 4 states ranged from 29 to 46% higher.

Alabama appears to have gotten off lightly with only 3.84 deaths per 100K in the 20-20 part of the peak. The other 5 low-vax ranged from 22.91-41.65. The four more vaxxed states ranged from 0.64 to 4.54. So clearly vaccinations save lives!

And overall, Vermont’s CFR was running 0.944% compared to 1.72% in Alabama or 1.18% in Idaho for instance. Again vaccines and other preventive measures like wearing masks and social distancing save lives.

So Vermont is climbing because they were one of the last states to take off in the delta wave. It had nothing to do with their overall performance or the effectiveness of the vaccines except that vaccines clearly delayed the surge in cases. And Vermont is averaging only 53.6 deaths per 100K, the lowest of the many states I have been tracking. The 6 low vax states are averaging 284 deaths per 100K!

I’ll do an update in a few weeks when there is more information.

I decided to add a comparison for the six most vaccinated versus six least vaccinated states to see how that affected the delta wave in their states. i added Massachusetts and New Hampshire, Louisiana and Mississippi to your lists. The plan is to look at cases and deaths in the periods 20% below the delta peak and 50% below as well. It’s still ongoing because a couple of the vaccinated states are hovering at their crest and only two of the less vaccinated states are below 50% again.

But here are some observations.

The more vaccinated states controlled the spring outbreak better with summer lows ranging from 4-46 cases vs. 26-295 for the less vaxxed.

The less vaccinated states peaked sooner from 13 August to 16 September compared to 13 September to 16 October (???). New Hampshire and Vermont are still hovering around there peak and may not have reached it yet.

The Delta peak for Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island were less than 40% of their winter peaks and only Vermont exceeded its winter peak. For the less vaxxed states, only Idaho and Wyoming fell short of their winter peaks. The other 4 states ranged from 29 to 46% higher.

Alabama appears to have gotten off lightly with only 3.84 deaths per 100K in the 20-20 part of the peak. The other 5 low-vax ranged from 22.91-41.65. The four more vaxxed states ranged from 0.64 to 4.54. So clearly vaccinations save lives!

And overall, Vermont’s CFR was running 0.944% compared to 1.72% in Alabama or 1.18% in Idaho for instance. Again vaccines and other preventive measures like wearing masks and social distancing save lives.

So Vermont is climbing because they were one of the last states to take off in the delta wave. It had nothing to do with their overall performance or the effectiveness of the vaccines except that vaccines clearly delayed the surge in cases. And Vermont is averaging only 53.6 deaths per 100K, the lowest of the many states I have been tracking. The 6 low vax states are averaging 284 deaths per 100K!

I’ll do an update in a few weeks when there is more information.

Squirrel, you ever find yourself lamenting that it’s easier to explain the Theory of Relativity than how these ‘miraculous’ vaccines are such a boon to us all? Shame, it couldn’t be more crystal clear.

@Greg There are, of course studies about vaccine effectiviness against COVID infection (not just against severe cases):
mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness against the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants and severe COVID-19 disease in Qatar
Hiam Chemaitelly, Hadi M. Yassine, Fatiha M. Benslimane, Hebah A. Al Khatib, Patrick Tang, Mohammad R. Hasan, Joel A. Malek, Peter Coyle, Houssein H. Ayoub, Zaina Al Kanaani, Einas Al Kuwari, Andrew Jeremijenko, Anvar Hassan Kaleeckal, Ali Nizar Latif, Riyazuddin Mohammad Shaik, Hanan F. Abdul Rahim, Gheyath K. Nasrallah, Mohamed Ghaith Al Kuwari, Hamad Eid Al Romaihi, Mohamed H. Al-Thani, Abdullatif Al Khal, Adeel A. Butt, Roberto Bertollini & Laith J. Abu-Raddad
Nature Medicine volume 27, pages1614–1621 (2021)Cite this article
Analogous effectiveness against B.1.351 infection was 61.3% after the first dose (95% CI: 56.5–65.5%) and 96.4% after the second dose (95% CI: 91.9–98.7%).

Notably, Israel with over 60% of their population fully vaccinated had the highest COVID-19 cases per 1 million people in the last 7 days.

This illustrates one of the ecological fallacies of COVID-19. The current situation is that Israel is 49th on the list of countries in reported cases per million population for the last week. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/weekly-trends/#weekly_table

Countries such as USA, Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Malaysia, Georgia, Turkey and even Cuba are above them on the list.

In terms of reported deaths per million population, Israel are in 71st place, which is a much more meaningful statistic.

Little Montenegro has the second highest reported infections of COVID-19 of any country at 213,000 per million, but sits 13th on the list of countries for infections per million in the last week and 15th on the list of deaths per million. Could this be because Montenegro only has 37% of its population fully vaccinated compared to 62% for Israel?

That getting natural immunity doesn’t seem to be working out too well for Montenegro.

Then there is Georgia, which has had 166,000 reported COVID-19 infections per million. It sits 4th on the list of countries for cases in the last 7 days and 16th for deaths. I wonder if lack of vaccination is why Georgia is in this unenviable position?

There’s a really simple example of this to do with means, or averages. Imagine you’ve got two groups of ten people, A and B. Group A has an average height of 170cm, and group B has an average height of 168cm. If you randomly select one person from each group, who is more likely to be taller, someone from group A or B?

The intuitive reaction is to say that someone from A is going to be taller than B, because the mean height is higher. However, this is not necessarily true. You can have a mean height of 170cm caused by two 200cm giants and eight 162.5cm people, and a mean of 168cm with six 170cm people and four 165cm people. In this case, 80% of group A is shorter than everyone in group B, which means that you’ll almost always get a taller person in group B if you pick randomly.

In other words, the average of a group isn’t always representative of the individuals.

Yes, and I can see rhe effect screwing up results for two groups, but you would think the more groups you study, on average, things should balance out with it having a neglegible impact, if any. This study compared 68 groups!

Interestingly, it’s not just that vaccination leader Vermont is reporting increasing cases. It is the –freaking!- leader for all the states for increasing cases.

-Vaccination rate still not high enough. Looks like over 85% is best.

-Absolutely no restrictions.

you would think the more groups you study, on average, things should balance out with it having a neglegible impact, if any

No, you would, because you still don’t understand the concept, as amply demonstrated by this misguided remark.

Another example. New South Wales has been trickling along with 300 to 400 cases of COVID-19 a day (off their peak of 1500 a day), despite more than 81% of the eligible population having been fully vaccinated. South Australia has 0 cases even though it has yet to reach 60% of the eligible population fully vaccinated.

OMG those vaccines don’t work.

The key confounding factor is that South Australia stamped out its delta variant incursion with a 7 day state-wide full lockdown, freedom-loving New South Wales didn’t do enough and now the incursion is too widespread to eradicate.

By the way, more than 70% of the cases in New South Wales are in completely unvaccinated people, so maybe that vaccination is doing something after all.

Quoting myself…..

We could update this example by giving the proteins a number to represent sublineages. So s1 could be the original spike protein; s2 could be delta, and s3 could represent delta plus. The spike antibody can still detect any of these sublineages, it is just slower detecting the ones with the greater numbers.

There is something interesting here to reflect on; is it even possible that the mRNA vaccinated person can ever become immune to Delta (s1) or Delta Plus (s2). Remember the person is getting infected with those sub-lineages because his original ‘s’ antibody is slow in recognizing them. Imagine then a vaxxed person infected with one of those sub-lineages, and the infection clears but what is to prevent him from being re-infected if no new learning is occurring to update him with specific s1 or s2 antibodies. Could it be that mRNA vaccinated people will just keep re-infecting each other with those newer strains for life? Yikes! Best then to rethink vaccine mandates and passports. Aarno, JT, Athaic, Foolish Physicist, Numb or Doug, please advise

Of course, vaccined persons are immune to delta variant:
Reis BY, Barda N, Leshchinsky M, Kepten E, Hernán MA, Lipsitch M, Dagan N, Balicer RD. Effectiveness of BNT162b2 Vaccine against Delta Variant in Adolescents. N Engl J Med. 2021 Oct 20. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc2114290. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34670036.
The estimated vaccine effectiveness against documented SARS-CoV-2 infection was 59% (95% confidence interval [CI], 52 to 65) on days 14 through 20 after the first dose, 66% (95% CI, 59 to 72) on days 21 to 27 after the first dose, and 90% (95% CI, 88 to 92) on days 7 to 21 after the second dose.
You could just read PubMed to get your answers
Not to mention, that is you are right, there could not be natural immmunity against delta variant either (it does have spike protein, too).

Of course, vaccined persons are immune to delta variant:

Aatno, I suppose this may depend on how we ‘define’ immune. Are they immune in that their antibodies will eventually detect the variant and clear it, or are they immune in the sense that their antibodies will completely shut the door on the variant. If it’s just the former, some may argue that they are not really immune, and which will also make the study you cited irrelevant.

This paper is abnout delta variant, you spoke about it..So currently, they are immune.
No immune system can shut door to variant. Mutation happen in the virus itself.

So, Belgium like Singapore despite having a high vaccination rate is also seeing a surge in cases. And, what is the suggested solution? Well, more vaccines, of course!

