By Dr. Alan Moy — It is critical that individuals are informed as to the actual risks and benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines. Unfortunately, the efficacy of the vaccines has been overstated and the hazards, understated. They are essentially security blankets, lending people a sense of comfort, but in reality, providing incomplete and unsatisfactory protection from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Editor’s note: This article is the second in a three-part series in which Dr. Moy discusses the medical and ethical dangers of COVID-19 vaccines and mandates, as well as legal implications for employers and educational institutions that force or coerce vaccination.
CLICK HERE to read Part 1, in which Dr. Moy provides a helpful primer on immunology and vaccine science and explains why the current COVID-19 vaccines are less effective than natural immunity and in the presence of variants. We recommend you read Part 1 before reading the article below.
Part 2: Efficacy overstated, hazards understated
The available COVID-19 vaccines are essentially security blankets. They lend people a sense of comfort, but in reality, they provide incomplete and unsatisfactory protection from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Moderna has reported that their mRNA COVID-19 vaccine elicits transient neutralizing antibodies. However, these antibodies have been observed to decline by 50% after 3 months for patients between the ages of 55 and 70 and by 75% for those over the age of 70.
Moreover, T-cell immunity was only documented in healthy, non-elderly individuals. It has also been well-documented that long-term smoking, obesity, diabetes and advanced age impair T-cell immunity or impede activation of T-cell immunity in response to vaccines. Thus, individuals who possess any of these risk factors may only achieve a modest humoral immune response and/or fail to achieve T-cell immunity, resulting in a false sense of security.
These individuals may be no more protected from infection than unvaccinated individuals.
Finally, these vaccines do not provide respiratory mucosal immunity, which can still permit nasal transmission.
The point of emphasis of COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials was a reduction in symptoms. The clinical trials did not evaluate viral transmission. In fact, reports from animal studies have documented that, in the wake of mRNA and adenoviral vaccine administration, viral particles were still present in respiratory secretions.
Therefore, one’s decision to take a COVID-19 injection provides neither absolute assurance to the public that one is protected, nor a failsafe against future transmission of the virus.
It is difficult to obtain herd immunity with subunit vaccines
The often-touted concept of “herd immunity” represents a point where a critical fraction of the public has achieved immunity against a viral pathogen so that, for all intents and purposes, viral transmission ceases. Once herd immunity is achieved, there are a negligible few that remain vulnerable to infection.
Public health institutions like the NIH, CDC, and WHO allege that herd immunity can only be achieved once 70% of the population has been vaccinated. However, this public health opinion is fallacious for several reasons:
- Our government is discounting the fraction of the population that achieved natural immunity, which is currently hypothesized to be at approximately 30%.
- Herd-immunity models assume that the vaccine is very effective in providing recipients protection against the virus. This is difficult to achieve with a subunit vaccine, which elicits a weak immune response that requires boosters. There is little evidence that these vaccines stop transmission because of a lack of conferred respiratory mucosal immunity.
- Achieving herd immunity assumes that the virus is static and is not changing. However, as discussed in Part 1 of this series, COVID-19 is an RNA virus that is changing and producing variants that genetically differ with regard to the spike protein—the spike protein that was the target of the COVID-19 vaccines.
According to CDC data, the incidence of new cases was already on the decline before the vaccine was rolled out. Additionally, the rate of decline of new cases was unaffected by the promulgation of the vaccine.
This suggests that there was sufficient background natural immunity to reduce the incidence of new cases. Because people who acquire natural immunity have redundant respiratory mucosal, humoral, and T-cell immunity, there is a lower chance for the emergence of variants that will overwhelm healthcare resources.
In light of this, we can deduce that, rather than mandating vaccination for college students and schoolchildren, we should look to establish in them natural immunity—a safer and more effective remedy for this age group, since such individuals have a high recovery rate and mild presentation of the illness. A natural immunity in these demographics would also help to forego the emergence of variants.
The vaccines offer no benefit, but pose the greatest risk to young, healthy individuals
It is standard protocol to weigh the risks versus benefits of any medical treatment.
