On Wednesday morning Moderna released supposedly positive data from a trial of its Omicron-specific booster mRNA shot.
Do NOT be fooled by the company’s spin on the data - a claim credulous reporters are gladly abetting.
In reality, the trial showed that Omicron-specific boosters don’t work very well against the Omicron variant. Even after being given an booster designed against Omicron, people made far fewer neutralizing antibodies against it than they did against the original coronavirus - which of course is no longer a threat.
How could Moderna say the trial succeeded, then? Because the Omicron booster did produce somewhat more neutralizing antibodies against Omicron than the original Moderna booster did.
The problem with this comparison is that the original booster basically stops working against Omicron after a few weeks. In fact, a growing body of evidence suggests that boosted people are MORE likely to be infected with Omicron than the unvaccinated.
So the Omicron booster works marginally better against Omicron than the original booster - which very quickly doesn’t work at all.
Welcome to the new definition of mRNA shot success.
Further, mRNA-generated antibodies wane almost immediately. Thus whatever marginal increase in antibodies that the Omicron-specific shot offers is unlikely to make any real-world difference for long. At most, the shot might provide two to four weeks of extra protection.
In other words, the variant-specific booster does nothing to solve the fundamental problem with the mRNA shots - that the supra-natural levels of antibodies they produce fade almost immediately, while they hamper broader immune responses.
But the third paragraph of The New York Times article describing the trial’s results is the terrifying one:
While those results seem encouraging on their face, many experts worry that the virus is evolving so fast that it is outpacing the ability to modify vaccines — at least as long as the nation relies on human clinical trials for results.
The key words there are “relies on human clinical trials.”
(We interrupt this very important story with an ad. Sorry.)
Welcome to the most cynical - and dangerous - effort yet by public health bureaucrats, vaccine companies, and the media to hide the failure of the mRNA vaccines.
Human clinical trials (note the careful use of the word human there) are the ONLY way to prove that a drug or vaccine works in, well, humans.
Sadly, we know now the mRNA vaccines do not work to stop coronavirus infection for more than a few months. And despite what the public health authorities insist, we don’t even know if they reduce severe disease or death from Covid for long after they stop working against infection.
Yes, coronavirus deaths are down in 2022 relative to Covid infections. That drop may have something to do with residual vaccine immunity, as vaccine advocates claim.
But other potential explanations are equally if not more plausible. The drop in deaths may be occurring because Omicron is less dangerous than earlier strains and Paxlovid somewhat effective when it is properly dosed. It may even be happening because after circulating for two years, Sars-Cov-2 has already picked off the most vulnerable people in the United States and Europe.
Finding a real answer to the way those variables interact would require serious, open-minded scientific research, the kind vaccine advocates at the Centers for Disease Control and elsewhere no interest in conducting. (Stop me if you’ve heard that before.)
So - faced with a vaccine that doesn’t work - what’s a vaccine advocate or company to do?
Well, they could always admit failure. (Stop laughing!)
In fact, vaccine advocates have taken tentative steps in this way with their mention of “second-generation” vaccines, coming not-so-soon to a pharmacy near you. (Do you remember anyone saying anything about these mRNA shots being “first-generation” when they rolled out in December 2020? Yeah, me neither.)
But considering that more a billion people have already been dosed, honesty is going to be tough for the public health bureaucrats - and well-nigh impossible for the companies, which have tens of billions of dollars in annual sales at stake.
Which leads to the other possibility, the one that the companies and advocates seemingly prefer - stop testing the vaccines in those annoying human clinical trials.
After all, if we don’t test the mRNA shots, we will have no clean data whether they are reducing Covid infections, much less hospitalizations or deaths. We will just have to guess using real-world data. That real-world data will be hopelessly biased in favor of the vaccines because of what is known as “healthy vaccine user bias” - the fact that people who are vaccinated tend to be more health-conscious and in better shape than those who are not.
Here’s the crucial fact: For vaccine advocates, the lack of good data will be a feature, not a bug.
Instead the vaccinators and the companies will take their best guess at the right spike protein to target. Then, instead of proving the mRNA shots actually have clinical benefit - that is, they actually reduce illness or death - they will simply show that the jabs cause people (maybe not even people, maybe just animals!) to produce antibodies.
Then they will roll them out just in time for the winter Covid season - supported by billion-dollar advertising and marketing campaigns and vacuous stories. Whether the shots actually work will not matter.
And not just for the fall and winter of 2022. This game will continue ad infinitum, unless the side effects from the shots become so overwhelming the vaccinators are forced to stop.
How do I know?
Because this is EXACTLY the strategy they have pursued with influenza vaccines - which don’t work on a population-wide basis either. (If they did, then increasing the number of annual flu shots in the United States from 20 million to 200 million in the last 40 years would have resulted in some measurable decrease in the number of flu infections and deaths - rather than coinciding with an increase).
The difference is that although flu jabs appear to be essentially useless on a population-wide basis, they are are also essentially harmless. The mRNA shots are not. At best, they cause nasty short-term side effects in many of the people who get them - side effects that are often worse than the coronavirus itself, especially for younger people.
At worst? We still cannot be sure. But many countries that aggressively pushed the shots last year and the boosters this winter are going through a wave of excess deaths right now that no one seems willing to discuss, much less explain.
Thus moving ahead with a strategy to push boosters this fall without large-scale clinical trials would be the most cynical and dangerous move from the public health authorities yet.
And that - unlike the data from the trial Moderna released today - is a very high bar to cross.
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