What is the logic behind this thinking? Will covid vaccination upend everything we know about a linear relationship, and increasing vaccination will continue to yield higher cases until vaccination reaches 100% and cases instantly plummet?

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/belgium-enters-fourth-covid-19-121925248.html

And in Israel, cases are going down, indeed after more vaccination. To should cite papers about vaccine efficiency, actually.

Quoting myself….

And, why has UK buck the trend of cases dropping in NA and amongst its European neighbors. UK and Israel are two countries in a unique situation of rolling out the vaccines quickly before a great portion of their populations were naturally infected. Both countries have a smaller cohorts of unvaxxed people to bring their cases down.

By the same token, I believe countries such as India will prove to be the best at beating Covid in the long run. India suffered a brutal Delta surge before they ramped up their vaccination. Cases are now relatively low in India due to a fair portion of their population having built up superior natural immunity. They may forever be the envy of the rest of the vaccinated world having to grapple with ‘the original antigenic sin’.

And, I am still waiting for the ‘smsrt’ people here to respond: If the mRNA vaccinated person’s immune system was trained just to zone in on the original spike protein and no new learning is occurring after this initial exposure, will that person’s immune system not just continue to be slow to react to the mutated spike proteins such as Delta, Delta Plus and others? Is continual reinfections with these sublineages not possible?

Nussenzweig et al, paper you love, reports plasma neutralising sctivity is greater among vaccinated. So number of vaccinated does not count.
There are lots of studies about vaccine efficiency against delta variant. I cited one previously.
As I have said any number of times, natural immunity is against current variant. There are number of antibodies against current variant. They may or may not work against any fuure variant.

As I have said any number of times, natural immunity is against current variant. There are number of antibodies against current variant. They may or may not work against any fuure variant.

Let’s reflect on this ‘you too’ defense by Aarno to take the heat off the original antigenic sin plaguing mRNA vaccination. Let’s go back to our example of a person being naturally infected with a Covid-2 pathogen expressing proteins a, b,c,d and s. The person’s immune system will build antibodies against each of those antigens to ward off future reinfections.

Now, Let’s imagine the virus re-emerging at a later time to infect the person but now it’s expressing proteins e, f, g, h, and I (here, there may be the argument that it has mutated so much that it’s no longer Covid-2 but let’s play along that it still is); of course, the person will have no antibodies to fight this reinfection, and Aarno would be right to say this is an example of the original antigenic sin also plaguing natural immunity.

Yet, Aarno may be technically correct but not practically so. Having fully escaped the antibodies’ surveillance, innate and adaptive immunity can once again team up to create new antibodies to fight the infection. Remember, it is the suppression of innate immunity that is impeding the formation of new antibodies.

A pathogen that evolves to completely evade the mRNA vaccinated s-protein would also result in the creation of new antibodies; the original antigenic sin would also be overcome. Unfortunately, it is not likely with the Chinese furin insert making the s protein so infectious and beneficial to the virus. It is not likely to lose that protein.

We are left then with natural immunity’s diverse antibodies being our best option against the original antigenic sin where Covid-2 is concerned.

Nussenzweig et al, paper you love, reports plasma neutralising sctivity is greater among vaccinated

And, how would we score this with our pathogen example. Well…

Natural immunity antibodies: 20-a, 20-b, 20-c,20-d, 20 -s, total 100 antibodies

mRN vaccination: 150-s, total 150 antibodies

Woo hoo!! Way to go vaccination immunity at kicking natural immunity’s ass!

Let us speak about t cell immunity, which is more relevant to viral infections
Visvabharathy L, Hanson B, Orban Z, et al. Neuro-COVID long-haulers exhibit broad dysfunction in T cell memory generation and responses to vaccination. Preprint. medRxiv. 2021;2021.08.08.21261763. Published 2021 Aug 9. doi:10.1101/2021.08.08.21261763
Pathogens suppress immune system, and this suppression could be long haul. I suggest that you start citing papers about T cell memory.
As usual, you misunderstand original antigenic sin. In these case of variant, immune response is mounted from immune memory. This could be good enough, if difference is not great, as delta variant shows. Besides of that, it palgues natural immunity, too.
Repetitio est mater studiorum. So I say again, immune system would mount antibodies against current variant. These may or may not be enough to defend against new variant. Effectivity does not depend of number of antibodies, but number of mutations.
.

There is antibodies against spike protein only, because spike protein is used for vaccinarion. Non suppression is involved
Speaking about your paper, you missed that it says that vaccination causes robust immunity.
Similar thing happens with Nussenzweg et al. I actually says that plasma neutralizing activity is greater against vaccination. You keep forgetting that. Youn could, just for fun, start listing actual COVID proteins.

Unfortunately, it is not likely with the Chinese furin insert making the s protein so infectious and beneficial to the virus. It is not likely to lose that protein.

I was mildly amused at Gerg’s ham-handed attempts at rebuilding virus taxonomy in his own image, but this one is just mind-bendingly hilarious.

Speaking about your paper, you missed that it says that vaccination causes robust immunity.

And, let’s try this again. Let’s see how ‘robust’ is defined in context of our imagined Covid pathogen

Natural immunity’s antibodies targeting pathogen with n representing sublinages: An, Bn, Cn, Dn, Sn (S1 – original covid, S2 -Delta, S3-Delta Plus, and so on)

mRNA’s antibodies targeting pathogen: Sn

For mRNA vaccination does ‘robust’ means the spike antibody is targeting lots of n’s?

For mRNA vaccination does ‘robust’ means the spike antibody is targeting lots of n’s?

Sorry, Aarno, you said we should just stick to Tcells with viral infections; but, as I explained to JT, wherever the plasma cells go isn’t it so too for T-cells?

Also, Aarno, talking about the original antigenic sin, I was quite aware that its memory cells that fight future infection. Again though, I think you’re being too much of a stickler on this when we all know that plasma cells evolve into memory cells.

@Greg Paper MedicalYeti cited reports that 90% of neutralizing antibodies target one parrt of spike portein (RBD). This is what <i menat with robust.

So, still confused about the quotes below with Aarno explaining that vaccination provides more robust immunity?

There is antibodies against spike protein only, because spike protein is used for vaccinarion. Non suppression is involved
Speaking about your paper, you missed that it says that vaccination causes robust immunity.

And…

Greg Paper MedicalYeti cited reports that 90% of neutralizing antibodies target one parrt of spike portein (RBD). This is what <i menat with robust.

Let’s summarize these with our Covid pathogen example

Antibodies against pathogen by natural immunity: An, Bn, Cn, Dn, Sn (n<than for vaccines)

Antibodies against pathogen by mRNA vaccination: Sn (n>than for vaccines)

So, we begin by clarifying that ‘n’ is not in reference to the number of proteins but the different subtypes of proteins. For instance, S1 would be original spike protein, S2 would be Delta, and S3 would be Delta Plus, and so on.

Obviously, natural immunity is more robust in the sense that really matters in that it produces more diverse proteins; Aarno, however, is arguing that when we strictly consider the spike protein and its subclasses, vaccination is more robust in that it produces more subtypes.

So, now that we’ve come to the end of the chase, were Aarno and company being deliberately misleading in an effort to conceal the most important fact, and especially the one that has the most significant implication as it pertains to ‘the original antegenic sin’. I will leave it up to the kind readers to decide.

@Greg It is you who constantly talk about antibodies. So start speaking T cell memory instead, and check long haul COVID first., It is T cell dysfunction coming with natural immunity.

@Greg The paper said that 90 % of neutralizing are targeted one part of spike protein. This quite robust would you say ?

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41579-021-00573-0#Sec11

Essentially: Vaccination results in similar levels of neutralizing antibodies and memory T cells. The memory T cell response is just as robust. BOTH vaccinated and previously-infected individuals have issues if they encounter a NOVEL spike. Getting sick instead of just getting the vaccine, ONCE AGAIN, comes with no additional advantage but with significant potential disadvantages…including DEATH.

Essentially: Vaccination results in similar levels of neutralizing antibodies and memory T cells

Quote?

Hey! Looks like the FDA has just approved Pfizer’s vaccine for kids. And — why not?! It’s never too early to start an individual off on a pharmaceutical treadmill for life.

@Greg
The plasma neutralizing activity and the numbers of RBD-specific memory B cells were found to be equivalent to those of plasma from individuals who had recovered from natural SARS-CoV-2 infection (59)
It says, too, that 90% of antibodies are against spike protein in any case.
I guess the kids have received antibiotics before that, so this is your” introduction to pharmaceutical threadmill”.

@Greg There is a paper about vaccination and T cell memory
Low dose mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccine generates durable T cell memory and antibodies enhanced by pre-existing crossreactive T cell memory
View ORCID ProfileJose Mateus, View ORCID ProfileJennifer M. Dan, Zeli Zhang, View ORCID ProfileCarolyn Rydyznski Moderbacher, View ORCID ProfileMarshall Lammers, View ORCID ProfileBenjamin Goodwin, View ORCID ProfileAlessandro Sette, View ORCID ProfileShane Crotty, View ORCID ProfileDaniela Weiskopf
doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.06.30.21259787
“Low dose (25 μg) mRNA-1273 elicited durable Spike binding antibodies comparable to that of convalescent COVID-19 cases. Vaccine-generated Spike memory CD4+ T cells 6 months post-boost were comparable in quantity and quality to COVID-19 cases,”

Hey! Looks like Greg is as clueless about vaccine approval as he is everything else, because he doesn’t understand the difference between an advisory committee recommendation and actual approval.

