If you are a vaccine company executive, it's time to slam the brakes
Pfizer's CEO Albert Bourla sees the dangers ahead, as his very carefully worded interview (worthy of close review) with CNBC yesterday shows.
Remember NINJA loans?
NINJA stood for “No income, no job/assets.” Back in the mid-aughts, when the banks and not the regulators were the ones going crazy and setting the financial system on fire with free money, they were all the rage.
I remember hearing ads for them in 2006 and 2007 and thinking, this has to be a bait and switch. You cannot walk into Your Friendly MegaBank and walk out with a few hundred grand for a house with no proof you even have a job! A job seems pretty basic.
But you could. And people did. Lots of people.
Underlying this madness was a model, naturally. American housing prices had never collapsed nationally and simultaneously since at least the Depression. Therefore the models that the banks and mortgage originators used said they never would.
Therefore on a national basis the collateral - the houses - underlying the mortgages would always be fine, even if the borrowers couldn’t repay them. The lenders just needed to be in different markets to be geographically protected. Besides, the bankers were all reselling the loans and offloading the risk. They got paid up front, whether the loans were paid back or not.
It was a very good business.
Until it went bad.
“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.
“Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually, then suddenly.”
You remember 2008. You were there.
In a matter of months, the big banks became the most hated institutions in the United States. The desperation to blame them ran so deep that we all seemed to agree collectively that the borrowers were the victims. The people who had taken the money had no responsibility for signing those loans, much less repaying them.
Obviously, that formulation was simplistic. Many of the NINJA and similar borrowers no doubt understood the game they were playing. They were hoping to buy and flip houses they couldn’t afford.
No matter. They had lost. Anyway, we couldn’t make villains out of millions of ordinary people. So we understandably focused our anger on the Wall Street tycoons who had crashed our financial system and made hundreds of billions of dollars.
Fast-forward to 2022.
This time around the myth of the truly innocent victim is not a myth.
The hundreds of millions of people who have received shots of mRNA/LNP and DNA/AAV Covid vaccines had no real idea what they were taking.
They did so on the urging of the vaccine companies and health authorities, who told them that in doing so they would protect themselves and their families and end the Covid epidemic. The statements were public. Many are less than a year old. They cannot be suppressed or memory-holed, no matter how hard anyone wants to try.
Every single one of those statements has proven wrong - so wrong that the companies, which are at much greater legal risk than the public health authorities - no longer even try to defend them.
Here’s what Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chief executive officer, said on Monday in an interview on CNBC:
The hope is that we will achieve something that will have way, way better protection, particularly against infections because the protection against the hospitalizations and the severe disease, it is, it is reasonable right now, with the current vaccines as long as you are having let’s say the third dose.
Read those words very carefully.
Protection against “severe disease” is “reasonable right now” for people who have taken a “third dose” of Pfizer’s vaccine.
Put aside the fact that even those words are at best an optimistic interpretation of current data.
Put aside the fact that Pfizer has NEVER compared a three-dose vaccine regimen to a placebo in a clinical trial.
Put aside the fact that “reasonable right now” suggests that any effect of a third dose will not last.
What the chief executive of Pfizer is telling you is THAT IF YOU RECEIVED TWO DOSES OF HIS COMPANY’S VACCINE LAST YEAR, YOUR PROTECTION IS GONE.
Even against “the hospitalizations and the severe disease.”
You need to be “having let’s say the third dose” for protection against those.
I didn’t say it.
Pfizer’s CEO did. (And I can’t wait to see Twitter’s lawyers try to explain it when they defend my fifth strike. It goes WAY further than that tweet did.)
Most people don’t understand yet how badly they were conned.
But they will.
The raw numbers are stark - in Ontario, for example, 76 percent of hospitalized people and 56 percent of those in intensive care are now vaccinated. Both the raw numbers and the percentages have soared in the last two weeks.
The data out of Europe are similar. The only reason the American data look different is that we don’t get to see the raw numbers. Instead, health authorities provide meaningless adjusted rate ratios (adjusted for age of vaccinated people, but NOT for healthy vaccine user bias - the fact that frailest elderly people are often not vaccinated because they cannot be.) Further, American hospitals report people as unvaccinated when their vaccine status is “unknown,” further skewing the ratios.
But you can trust Albert Bourla: vaccine protection against severe outcomes drops over time - and drops much more quickly against the Omicron variant.
That’s one side of the coin.
The flip side is adverse events. We don’t know how bad those are after a third dose, much less a fourth or fifth or more. (How can we? Remember, the companies didn’t test three doses against placebo.)
But the third-shot myocarditis data looks bad. It suggests a dose-dependent response. And the rise in all-cause deaths across Europe in the last few months cannot be ignored, even if the health authorities are ignoring it.
I suspect the smartest people at the companies are increasingly aware of the potential crisis of repeated dosing. Which may be why Bourla also said in the CNBC interview, “I don’t know if there is a need for a fourth booster.”
What? In the same interview where Pfizer’s CEO warned people not to expect long-lasting protection from a third shot - “reasonable right now” - he also pivoted away from more boosters?
Instead Bourla talked up Paxlovid, his company’s new $530 per treatment antiviral. “This is where most of the effort of most of the governments is moving.”
Actually Paxlovid is basically unavailable right now; Pfizer has promised 120 million doses worldwide in 2022, but as of 10 days ago, only 180,000 were available.
So what’s Bourla’s game? Doesn’t he want to sell as many vaccines as he can?
Maybe not. Especially not with a drug that potentially can be huge ($530 x 120 million = $62 billion, give or take, and Pfizer won’t have to share it with BioNTech).
More important for Bourla, the real risk to Pfizer - and to him - comes from side effects. People will be angry when they figure out that they’ve been conned into taking vaccines that didn’t work. But most of them won’t be furious, especially since Omicron appears much milder than earlier variants. Zero efficacy probably won’t destroy Pfizer or get anyone indicted.
But side effects might. People will be FURIOUS if they think they been conned into taking vaccines that didn’t work and potentially hurt them, or their parents, or their kids.
Right now the rate of reported serious vaccine injury is just low enough that the companies and vaccine fanatics can argue it’s not real, it’s a statistical artifact, the VAERS reports are fake (they’re not), etc. The third dose appears to be changing that equation somewhat.
Who knows what future doses will bring? Nobody, including Albert Bourla, though his scientists may have shot up enough mice and monkeys to give him a better idea than the rest of us.
Unlike BioNTech and Moderna, Pfizer isn’t stuck with mRNA. It is a $300 billion pharmaceutical company that is busily taking its vaccine loot to buy lots of research. Plus it now has Paxlovid.
(Big investors have figured all this out, by the way. The stocks of BioNTech and Moderna are down more than 50 percent since the peak of the vaccine frenzy in August, while Pfizer’s is up 20 percent and near an all-time high. Like Big Pharma, Wall Street is a lot of things, but it ain’t dumb.)
So the prudent move for Albert Bourla, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, PhD., is to begin to tamp expectations for vaccines, slow-walk more boosters, and hope that Omicron does his job for him. His biggest problem is probably that the public health authorities are a lot stupider than he is and continue to push boosters.
I’d love to know what Pfizer is telling them privately. I’m gonna guess it’s not in email, though.