For example, healthcare professionals encourage but do not mandate pneumonia vaccinations for the elderly (who are at increased risk should they develop pneumonia). We typically do not give healthy young adults pneumonia inoculations even though the vaccine has proven safe. Yet, there has been an absurd and obsessive effort to vaccinate children and college students against COVID-19, despite the fact that the risk of viral transmission in the former is extremely low and the risk of death from COVID-19 is virtually zero in these age groups.
Many college students have recovered from COVID-19 and have developed natural immunity. A study from the Cleveland Clinic found that the vaccine offered no additional benefit to those individuals who already recovered from COVID-19. Consequently, these experimental vaccines offer no benefit to children and college students, as well as young, healthy individuals working in hospitals. Rather, gene therapies pose significant health risks for them.
A gene therapy operates by delivering a gene into a cell and/or tissue of interest, where the gene is converted into a protein. That protein then mediates some specific biological activity. Gene therapy has historically been reserved for treating rare genetic diseases and refractory cancers.
Prior to COVID-19, there has been no approved use of gene therapy to vaccinate against an infection.
With gene therapies, the spike-protein gene is delivered to specific immunological cells, where the protein is then expressed on the cell surface. These immune cells then present the spike protein to other immunological cells, which then activate other immunological cells to bring about systemic humoral and T-cell immunity. Unfortunately, this gene therapy also expresses the spike protein on unintended targeted cells (e.g., brain, heart, reproductive organs, and vascular cells).
Spike proteins give rise to several mechanisms of concern; mechanisms that could reduce safety. But there are two mechanisms of particular importance:
- Spike protein toxicity
- Autoimmune responses
First, the spike protein freely circulates in the bloodstream and activates any cell that expresses the ACE-2 receptor. Platelets and endothelial cells (cells that line the wall of blood cells) express ACE-2 receptors. Circulating spike proteins activate these vascular cells.
Activated platelets tend to aggregate and adhere to activated endothelial cells, which are sticky. These actions promote blood clot formation. Additionally, activated endothelial cells become leakier, which could lead to leakage of fluid and blood into tissues. Second, spike proteins are expressed in undesired tissues. A person’s immune system would not be able to differentiate between a virus expressing spike protein and that individual’s own tissue that expresses the same spike protein.
Under this condition, an individual who has acquired natural immunity but also taken the vaccine could provoke an acute or chronic autoimmune response.
Additionally, individuals who acquired natural immunity could be more susceptible to bleeding and thrombosis because their vascular cells are rechallenged with circulating spike protein from the vaccine.
Thus, the vaccines offer a very unfavorable risk-versus-benefit scenario for children and college students, particularly if they have previously recovered from COVID-19.
In contrast, high-risk individuals may have a more justified risk-versus-benefit scenario, provided that those individuals are fully informed of the moral issues and medical risks and benefits of these experimental vaccines.
Risks according to the numbers
According to the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which is a passive reporting system that is said to report only a tiny percentage of the true incidence of adverse events, there have been over 15,472 deaths and 1.5 million injuries from the injections in Europe. In the United States, the injections have led to more than 6,113 deaths, 5,172 permanent disabilities, 6,435 life-threatening events and 51,558 emergency room visits.
Individuals are required by law to receive informed consent before they receive an experimental vaccine under the National Research Act of 1974. While the government is pushing mass vaccination, it is interesting that approximately half of the employees at NIH and the CDC have not been vaccinated.
CLICK HERE to read Part 1 of this series. CLICK HERE to read Part 3.
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Dr. Alan Moy is the CEO of Cellular Engineering Technologies, a biotech company that manufactures ethical human stem cells; the founder of the John Paul II Medical Research Institute, a non-profit dedicated to translating ethical stem cells to treat disease; and a member of the Personhood Alliance’s medical expert committee. Dr. Moy was tenured in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Iowa. His academic research focused on acute lung and cardiovascular injury.
This article was republished with the author’s permission and originally appeared here.