No. That’s not what Tregs do. That’s not what anything in that article says.

Greg, you are the most amazing example of motivated reasoning and monomania since MJD.

Vaccines activate immune system, they do not shut it down

Before Covid mRNA vaccines I remember reading one of the biggest challenge with the technology was overcoming the immune system attack on the RNA before it was in place. Imagine we now have mRNA vaccines and I have heard next to nothing about how that challenge was overcome. Hhmmnn!

Wait! I think I just struck gold…

An immune evasion strategy which employs viral immune evasion proteins has been proposed to enhance mRNA translation. In nature, viruses have evolved a plethora of immune evasion proteins to counteract host antiviral responses during viral infection. By co-delivery of mRNA encoding immune evasion proteins and mRNA-of-interest, immune responses triggered during transfection are effectively suppressed, and translation of mRNA-of-interest is greatly enhanced. Such applications have been reported using vaccinia virus derived E3, K3, and B18R (EKB)10 and influenza A virus derived NS111,12.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-48559-6

Everything that is being proposed here confirms Foshe FH et al finding…

<

blockquote
The response of innate immune cells to TLR4 and TLR7/8 ligands was lower after BNT162b2 vaccination, while fungi-induced cytokine responses were stronger

@Greg You forget that the mRNA of a mRNA vaccine is packed inside lof a iposome. That protects it.

The response of innate immune cells to TLR4 and TLR7/8 ligands was lower after BNT162b2 vaccination, while fungi-induced cytokine responses were stronger
The same paper says that vaccination elicit a robust immune response. So obviously, no immune suppression is happening.
.

<

blockquote>
You forget that the mRNA of a mRNA vaccine is packed inside lof aiposome. That protects it.

Suppose you meant ‘liposome’. Yeah – but it stounds like there was lots of frustration there. Could see Biontech peers throwing their hands in the air in frustration and exclaiming, ‘To hell with this! We will knock out the toll-receptors and let her rip. Seriously — how much cancer will we cause with such a brief shutdown!”

<

blockquote>
We believe that valuable lessons can be learned from the clinical translation of siRNA–LNPs. Many of the components used in LNPs to deliver mRNA have also been used to deliver siRNA. Several clinical studies delivering siRNA in LNP carries have been conducted in recent years [141]. While the exact composition of formulations used to deliver the much larger mRNA molecules will likely be different from the ones used for siRNA, many of the challenges involved are the same [142]. Among the most problematic are the potential toxicity of LNP components, including cationic lipids, phospholipids or combinations thereof. The immunogenicity of PEG and the decreased interaction of the LNPs with the endosomal membranes that hinders endosomal escape are also important issues for both siRNA and mRNA delivery.

The remaining challenges for LNP–mRNA vaccines involve the complexity associated with identifying the best formulation. In this respect, a major challenge of all vaccine research is that antibody titers and T-cell counts are ‘second-order’ effects, indicating that they are not a direct result of immune cell transfection, but instead, a result of how well these cells promote the immune response. Consequently, lymphatic drainage and transfection potency are not the only features that need to be considered. Two different LNPs, for example, may be able to drain to the lymphatics and transfect DCs exceptionally well. However, the measurable outcome may be completely different if one LNP fails to activate the appropriate signaling pathways that result in a complete immune response. Hence, there is currently no high-throughput assay to efficiently evaluate different formulations and to predict in vivo immune responses, as well as to address dosage and side effects.

Another challenge is that detailed mechanistic knowledge, for example, of how LNPs assist in endocytosis and endosomal escape, is still lacking, thereby making the rational improvement or design of LNPs very difficult. For most formulations, the bottleneck has not been identified, whether it is endocytosis, endosomal escape, stability of the mRNA, DC activation or something different. Findings from protein or protein–LNP vaccines are only helpful to a certain extent, because antigen processing and presentation is completely different for mRNA–LNP vaccines. Even when optimizing the transfection efficiency of the LNPs, there are differences that need to be considered. Another challenge is the definition of a standard for how the potency of LNP formulations should be determined. For this purpose, the community uses different administration routes and different antigens at variable time points. Much like the expression of luciferase is a standard for mRNA-based protein replacement therapeutics, the mRNA vaccine community needs to establish its own standards.

Besides improvements to the vector, the community should not forget the payload itself. The true power of mRNA–LNPs over naked mRNA is the coadministration of various different signals to the same cell as well as the decoration of the LNPs with targeting ligands. LNPs need to be developed further to potentiate this advantage and live up to their full potential. Furthermore, it is still unclear how the different administration routes behave for LNP-based mRNA vaccines. A comparative evaluation of LNPs is required for several administration routes to determine the optimal parameters for the desired vaccination.

Finally, mRNA vaccines will have to demonstrate that they are superior to DNA vaccines, and that there is not a significant reduction in potency upon translation from small animal models to humans. The first DNA vaccine entered clinical trials almost 20 years ago without a single product licensed for use in humans [143]. This is in part because the potency of DNA vaccines in humans has been lower than that suggested by preclinical studies in small animals [144]. A major advantage of mRNA vaccines over DNA vaccines is regulatory in nature. Both the regulatory agencies in USA and Germany, namely, the US FDA, and the Paul Ehrlich Institute, respectively, do not classify nonreplicating mRNA as gene therapy. This, in turn, eases the requirements for preclinical and toxicological studies [145]. mRNA vaccines represent a very exciting application with multiple clinical-stage applications. Currently, no LNP–mRNA vaccine has been tested in patients, because there are still a number of unanswered questions. Nevertheless, we believe that addressing these questions, including LNP composition, codelivered adjuvants and decoration with targeting ligands, will uncover the true potential of LNP formulations over other delivery vectors.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5439223/

@Greg You cite quite old paper, I see. Toll like receptors are involved, because they activate innate immune system. You will notice that no adjuvant is used.

As I have said before, best way to stop variants is stop the virus spreading

Gord Lord! – how long I have ignored this. I just can’t anymore!

Aarno, even if we were to achieve a 100% vaxxed rate, how will that stop the virus and variants if the virus is still locked in that ping-pong box where the vaxxed are just passing it around? Aarno, if the vaccines don’t kill the virus, what’s the point?!

Hell! – I won’t wait for an answer. I will just appeal to Orac.

Oh, Orac! Any chance you can encourage Denice to address some derangement issues Aarno might be suffering?

https://www.firstpost.com/health/covid-19-can-be-transmitted-by-fully-vaccinated-people-at-home-shows-lancet-study-10095961.html

Curiously, there was no link in the article to the reported research.

I suppose this sort of thing is to be expected when one gets one’s news from a site that is trying to sell some sort of disinfecting paint. It’s here and doesn’t do what Gerg assumed it did, unless he’s going to cross the Rubicon and insist that there’s no such thing as repeated infection from disease-based immunity.

Thanks Narad. From the Lancet article:

The SAR (Secondary Attack Rate) in household contacts exposed to the delta variant was 25% (95% CI 18–33) for fully vaccinated individuals compared with 38% (24–53) in unvaccinated individuals.

An excellent example of lying by omission. Vaccination cuts the SAR by around a third.

If there is no virus spreading, how virus can mutate. Estimation of heard immunity for delta variant 85%. So 100% vaccination rate is not needed.

@Greg do you not understand probabillty ? Vaccinated people spread disease much more probably than unvaccinated. Vaccine inefficiency is a minor correctiojn.
You should stop telling us than vaccinated people can spread COVID. This is well known. Tell us how probably this is.

If there is no virus spreading, how virus can mutate. Estimation of heard immunity for delta variant 85%. So 100% vaccination rate is not needed

Aarno, just about every highly vaxxed countries has achieved your ‘herd immunity’ when we factor in their natural immunity. Singapore, UK, Germany, Belgium and Protugal have around 85% or more of their adult populations fully vaccinated. Throw in their unvaxxed that are naturally immune, everyone of them has crossed your 85% ‘herd immunity’ threshold

Aarno, cases are continuing to rise in Singapore, UK, Germany, Belgium and Portugal. Why?!

@Greg People having natural immunity have been vaccinated, too, as you constantly complain. Tell us a country where this does not happen.

How can a product fail so miserably but be so lauded?!

You’re probably going to need AoA to reach step 2.

Remember the Russian lemon car, the Lada?

Not everyone can be a Canadian man-child.

And in Israel, and in US cases are going down. How you explain that.?

US cases are down because US is relatively less vaxxed, and a lot of their unvaxxed people have acquired superior natural immunity from the last Delta summer wave; the unvaxxed are driving the decline. Pay attention (and ‘surpisingly’, the MSM don’t seem to want to do so anymore) that the anti-mask, anti-lockdown, and anti-vaccine State, and the one with the most ‘demonic’ Governor, Florida, now has the lowest infection rate for all States.

Delta is also now hitting low vaxxed eastern European courntries such as Russia and Romania. Like the southern US Sates, their numbers will also eventually plummet.

