Archive for August 25, 2021

Causes for Mediocre Real-Life Efficacy of Current COVID-19 Vaccines

August 25, 2021 34 comments

Most readers must have, by now, heard or come across multiple instances of “breakthrough” symptomatic COVID-19 infections in “double-vaccinated” individuals- including many young and otherwise healthy ones. The rapidly increasing number of such infections, which are still being aggressively ignored by CDC and the establishment, make mockery of the initial claims of 94-95% efficacy for mRNA vaccines against COVID-19. In Israel, one of earliest and most vaccinated countries, breakthrough COVID-19 infections now account for over 60% of those requiring hospitalization. In response, the dumbfucks are mandating a third dose of the same vaccine- most likely because third time is the charm.

So what happened? How did vaccines will alleged efficacy of 94-95% at preventing even mild symptomatic COVID-19 underperform so badly in real life? Also, why don’t other currently available vaccines (except for Influenza A) fail at high rates? While every talking head on TV wants to blame “delta” or some other exotic sounding strain, the real reasons for the mediocre real-life efficacy of vaccines was very predictable, for a number of well-known and obvious reasons. As you will soon see, many of them have been well understood for decades and it says a lot about the current crop of “experts” that they either ignored them or were ignorant.

1] The fact that the dominant COVID-19 strain today comes from the “delta” lineage is, by far, the least important reason for why current vaccines have such mediocre efficacy- but let us talk about it anyway. The biggest factor behind why “delta” strains matter is that majority of significant mutations have occurred in spike protein of COVID-19, which is the only protein used in (or generated by) almost all currently approved vaccines. The antibody response to any virus is polyclonal (many different antibody lineages of varying specificity) and directed against all foreign proteins (antigens) expressed by that virus. Using a whole virus, in attenuated or inactivated form exposes the immune system to all viral antigens, including those much less able to undergo significant mutations.

Here is a fun fact, even non-neutralizing antibodies directed towards less “important ” viral antigens have an important role to play in the immune response. This is, for example, why only three strains of poliovirus can cover all possible mutations for that virus- or why a single strain of measles or yellow fever virus can cover almost any mutation in those viruses. This is why the most effective human and animal vaccines usually contain the whole virus in their inactivated and attenuated form. And yes, Hepatis B vaccine works well with a single antigen because HBsAg is strongly immunogenic and elicits a very good T-cell response in addition to B-cell mediated antibody production.

2] And this brings to the question of whether T-cell mediated immunity in combination with B-cell mediated immunity is more important for lasting immunity against viruses and other intracellular pathogens than just B-cell mediated immunity. Well.. as I said in the previous paragraph, there is more than one reason we prefer to make vaccines using the whole virus (inactivated or attenuated)- and this is the second one. As it turns out, non-surface viral proteins which are not involved in viral infectivity nonetheless also provide targets for the T-cells, including those involved in formation of immune memories. So even a virus with a partial “escape” mutation in its surface proteins/s will still trigger the T- cell mediated part of immune system and kickstart the immune response.

While it is more expensive and slower to measure than antibody levels, we know that T-cell mediated responses have the best correlation with duration of immunity conferred by an infection or vaccine. This finding holds for viruses ranging from smallpox (now extinct) to measles, yellow fever, rubella, chickenpox etc. As it turns out.. mRNA vaccines elicit a rather poor T-cell mediated response, even though they do a pretty good job making the body produce antibodies via a B-cell response. Even under ideal conditions, mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 as they exist right now (spike protein only) are unlikely to create long-lasting immunity. Recovery from natural infection does a much better job of stimulating a robust T-cell response in addition to a B-cell mediated one.

3] Then there is the issue of what types of antibodies are produced. The well known antibody classes (IgG and IgM), are also the only ones produced in response to current vaccines, remain within the bloodstream and tissues. They cannot, therefore, neutralize viruses until they enter the bloodstream or tissues. COVID-19, along with many other respiratory viruses, is far more likely to cause a local infection in the upper respiratory tract where it is out of reach (at least initially) of those two antibody classes. There is another class (IgA, especially the secreted subclass) which can be secreted into mucus and other bodily fluids to provide such protection- however the body makes such antibodies only after natural infection by the pathogen or an attenuated vaccine such as the oral polio vaccine.

In other words, injected mRNA vaccines or even current adenovirus-based ones were never going to be able to prevent localized infection by COVID-19 in the upper respiratory tract. Therefore those vaccinated with current vaccines will still get infected, spread the virus and likely get mild symptoms. This was always the case and anybody pretending otherwise is a lying shill or just plain dumb. If we had an inhaled vaccine based on an attenuated strain of COVID-19 or another attenuated live virus expressing the spike protein.. well, things would be quite different then. My point is that “experts” and establishment pretending that these vaccines could prevent transmission and mild symptoms was always a very stupid idea.

It is important to point out that vaccines of any type have lower rates of efficacy in the very old AND sick- who are, coincidentally, the most likely to die from COVID-19. As many of you also know, the majority of deaths from COVID-19 occurred in people who were above 80 AND in nursing homes or assisted living situations. In summary, the current crop of COVID-19 vaccines were created based on lame considerations- such as how flashy the underlying technology sounded rather than how effective it was likely to be in real life. It does not help that the clinical trials used to make the 95% efficacy claim were underpowered and fixed. To make matters worse, they were widely promoted to do things which they weren’t capable of doing. And you wonder why so many are skeptical of them.

What do you think? Comments?