High vaxxed western European Countries such as UK and Germany are also seeing increased cases. This is largely due to the vaccines waning and producing a more pronounced effect over the large asymptomatic vaxxed cases that they are masking. Expect these countries to continue with high cases until they introduce boosters.

Isreal’s cases are going down largely due to their introduction of boosters. This will prove only temporary and their cases will rise again.

Yes, the vaccines are a failure and talk of them reducing sickness and deaths doesn’t change this. Talk of them saving people is comparable to a ship capsizing in the deep, cold, torrentious, shark infested south,Pacific Ocean and throwing the victims floatees. If the vaccines are not eliminating the virus, they are saving squat.

Quoting myself….

High vaxxed western European Countries such as UK and Germany are also seeing increased cases. This is largely due to the vaccines waning and producing a more pronounced effect over the large asymptomatic vaxxed cases that they are masking

Indeed, for highly vaxxed countries, we saw a surge in UK and Israel, then Singapore, and now Germany and Belgium. What explains this order? This is the order in which they rolled out their vaccines, and also likely correlating with waning immunity. Expect surges to follow for the other highly vaxxed western European countries and Canada.

Oh, c’mon, Gerg, you’re an immunology heavyweight! You said so yourself. Why don’t you go back to explaining the SARS-CoV-2 “Chinese furin insert” and why it is “not likely” that a coronavirus will lose its spike protein? It’s not fair to just leave people hanging like that.

And in Israel, and in US cases are going down. How you explain that.?
Your own link says this:”The infection numbers are unusually high today, mostly due to many COVID-positive cases detected by the testing laboratories within a few hours in the afternoon,”
Of interest, Singapore is a city state, with hogh population density

And, where is Athaic throughout this immunology discussion. She is usually such a keener on these topics. Athaic, don’t fight it; c’mon girlfriend, show me what you got! I’ve been shooting off my big mouth and bout time another heavyweight shut it for good 😆

This was really stupid thing to say. Below my expectation, actually. I thought that at least has ability to co ntrol your mouth, if nothing else.

This was really stupid thing to say. Below my expectation, actually. I thought that at least has ability to co ntrol your mouth, if nothing else.

Seriously — where was the offense?. Did you miss the post where I thanked Athaic for being my immunology inspiration and how such knowledge helped me with a personal family challenge?

Indeed, I picture Athaic as that cute, nerdy girl –lady!– that has always been such a science wiz. It’s obvious you, Athaic, Joel, Foolish Physicist, JT and maybe Doug are the immunology heavy hitters around here. Which pupil doesn’t relish the spar with his mentors?

Oh — I see what’s going on! You are jealous with me seeking Athaic’s attention. You are afraid she will spoil this immunology bro-mance. How petty, Aarno!

Athaic, please ignore Aarno and his insecurities! Please join in on these discussions.

Indeed, I picture Athaic as that cute, nerdy girl –lady!– that has always been such a science wiz. It’s obvious you, Athaic, Joel, Foolish Physicist, JT and maybe Doug are the immunology heavy hitters around here. Which pupil doesn’t relish the spar with his mentors?

Please stop

Let’s consider our Covid pathogen example and it’s Sn. ‘N’ represents different spike protein where 1 is the original, 2 is Delta, 3 is Delta Plus, 4 is Etna, and so in. I am assuming there are a finite number of mutations that are possible; if so, has there been any modeling to say how many.

Another point, infectious strains such as Delta occur because the immune system was trained with the original spike protein and is slower at recognizing the other proteins; well, if ‘the original antigenic’ prevents the updating of the antibodies, what is to stop the person from continually getting re-infected with Delta?

Let’s consider our Covid pathogen example and it’s Sn. ‘N’ represents different spike protein where 1 is the original, 2 is Delta, 3 is Delta Plus, 4 is Etna, and so in.

So, just random coinages? Finiteness isn’t going to be your problem.

Reviewing my immunology lecture from earlier and quoting myself…..

Essentially, natural immunity or other vaccines won’t save us. We are permanently locked into this mess. All we can do is keep boosting and change the concoction now and again when the virus mutates sufficiently and the immune system starts reacting too slowly.

And, now I am thinking that even tweaking the boosters with Delta specific mRNA won’t be successfull in overcoming ‘the original antigenic sin’ and providing precise antibodies to fight that particular variant. Let’s think it through:

We go back to the drawing board and come up with a new mRNA code for Delta antibodies, while also imprinting in that message the code to temporarily knock-out the toll-like receptors that helps the person fight cancer; yes, Aarno, we also enclose the RNA in liposome for extra insurance that the RNA will go where it is supposed to without being attacked by the immune system.

Anyway, things go as planned and infected cells start producing Delta-specific Spike proteins. Great! Yet, what does the immune system do? The original spike antibodies recognize those proteins and an attack is launched by those antibodies and not new Delta-specific antibodies. Shoot! ‘The original antigenic sin’ strikes yet again. 😔

Folks, these are not just my speculations. Re-reading that NY article I found the ‘rat’ hiding in plain sight..

Moderna’s Dr. Jacqueline Miller told an FDA advisory panel last week the company is studying variant-specific boosters now to learn if they offer advantages, and to be ready if they’re needed.

And Penn’s Wherry said it is critical to carefully analyze how the body reacts to updated shots because the immune system tends to “imprint” a stronger memory of the first virus strain it encounters. That raises questions about whether a subtly different booster would prompt a temporary jump in antibodies the body’s made before — or the bigger goal, a broader and more durable response that might even be better positioned for the next mutations to come along

So, there you have it! It’s not just me speculating, or Nussenszweig et al finding that memory B-cells are not diversifying after mRNA vaccination; it’s the researchers confirming that early imprinting (aka – ‘the original antigenic sin’) is a problem. Pfizer hasn’t tweaked its vaccine because they realize doing so would be useless!

I really can’t emphasize enough how mRNA vaccination has put us in hell. Bossche’s biggest fear is that mass vaccination may create escape variants. I’d say that’s not entirely the worst situation if we can find other solutions.

Right now we have no solutions; not natural immunity or other vaccines, or even boosters! Except for the smart few who refused the vaccines and got infected, everyone else is screwed. No wonder the CDC is now selling fairytales.

https://www.nbc4i.com/community/health/coronavirus/cdc-study-covid-vaccine-stronger-than-natural-immunity/

We go back to the drawing board and come up with a new mRNA code for Delta antibodies, while also imprinting in that message the code to temporarily knock-out the toll-like receptors that helps the person fight cancer

Gerg, please tell everyone what a vigorous TLR-4 response correlates with in COVID-19 cases.

As I said, cite vaccine efficiency data. You accept my data ? They show that, even in Singapore, most COVID cases are among vaccinated. That includes original antigenic sin and delta variant. Mess will end when we will have herd immunity

@Greg So what is problem with CDC data ? Tellus what it is. You have cite papers about T cell memory at all. This is more important when viral diseases are concerned.

Obvious explanation is current vaccine is avaiable now, but developing new vaccine takes time. You should start testing third dose

As I have said any number of tmies, original antigenic is not specific to vaccines. It is caused by a variant that causes an insufficient immune response from a immunological memory. Currently vaccine efficiency is high, so this is not happening yet.

And, Aarno refuses to cry ‘uncle’. Opus, how can I be faulted?!

Aarno, we have every reason to suspect that the original antigenic sin is fueling the prolongation of the pandemic. Consider UK studies finding over 90% of their population had antibodies, and suggesting they were vaccinated or naturally infected: even with the waning vaccines, surely some of those vaccinated folks who were naturally infected should have picked up some of the slack and prevented the surges that we are seeing in highly vaxxed countries.

Those vaccinated folks who were subsequently infected with the original strain are not picking up the slack. Their antibodies repertoire after being infected is not being updated to prevent Delta, and they are vulnerable to REPEAT Delta infections.

As I stated, there is nothing special about Delta or other variants for that matter. They are merely the offsprings of the original antigenic sin from experimental mRNA deployment. I will also add, we can easily prove this. Buckets to donuts testing breakthrough cases will also yield Nussenzweig et al finding that there is no diversifying of antibodies for those infected cases.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/articles/coronaviruscovid19latestinsights/antibodies

Quoting myself…

Those vaccinated folks who were subsequently infected with the original strain are not picking up the slack. Their antibodies repertoire after being infected is not being updated to prevent Delta, and they are vulnerable to REPEAT Delta infections.

And, I can’t repeat enough what a blunder Singapore is. Singapore has a 85% fully vaxxed rate. If 50% of the remainder are unvaxxed people who were infected, that would be immunity of over 92%. Even if it’s only a third of the unvaxxed that is naturally immune, that would be overall immunity of 90%.

So, even with waning vaccines, what else could explain their ridiculous surge? The only other explanation is those infected with the virus are not providing the level of immunity they ordinarily would have.

@Greg Original antigenic sin is not about mRNA vaccines, it has been known
before. As I said before, it is about mounting imperfect immune response from immune memory.
Where do you get idea that 90% have antibodies against COVID 19. (I guess you do not mean vaccination, but before vaccination). Your own pet paper (Israeli study about natural immunity) showed that previously infected benefit from vaccination, so original antigenic sin does not apply there.

@Greg Vaccines are effiecient aginast delta variant:
Effectiveness of Covid-19 Vaccines against the B.1.617.2 (Delta) Variant.
Lopez Bernal, Jamie; Andrews, Nick; Gower, Charlotte; Gallagher, Eileen; Simmons, Ruth; Thelwall, Simon; Stowe, Julia; Tessier, Elise; Groves, Natalie; Dabrera, Gavin; Myers, Richard; Campbell, Colin N J; Amirthalingam, Gayatri; Edmunds, Matt; Zambon, Maria; Brown, Kevin E; Hopkins, Susan; Chand, Meera; Ramsay, Mary.
N Engl J Med ; 385(7): 585-594, 2021 08 12.
With the BNT162b2 vaccine, the effectiveness of two doses was 93.7% (95% CI, 91.6 to 95.3) among persons with the alpha variant and 88.0% (95% CI, 85.3 to 90.1) among those with the delta variant.
Actuslly Singapore daily cases are going down. No journo, of course, are telling that.

Your own pet paper (Israeli study about natural immunity) showed that previously infected benefit from vaccination, so original antigenic sin does not apply there.

You thought you had the last word, didn’t you? You thought you shut me up for good. Well, you didn’t!! I had a busy day today, so — deal with it!!

Joel, natural infection before mRNA vaccination is not the same as mRNA vaccination and natural infection following. In the first case, you get the full breadth of antibodies (A,B,C, S, N, etc). MRNA vaccination that follows will give you more S (what is recognized), and you will be more protected against reinfections. Here, the antigenic sin acts positively

In the other scenario, mRNA vaccination provides a single type of antibody, S. Natural infection that comes after will only upgrade your S, and failing to provide you with the other antibodies (A, B, C, N, etc). You are left more vulnerable to reinfections than in the first scenario. Here, the antigenic sin acts negatively.

Aarno, the global orgy to vaccinate every person on earth is leading to the second scenario ruling. Your refusal to accept this would be comical if it didn’t carry such sinful ramifications. You are forcing people to have their immune system hijacked and rendering them permanently vulnerable to Covid. And, if this was sinful enough, you are now going after the kids.

Sorry, Aarno, ‘what choice do we now have’ doesn’t make it less of a crime.

Quoting myself….

natural infection before mRNA vaccination is not the same as mRNA vaccination and natural infection following. In the first case, you get the full breadth of antibodies (A,B,C, S, N, etc). MRNA vaccination that follows will give you more S (what is recognized), and you will be more protected against reinfections.

Indeed, when we vaccinate the previously exposed, all we are doing is topping up their S antibodies and no other types. That is why the Israeli study found those folks were only 1.5 more protected over the just exposed and that protection didn’t last.

Again, mRNA vaccination and boosters is the continual bombardment of the immune system with S antibodies. It’s trying to solve a problem with quantity as opposed to quality.

@Greg You missed the point, as usual. I spoke what is actually happening. We have natural infection followed by vaccination, and immunity improves. Response is not suboptimal, so there is no antigenic sin involved, when we speak about mRNA vaccines.

@Greg Actually. Israel situation improved after a peak caused by ending the lockdowns.
Booster shots are for people in risk groups.

It’s trying to solve a problem with quantity as opposed to quality.

Finally, the Pauli exclusion principle arrives on the scene.

Great, now it’s “replying” to someone who hasn’t even been in the comments.

Indeed, I mistyped ‘Joel’ for ‘Aarno’, Narad. Must credit Joel also for his ‘mentorship’. I remember him mentioning how amazing the immune system is at fighting cancer but it just reacts to slowly at times. He made the same comment in respect to Covid.

Reading all the hoop-lah about all the new variants, it’s sad how much the public is being lied to. No one wants to fess up that the imprecise vaccines are just too damn slow.

Who’s in charge of record-keeping around here?
.
It looks to me like Gerg has set a new, modern-era (post-th!ngy) record for “Most attempts to squeeze ten pounds of shit into a 5-pound bag” but I am having trouble finding the official scorecard. Can anyone help?

Man does the ‘honourable’ people who sit on the sidelines and complain about all the shit-flinging, but they are secretly considering whether to join in bug me. Stop fighting it, Opus.

Oh Gre-eeg, you know what you were saying about the vaccines lacking effectiveness against new variants?

Oh Jul-eey, think you’re late to the table!

https://alexberenson.substack.com/p/the-cdc-hits-a-new-low/comments?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email&utm_content=share&action=share&token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjo4MjIyNjYyLCJwb3N0X2lkIjo0MzMxODE1MSwiXyI6IjNDRUNYIiwiaWF0IjoxNjM1NjQxNDg4LCJleHAiOjE2MzU2NDUwODgsImlzcyI6InB1Yi0zNjMwODAiLCJzdWIiOiJwb3N0LXJlYWN0aW9uIn0.2MAs-JYeGf6-jWjyIgl3DjR3sRvBEtGWJxaYTUaTLKI

“Berenson seems to enjoy spelunking through research to find esoteric statistics that he then dresses up with spooky language to make confusing points that sow doubt about the vaccines…”

Boy. This sounds familiar.

Thanks Narad and Medical for doing such a thorough job at rebuffing Benson’s criticisms of the study. Who can claim that you guys are up to the usual tried and tested ‘shoot the messenger’ antics!

Seriously though, imagine if ‘antivaxxers’ had come up with such a stinker of a study. It would’ve been retracted before the lead author typed ‘ABSTR’.

he then dresses up with spooky language to make confusing points that sow doubt about the vaccines

It works, if only he is able to work out the idiograms and phonons/phonograms https://youtu.be/aTDyJ8n6ySk?t=4539

Talk to whales? Like I’ve nothing better to do. At least, I can pretend it is expensive.

It would be unfortunate if the researchers created a bot that could converse fluently with a whale but the researchers couldn’t understand a word.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2021/10/someday-we-might-really-be-able-talk-whales/620552/

Deal with it. Or don’t.

@Greg Israeli paper has an explanation:
When allowing the infection to occur at any time before vaccination (from March 2020 to February 2021), evidence of waning natural immunity was demonstrated,
You, of course, did not notice that either.

So, when I first opened the discussion about mRNA vaccination being particularly susceptible to the antigenic sin, ‘Doug’ interjected saying it wasn’t a problem for other protein vaccines targeting other diseases. I was hoping he would’ve stuck around and provide more info, but JT poisoned the well, suggesting I wasn’t interested in a good faith discussion. I think that maliciousness scared Doug away. JT, I am waiting for your apology, and I am also considering taking the matter up with Orac

Anyway, the article below provides a list of different vaccine types. Reviewing them, is it fair to say, of the different types, mRNA vaccination is at greatest risk to the antegenic sin?

https://www.hhs.gov/immunization/basics/types/index.html

MRNA vaccines are essentially protein vaccines, because it is protein that confers protection.
Doug referred probably the flu vaccine. Influenza virus is a separate beast.

<

blockquote>
MRNA vaccines are essentially protein vaccines, because it is protein that confers protection.
Doug referred probably the flu vaccine. Influenza virus is a separate beast.

So, if we consider all the other type of vaccines, it would appear mRNA is most prone to fall victim to the antigenic sin. Only it targets a sole antigen and which will lead to the production of antibodies lacking breadth. This is bad where viruses are concerned in that they often have many proteins and they mutate quickly.

Supposedly, mRNA was previously studied in cancer research. I can see that mRNA targeting cancer better. With cancer, we need that pinpoint precision to target those abnormal proteins that differ from normal proteins. I would also think that cancers mutate slower than viruses

@Greg One can make ten hypothesis before the breakfast. You must actually prove your hypothesis. Cite a paper about mRNA vaccines anf original antigenic sin,

Greg One can make ten hypothesis before the breakfast. You must actually prove your hypothesis. Cite a paper about mRNA vaccines anf original antigenic sin,

Ohh!! — the absolute outrage! Why don’t you have some decency and just stay down? This is pitiful that I have to continue pummeling away. Where is Orac in all this? Orac, Aarno is getting badly injured, why don’t you stop the fight?!

What papers do I have on mRNA vaccination and the original antegenic sin? Aarno, I also don’t have any that being in a cage with hungry lions is detrimental to one’s health!

Aarno, we have Nussenzweig et al reporting that b-memory cells are not diversifying after mRNA vaccination. We have the UK weekly surveillance report with its footnote that the vaccinated have lower N-antibodies. We have Pfizer reps expressing concern that ‘early imprinting’ might interfere with efforts to tweak their boosters.

Aarno, checking things out on the street, we see just about every highly vaxxed Western European country is now seeing a surge. Seriously, Aarno, check Worldometer figures from yesterday; they are ridiculous! Aarno, with how long the pandemic has been going on, surely many of those vaccinated Europeans would’ve also been naturally exposed; why does it appear that their natural immunity is not helping?

And, again, contrast these countries with less vaxxed India and Brazil. These countries have far larger populations but their cases are much less, and are stable or slightly declining. If it’s not the antigenic sin, Aarno, what is it?!

And, while we are at it, pay attention also low vaxxed Romania. With their recent surge, cases are starting to trend downwards there. Just like they did in the Southern US and India. I will also wager that in about a week cases will also start falling in low vaxxed Russia. All these places can benefit from natural immunity because mRNA vaccination and the antegenic sin is not impairing it.

Quoting myself…

We have the UK weekly surveillance report with its footnote that the vaccinated have lower N-antibodies

And, the study below is suggesting they are missing out — bigly!

PS: Must also remember to update my example pathogen antibodies to S, E, M and N

This approach allows examination of viral assembly, budding, stability, maturation, entry and genome uncoating involving all of the viral structural proteins (S, E, M, N) without generating replication-competent virus.

https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abl6184

Yeah — I am still here. But — that’s only because Aarno provoked me after I planned to leave!

Quoting the press release……

The N protein plays a key role in stabilizing and releasing the virus’ genetic material once it enters the body.

Professor Lawrence told MailOnline that the process was ‘a bit like wrapping up sweets’.

‘I would describe the effect of the Delta N protein as enhancing the process by which the virus genome is packaged into virus particles.

Ok, let’s think this this through some more: Step 1 – the virus uses its S hook to latch on to cells; Step 2 – once it latches on to a cell, it uses its N protein for efficient transfer of its genome into the caught cell.

But, if antibodies recognize the virus and act before Step 1, why would Step 2 matter? It wouldn’t, but the issue is how quickly the antibodies recognize the virus and shut the door. If it’s slow in doing so, Step 2 would indeed matter.

This is why natural immunity is so superior. It is targeting all the proteins (S, E, M and N), and this leads to quicker recognition of the virus before it does damage.

So, can Biontech not go back to the drawing board, knocking out those toll-like receptors that prevent cancer to introduce new proteins. In that N, or E or M for that matter is different than S, the antegenic sin should not factor in and preventing the acquisition of those corresponding antibodies. Why not upgrade the antibodies repertoire then?

I could see it as a practical problem with having to sell the public way more boosters. Also, with additional boosters the harms are compounded. Seriously, nevermind myocarditis, or Bell’s, or infertility issues, or autoimmunity, but how much can we keep shutting down those toll-like receptors before everyone’s second visit to the doctor is one to the oncologist?!

@Greg You think I am outrageous if I say that you should prove your hypothesis. This is really stupid. Use Google Scholar to get papers.
As an example, read this:
SARS-CoV-2 infections elicit higher levels of original antigenic sin antibodies compared to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccinations
Elizabeth M. Anderson, Theresa Eilola, Eileen Goodwin, Marcus J. Bolton, Sigrid Gouma, Rishi R. Goel, Mark M. Painter, Sokratis A. Apostolidis, Divij Mathew, Debora Dunbar, Danielle Fiore, Amanda Brock, JoEllen Weaver, John S. Millar, Stephanie DerOhannessian, The UPenn COVID Processing Unit, Allison R. Greenplate, Ian Frank, Daniel J. Rader, E. John Wherry, View ORCID ProfileScott E. Hensley
doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.09.30.21264363
There is lots of relaxing the restrictions happening. This would lead to a surge, which will taper down. Rememebr your fovorite case, Israel ?

@Greg You know, people with no antibodies whatsover can survive COVId:
Two X-linked agammaglobulinemia patients develop pneumonia as COVID-19 manifestation but recover
Annarosa Soresina,Daniele Moratto,Marco Chiarini,Ciro Paolillo,Giulia Baresi,Emanuele Focà,Michela Bezzi,Barbara Baronio,Mauro Giacomelli,Raffaele Badolato
So you should really speak about T cell memory.
But neutralizing antibodies can be useful, too. You speak about binding antibodies, which is another thing,

Greg You think I am outrageous if I say that you should prove your hypothesis. This is really stupid. Use Google Scholar to get papers

Orac?!

It’s all good, Aarno. I couldn’t find any papers, so now I am running my own tests on mRNA vaccination and the original antegenic sin from my basement lab. In fact, just yesterday I reached out to Sahin from Biontech for help in upgrading my sequencing modulator.

Aarno, have you heard the saying that, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence? Aarno, let me come at things from a different angle: What possible explanation can account for the UK surveillance report finding that N-antibodies are lower in the vaccinated?

https://boriquagato.substack.com/p/original-antigenic-sin

The paper Aarno cited is actually ‘interesting’. It is saying that prior covid exposure is producing less diverse S antibodies to Covid-2 than what is conferred by mRNA vaccination. This makes sense when we consider that mRNA vaccination trains specifically for Covid-2 S antibodies.

But, by the same logic, would this not also imply that mRNA vaccination cannot upgrade its E,M and N because it wasn’t trained for that, and, where as, previous natural exposure was?

@Greg The paper mentioned that natural immunity is more prone to original antigenic sin exactly because there are more antibodies. Things are not as simple as you think.
You can of course look for papers all by yourself.

Things are not as simple as you think.
You can of course look for papers all by yourself.

You returned, Aarno, but you completely ignored my question. I am not asking you to cite papers; all I am asking is for any ‘theory’ that you can forward to account for the UK surveillance report that found that N-antibodies are lower in the vaccinated. Anything, Aarno!

The Soresina et al paper that Aarno cited is interesting in another way. It seemed that at least one party was interested in the original antigenic sin, yet the research was limited to only considering S-antibodies.

We can look at things two different ways; maybe everyone thought E, M and N wouldn’t be important and maybe now they are just starting to have a change of heart, or maybe the ‘oversight’ was detected a lot sooner and and that led to deception.

@Greg So you accpet that original antigenic sin is not involved. Actually ones needs vaccine efficiency data. This will wikll show actual results.

@Greg So you really thin that there is cecorship ? As I said before neutralizing antibodies are most important.

Greg So you accpet that original antigenic sin is not involved. Actually ones needs vaccine efficiency data. This will wikll show actual results.

Orac, I think your intervention here is warranted. I asked Aarno a simply question that he is refusing to answer. It’s obvious he is arguing in bad faith, and banishment might serve as a sensible punishment at this point.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide, but I will give him one more chance to answer. Aarno, what is your opinion or ‘theory’ as to why the recent UK surveillance report found lower N-antibodies in the vaxxed?

@Greg You can cite that recent survey, so I can check what it actually said. Your ability to quote mining is phenomenal.

Greg You can cite that recent survey, so I can check what it actually said. Your ability to quote mining is phenomenal.

Aarno, Aarno, Aarno….

The link I sent provided a link to the actual UK surveillance report. The claim is right there on page 22 of the report and is as described.

Aarno, the entire audience, including Narad, is restless and really wants to go home. Quit stalling, Aarno. Again, why would N-antibodies be lower for the vaxxed? Again, if you don’t have an answer, say so.

https://boriquagato.substack.com/p/original-antigenic-sin

Greg You can cite that recent survey, so I can check what it actually said. Your ability to quote mining is phenomenal.

The link to the actual report is right there in the article, Aarno. Please answer the question.

Greg This is Berenson cutting & pasting; Cite the actual report

Orac, do you see what I mean? Aarno is a honest to God troll. I am trying to have a straightforward science discussion with him, yet he keeps stalling and stalling. How much of this nonsense do we have to put up with, Orac, before he gets the boot?!
I’ll try once more.

Aarno, this is the link to the report, and you just download the document. The text is on page 22 and it reads exactly as Berenson showed.

Aarno, why are N-antibodies lower for the vaxxed. Aarno, if you don’t know, just say so.

Seropositivity estimates for S antibody in blood donors are likely to be higher than would be
expected in the general population and this probably reflects the fact that donors are more likely
to be vaccinated. Seropositivity estimates for N antibody will underestimate the proportion of the
population previously infected due to (i) blood donors are potentially less likely to be exposed to
natural infection than age matched individuals in the general population (ii) waning of the N
antibody response over time and (iii) recent observations from UK Health Security Agency
(UKHSA) surveillance data that N antibody levels appear to be lower in individuals who acquire
infection following 2 doses of vaccination.
Vaccination has made an important contribution

https://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=AwrJ6y_SKYxhh6QArFY5ByI5;_ylu=Y29sbwNiZjEEcG9zAzEEdnRpZAMEc2VjA3Ny/RV=2/RE=1636604498/RO=10/RU=https%3a%2f%2fassets.publishing.service.gov.uk%2fgovernment%2fuploads%2fsystem%2fuploads%2fattachment_data%2ffile%2f1027511%2fVaccine-surveillance-report-week-42.pdf/RK=2/RS=QMaSo2qFXe.Jb0ft6KHR1mRtfnQ-

And, while we wait on the troll, I want to report that I dropped in at Bossche’s twitter to check out his latest video with Dr MacMillan. Bossche laid out his argument on the dangers of vaxxing kids.

Interestingly, what Boosche seemed to be arguing runs counter to the original antigenic sin. Bossche described kids getting infected and their innate response building broad cross-reactive antibodies. He explained thosee antibodies last about 6-8 months, and, if they are boosted by repeat infection, they will go on to form broad, cross-reactive memory antibodies.

Bossche explained, however, that the problem occurs when the vaccinated child or individual acquies spike antibodies that bind tightly with the virus, and out competes the natural, cross-reactive antibodies. This is the opposite of the original antigenic sin where we would’ve expected the initial natural antibodies to dominate.

I must say, if Bossche’s assessment is correct, this is an even more depressing situation. At least with the original antigenic sin, there is hope for individuals that were infected before their vaccination.

https://t.co/KBu3mxMFoP?amp=1

@Greg If you actually read the report, you will notice why Berenson (or Greg) did not want to give the link
a) There are vaccine effectiviness numbers
b) Only minimal amount of antibodies circulating in the population are caused by infection
c) Relation between antibodies and disease protection is comples, and not known.
As for N protein antibodies, are they that important ? Theybare not neutralizing antibodies, Check vaccine efficiency numbers instead.
As for N protein antibodies, are they important ? There are not

As for N protein antibodies, are they important ? There are not

K, let’s try this again. Aarno, I am about to ask you a question. Your options are to answer the question or say you don’t know. Oh! — I will give you a third option; you can also say you refuse to answer the question. Aarno, are the rules clear? Good! Let’s begin…

Aarno, the UK surveillance report, week 42, reported lower N-antibodies for the vaxxed. Aarno, do you have an opinion why this is the case?

N-antibodies are lower in the vaxxed because 1) the course of their illness is milder, and 2) they clear the infection faster.

It was well established, long before vaccines were authorized, that mild and asymptomatic cases resulted in lower antibody titers. Not for every individual (see title of this blog post), but there is a correlation between high antibody titers and severity of disease. One of the selling points of the vaccines was that they produced titers similar to severe disease. Now, we have strong evidence that natural infection is much more likely to result in severe disease than breakthrough infections. So that is one factor.

We also know that people who are vaccinated clear breakthrough infections much faster, 6 days as opposed to 10-14 days for natural infection. There are several factors involved here, many of which tie back to the first point. S-antibody titers wane over time after two vaccinations (we’ll see what happens with boosters), so eventually they drop to a point where breakthrough infection is much likelier to occur (still much less likely than in unvaxxed). However, the lower titers still blunts the attack, slowing down the internal spread of infection and reducing the severity. This buys time for the memory cells to ramp up and produce more S-antibodies and other defenses before the infection can overwhelm the immune system. Additionally, the S-protein is on the outside of the viral membrane in a very exposed position. This allows the S-antibodies and the memory cells to activate immediately. The N-protein, on the other hand, is only found inside the viral membrane. Therefore, the immune system can’t even see it until after a cell has been infected and the toll-like receptors have done their job and caused it to be presented on the cell surface. Then the immune system has to develop antibodies from scratch, validate them, and ramp up production. (Also, N-antibodies can’t target free virions, just identify infected cells to be killed) This process takes several days. In the meantime, S-antibodies have already started to quell the infection. With the infection stopped, N-antibody production gets aborted.

Additionally, because the vaccines don’t have the N-protein, there is no imprinting (“original antigenic sin”) to worry about. Imprinting can only affect individual antigens – if a vaccine only contains S-protein, only S-antibodies can imprint. So if we are seeing low N-antibodies in breakthrough infections, that means the vaccine-derived S-antibodies are still doing the job, even if at lower efficacy. BTW, that means that vaccines with S-antibodies only are a great design if you are worried about imprinting, because that gives a backup plan using the other structural proteins.

Lookey, it’s good’ol Kevin to the rescue; Aarno’s rescue! Kevin is going to put this standoff to bed.

It was well established, long before vaccines were authorized, that mild and asymptomatic cases resulted in lower antibody titers

Wait, Kevin, hasn’t the sermon all along been that the vaxxed have higher S-titers? Isn’t that what Nussenzweig et al found?

Additionally, the S-protein is on the outside of the viral membrane in a very exposed position. This allows the S-antibodies and the memory cells to activate immediately. The N-protein, on the other hand, is only found inside the viral membrane.

Kevin– what the hell does that have to do with anything?! At most, it’s argument for N-titers being lower than S-titers. It does not explain why the vaxxed have lower N-titers. What – are you suggesting that, incredibly, the S and N proteins are found in different places for the vaxxed and unvaxxed?!

Additionally, because the vaccines don’t have the N-protein, there is no imprinting (“original antigenic sin”) to worry about.

Oh, the release! Haa! I get to go home.

Now, why were you so reluctant to chalk things up to the original antigenic sin, Aarno? Kevin is suggestimg you guys didn’t really screw the pooch; it was actually all by design to avoid nasty imprinting! Wow! You guys are such magicians.

Kevin is also suggesting that this ‘design’ lends to sending folks back to the boosters buffet-table to top up their different antibodies when it’s deemed necessary. Wow! You guys are so gracious as always! How could I have seen things differently?!

Anyway, Aarno, with Kevin’s concession, everything is explained. You are off the hook, and I get to go home. I’ll also leave it to an audience member to find me a parting, celebration song 🎵 🥳

@Greg Antibodies work outside the cell. Thus antibodies against the spike protein are important.
N protein suppress innate immune system:
Mu, J., Fang, Y., Yang, Q. et al. SARS-CoV-2 N protein antagonizes type I interferon signaling by suppressing phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of STAT1 and STAT2. Cell Discov 6, 65 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41421-020-00208-3
Price of natural immunity is immune suppression

@Greg About M protein. You yoursefl said it is important inside the cell. Neutralizing antibodies prevent entry

@Greg In citing Bossche you are just ridiculous. Innate immune system do not create antibodies, adaptive system does. And what is problem spike antibodies tightly binding virus ? If this happens, virus would be eliminated by phagocytic cells

Greg In citing Bossche you are just ridiculous. Innate immune system do not create antibodies, adaptive system does. And what is problem spike antibodies tightly binding virus ? If this happens, virus would be eliminated by phagocytic cells

Maybe you guys should take up your beefs with Bossche. Heck — I don’t know why you guys don’t take him up on his offer for a debate and school him at a round-table.

I think Bossche’s ‘innate antibodies’ is in reference to the broad, cross-reactive antibodies that are initiated by the innate response, and even if it’s the adaptive system that completes them. Let’s not have this definition issue distract us from his central point; he is suggesting this innate response is being suppressed indirectly by mass vaccination breeding more infectious variants and directly by vaccination producing spike-specific antibodies that are out competing those ‘innate antibodies’, or innate inspired antibodies.

That these antibodies are eliminating the virus is irrelevant. What’s relevant is they are suppressing the formation of broad, cross-reactive memory antibodies that are ideal for dealing with future strains or mutations.

I’ll start taking Bossche somewhat seriously when he actually does a Phase I study of his natural killer cell vaccine. Until then, he’s just pushing a pig in a poke excuse to let lots of people die or suffer long-term effects.

What are these innate antibodies ? Perhaps you can give a citation ? I mean, if they are well known or at least have some plausibility, there would be paper describing them. Preferably written by someone other than Bossche,

“Drug dealers, pray to the pharma God that was just a glitch”

Now we’re drug dealers? Bwahahaha

I am somewhat sympathetic to this article. I agree with the writer on many points. Still, there is one important point where we differ. It’s not that we might not totally defeat Covid-2 and it might become endemic, circulating in low frequency with the occasional flare-ups. I am suggesting things may prove far more dire: The virus may never enter the endemic stage, and we might have a raging pandemic forever. Still, I appreciate that some are warming up to the signs of defeat.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/11/what-americas-covid-goal-now/620572/

Quoting myself…

The virus may never enter the endemic stage, and we might have a raging pandemic forever

Indeed, I am reading lots of stories suggesting the virus will become endemic in a year; some predicting by early spring. Checking Worldometer cases for countries, there is a worrying trend pointing against this.

What we find are cases plateauing in a lot of countries, and not moving downwards. Considering India, the superior natural immunity that they built from their last pre-vaccine, Delta surge led to cases plummeting significantly. At the rate they were going, you would’ve expected the decline to continue to the point of India becoming the first country to achieve endemic status. Yet, while their cases are relatively low, they are far from conquering the virus and things there have remained flat.

I believe this is due to the antigenic sin. The virus is trapped amongst their vaccinated population and with their restricted protection preventing clearance

I believe the same thing is occurring in the UK which has plateaued at a much higher level. This is due to UK being far more vaxxed. Expect the plateau to hold or get worse as the vaccines continue to wane.

Israel, as always, will be the ultimate test case of where things are at. If after widescale distribution of their third booster cases were to rebound then that would indeed prove hell has arrived. We are considering the nightmare scenario where mRNA vaccination traps the virus from escaping yet also not neutralizing it and preventing natural immunity from doing so.

@Greg Israel cases are going down, too, because of vaccine immunity. How big is natural immunity in India ? 35 million cases and population 1.3 billion. Let me laugh (it has become a habit, I see)
Vaccination reduce asymptomatic cases, too:
Angel Y, Spitzer A, Henig O, et al. Association Between Vaccination With BNT162b2 and Incidence of Symptomatic and Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infections Among Health Care Workers. JAMA. 2021;325(24):2457–2465. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.7152

Most of COVID cases are among unvaccinated. So future depends on number of people vaccinated.

Most of COVID cases are among unvaccinated

Just a mirage my dear man, Aarno. See it as an iceberg with a mountain of asymptomatic and temporary infections amongst the vaxxed below the surface and the symptomatic unvaxxed tip sticking out above the surface. Selling the vaccines largely involves pointing at the tip and ignoring the rest.

“…vaccination traps the virus from escaping yet also not neutralizing it and preventing natural immunity from doing so” I almost spit coffee out of my nose laughing. Keep these coming- they’re priceless!

In lieu of Aarno attempting to have the last word — I will not let you have it!! — I am done my presentation here. We covered a lot of science, and once again I showed my brilliance. I am sure we can all agree that– how do I say this? — I handed Aarno his ass on a platter.

Others such as JT and Doug briefly showed up for the fight, but ran away in a haze of bullets. Wise decision guys. Athaic, despite my invitation, also chickened out. And, Narad? Well, he interjected now and again with his usual C-language insults; I am sure you can all agree that none stuck.

Again, I feel there is nothing left to add. I will graciously leave others to have the last word — but not Aarno!! Cheers everyone.

Others such as JT and Doug briefly showed up for the fight, but ran away in a haze of bullets.

Nothing like a novel solecism to wrap that one up.

@Greg This wouantigenic ld go on forever. It would help if you cite an actual case of mRNA vaccines and original antigenic sin,
You could check, too, what original antigenic sin means in the case of flu vaccines, It is a minor reduction of effectiviness, not enough to make vaccination useless.

And, reading this half-witted tripe meant to ‘assure’ the public that the sun will soon be on the horizon, I noticed this gem. But, if vaccination rates are high, why would you need prior natural infection to help control cases? Could this be supporting my argument that there is a serious problem with the vaccines? Hhmmnn!

The variant has also contributed to rising infections in countries such as Singapore and China, which have high rates of vaccination but little natural immunity due to much stricter lockdown measures.

https://globalnews.ca/news/8346446/covid-pandemic-endemic-global-experts/

And, speaking of Gottlieb, has anyone been noticing the terrible job he is doing at the crystal ball. Back in Spring, he predicted that Covid was on its way out in the UK. Recently, he suggested Covid would wrap up in the US by Thanksgiving. Now, he is pushing it back to next year.

Was it Scott Allen that suggested the CDC was changing its expected death figures as they come in? Perhaps they also inspired Gottlieb.

PS: Make it easy on everyone, Aarno, and just stay down.

There is no explanation why high natural immunity is needed in the article. I wonder who the experts were. High natural immunity in India is a strange claim. Same apply to Porugal.

And, Aarno said I haven’t cited anything on memory T-cells. Here is a paper reporting that mRNA vaccination produces a durable, robust memory T-cells response up to six months after vaccination. Of course, this is Spike memory T-cells! And, what about M, N and E T-cells? Do they not matter, Aarno?

PS: Aarno, you are not allowed pass ‘go’, neither are you allowed to collect ‘$200’ until you first answer my previous question.

https://transformwithapurpose.com/pfizer-covid-19-vaccine-elicits-durable-specific-memory-t-cell-response/

Greg About M protein. You yoursefl said it is important inside the cell. Neutralizing antibodies prevent entry

Think Aarno meant N protein but nevermind. Aarno, I am claiming that entry is occurring due to slow antibodies response. Also, reflect on your argument that we should also consider memory T-cells. When do T-cells act, Aarno? They act after entry and cells become infected.

Quoting myself….

Also, reflect on your argument that we should also consider memory T-cells. When do T-cells act, Aarno? They act after entry and cells become infected.

And, now that got me thinking. Reflect on breakthrough cases where we are told they carry just as much viral load as the unvaxxed infected, but the breakthrough cases are also said to be less prone to serious sickness and death. Could it be those cases represent a total breakdown at the humoral level with the virus overrunning that response, and, as cells become infected, the cell-mediated response and T-cells are called upon to clear out infected cells and prevent serious sickness or death?

If that’s the case then maybe we should’nt just see strain infections such as Delta as caused by S-antibodies being slow to react, but totally ineffective; ‘why’ would become all the more pressing.

And, speaking of the humoral and cell-mediated responses, we can see natural infection and mRNA vaccination differing in these radical ways.

With natural infection, the virus is more likely to provoke a humoral response as it enters the body. If it goes on to infect cells, it will trigger a cell-mediated response, but the humoral response is not skipped.

With mRNA vaccination, on the otherhand, by injecting cells with mRNA, a cell-mediated response is directly triggered. Bypassing the humoral response in this way further raises the issue of what impact it will have on the quality and longevity of b-antibodies.

@Greg As your new immune theory, cite some papers ? Why do you think that infection starts with hunoral response ? (It does not). Why do you think that there is a failure in humoral immunity. ?

Cripes, I’m gone for three days and Puddinghead is still at it after claiming the last word? Please stop feeding it.

Please stop feeding it.

Yes, Narad, I was actually looking forward to wrapping up this thread, but I am having a little standoff with Aarno. He asked me to provide papers on the ‘original antigenic sin’ and mRNA vaccination, and I told him I wasn’t able to find any. In return, I also asked him to account for why the latest UK surveillance report found N-antibodies to be lower among the vaxxed, and he has not responded.

Aarno, for the love of God, please respond. Narad and others are quite bored with this never ending thread. Provide a simple explanation. If you don’t know, say so.

@Greg Response was robust, would that not be enough ?
SARS CoV2 entry to the cells is by spike protein, that is reason why antibodies against it are neutralising. Things that happen after cell entry can be prevented by preventing cell entry, obviously.
And can you restate our origional question. I have lost track, you have made so many claims,

Aarno, once again, I respectfully ask that you answer the question. The UK surveillance report, week 42, found that N-antibodies were lower for the vaxxed; what in your opinion accounts for this? If you don’t know, just say so.

Are N protein antibodies relevant ? They are not nueralizing antibodies, spike protein antibodies are.

How do you spell ‘failure’? By linking the Worldometer figures for today. Seriously,.cases are dramatically rising in just about every country in highly vaxxed Europe. Seriously, this includes Portugal with a fully vaxxed rate of 87%.

Who here will finally concede that we are dealing with a Lada and not a Lamborghini?!

K, let’s revisit Bossche’s argument. He described the unvaxxed child or person that first encounters the virus. He explained that asymptomatic child’s innate immunity will produce antibodies that clear the virus, and even if memory antibodies are not formed at this point. Then he contemplates a second scenario where not all the virus gets cleared and some gets into cells. In this scenario, restrictive(can’t think of another word suggesting they are not broad) spike antibodies result. He explained these antibodies will bind tightly to the virus, out competing the innate antibodies. He added the innate antibodies that are not out competed and do bind to the virus (think of him suggesting they are getting boosted) have a chance of going on to form broad, cross-reactive memory antibodies. Then he contemplates the last situation where we vaccinate the child and introduce more spike antibodies. Here, the innate antibodies will be totally out-competed, and there will be no chance of broad, cross-reactive antibodies forming.

So in sum, see Bossche as suggesting that the best ticket out of the pandemic would have been the quick production of broad, cross-reactive antibodies but with time and mass vaccination working in concert to defeat this.

Bossche’s argument does seem to account for why the vaccines appear to be struggling with the variants; they are not broad and cross-reactive enough. The original antigenic sin also accounts. Still, I am having some difficulties with certain peculiarities with Bossche’s argument. I am hoping folks here will also address them.

@Greg If you get something into your head, it does stay there. You are still speaking about antibodies, though T cell memory is more important there. Cross reactivity more likely leads to original antigenic sin. Having binding but not neutralizing is not actually good thing.

You are still speaking about antibodies, though T cell memory is more important there

Aarno, why don’t you also scold pharma and co and the other public health talking heads for always bringing up antibodies and not T-cells? Besides — as I also explained to JT, if plasma cells are not cross-reactive enough, why would we think T-cells would be any different?

Having binding but not neutralizing is not actually good thing.

Yes, and I think Bossche would agree that neutralizing antibodies ordinarily would be a good thing, but he is also suggesting the dynamics of this pandemic changes everything.

Look, I am not here to be Bossche’s spokesman, and I will even admit I don’t fully understand everything he is arguing. Also, I won’t even say that I am fully subscribing to the original antigenic sin; all I am trying to understand is why natural immunity seems to being such a poor job mitigating this pandemic.

To this end, Aarno, I just want you to answer a simple question. Aarno, put the audience out of suspense so we can all move on . Lord knows that I have been here long enough. I am sure many folks here are missing my participation on other threads, and they are greatly disappointed that I am bogged down in this way 😞 .

To this end, Aarno, I just want you to answer a simple question. Aarno, put the audience out of suspense so we can all move on . Lord knows that I have been here long enough. I am sure many folks here are missing my participation on other threads, and they are greatly disappointed that I am bogged down in this way

Aarno, I will leave it to one of Canada’s greatest song writer/lyricist to explain further.

PS: Think I am hearing the entire audience also humming along

https://ca.search.yahoo.com/search?ei=UTF-8&fr=crmas&p=let%27s+go+home+bubble+lyrics

K, maybe Bubble is too romantic. Can anyone in the audience name another great hit that fully captures the angst of generally being held captive?

@Greg Antibodies are stuff of Phase 1 trials. It is true, too, that if there are no antibodies, there are no defense either. Phase 3 trials are not abour antibodies, there are about disease protection.
I answered your question, and Kevin explained things to you. Hope that this is enough.

@Greg Innate immune system does not produce antibodies. If antibodies bind tightly to virus, phagocytes will clear the complex, so problem is over for this virus particle.

Europe is more highly vaccinated than US ? Nope. You do not cite even countries now.
Actually vaccination status depends on country. So cite country level data.

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