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New bivalent (Wuhan + Omicron) boosters less effective against Omicron

Why are the original shots more effective against later mutations?

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Y Rabinovitz

Y Rabinovitz

Y Rabinovitz

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November 10, 2022

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01:33 AM

New bivalent (Wuhan + Omicron) boosters less effective against Omicron
  • Two new studies* suggest “Omicron-specific” booster shots are less effective against Omicron than the original “vaccines”,
  • Mainstream media are starting to acknowlege this without drawing the logical conclusion that the entire “vaccination” program should be rethought,
  • Instead, some suggest waiting longer between shots in order to overcome one issue that is seen as problematic (immune complexes), even though there is no evidence that waiting will help,
  • Immune imprinting (i.e. original antigenic sin) is increasingly being recognized as a problem, years after skeptical scientists first raised the issue,
  • CDC is still promoting bivalent boosters, and several top-line universities are still requiring their students take them.

 

Mere weeks after bivalent vaccines based on both Omicron and the original Wuhan strain of SARS-CoV-2 were introduced, two new studies* have been published suggesting that the original pure Wuhan shot does a better job all-round – and that includes combating Omicron. According to one preprint study published in bioRxiv,

Monovalent COVID vaccines produced similar, and in some cases better, neutralizing activity than the new bivalent shots against multiple SARS-CoV-2 strains including BA.4/5.

For those who have been following the story of the combined Wuhan-Omicron booster shot, from the eight mice it was tested on all the way through to the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contracting COVID within a month of getting her own bivalent shot, this was not surprising news, even though on the face of it, it doesn't make all that much sense that a “vaccine” designed to combat Omicron as well as the original Wuhan strain is actually worse at doing so than a pure “Wuhan” shot.

What was surprising was finding this item on the daily bulletin of MedPage Today, which is a classic mainstream publication. MedPage linked to one of the studies and left it at that. There was no mention whatsoever of the fact that just a day before, on October 25, one of MedPage's own articles was headlined: “Biden Urges All Americans to Get Their COVID Booster" (referring to the bivalent booster, as the pure Wuhan booster has been outlawed, having been superseded by the bivalent version).

Biden's urging occurred during a speech he made at a White House event while flanked by members of his COVID taskforce, and just prior to receiving his own bivalent shot. He made no mention whatsoever of the fact that just three days previously, it had been announced that CDC head Dr. Rochelle Walensky had tested positive for COVID after getting her bivalent shot just a month earlier.

Instead, Biden stressed the vital importance of getting a Wuhan-Omicron booster because “if you get it, you're protected. And if you don't, you're putting yourself and other people at unnecessary risk” (italics added), even though it is now known that the vaccines were never tested against transmission and multiple real-world studies have confirmed that it provides no protection, or even negative protection against contagion (that is to say, a person is more likely to contract COVID after having been jabbed).

MedPageToday's comments section is restricted to healthcare professionals and this section has, of late, become increasingly restive on the topic of COVID, with robust debate on the science. As of this writing, there were no comments on the daily bulletin featuring the brief note on the latest study of the bivalent shots, yet one cannot help wondering what kind of editorial response prompted, just a few hours later, the appearance of a new article on the site titled, “The Updated COVID Boosters Could Have Been Better.

Although the piece is authored by a specialist in infectious diseases and a professor of immunology, it is still curious to see two individuals seemingly condemning decisions taken by the government, the CDC and the FDA. They point out that European agencies as well as the WHO were opposed to the promotion of a bivalent shot based on the BA.4/5 Omicron variants, and then suggest a few reasons why the shots have failed to deliver on their promise.

One reason is the timing – people should be waiting longer between shots or infection, they suggest. The reasoning they provide seems somewhat worrying in its implications, given what we know about how mRNA shots work (which has been partially admitted in official circles after initially being denied). They write:

One reason is the presence of pre-existing antibodies in the blood, which can form complexes with the spike proteins produced by the vaccine and thus impair how the immune system responds to the vaccine.

Apparently, waiting longer after a previous shot will eliminate, or at least minimize this issue – as evidenced by the CDCs previous recommendations to postpone a booster by at least 3 months following a suspected COVID-19 infection.

However, we really have no idea whether this is the case, and there are plenty of indications that this assumption may be unfounded. For how long after the shots are our bodies prompted to keep churning out spike antigens? Originally, we were assured that the spike-churning mechanism was extremely short-lived. The CDC stated in March 2021:

After the protein piece is made, the cell breaks down the instructions and gets rid of them.

By July of 2022 the CDC had changed its tune and its website, instead writing: 

  • Our cells break down mRNA from these vaccines and get rid of it within a few days after vaccination.
  • Scientists estimate that the spike protein, like other proteins our bodies create, may stay in the body up to a few weeks.

On the current site (here), all that's gone. No more reassurances. Either they don't know the real answer to the question, or they do and they know people won't like it.  Either way, it could go a long way to explaining why people are “suddenly dying” months after their shots of an inexplicable disease called SADS (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome).

SADS is one side of the coin. The flip-side is something called “original antigenic sin” (also known as immunological imprinting). It was cited by both studies on the puzzling inefficacy of the bivalent shots as something of interest that warrants investigation. Scientists skeptical of the COVID shots have been warning about original antigenic sin virtually since the shots were rolled out, to no effect. 

In a nutshell, immunological imprinting means that the shots prime the body to respond to the antigen presented to it. In the case of the Wuhan-variant shot the body is taught to respond to the form of SARS-CoV-2 containing the Wuhan-variant specific spike protein, the spike protein of the original version of the virus. When a different type of coronavirus-2019 comes along with a mutated spike protein, the body is not as quick, or entirely fails, to recognize the intruder as a threat. In other words, the body becomes overly specialized at fighting a single, specific enemy, forgoing a generalized defense plan to fight off other invaders, leaving the host vulnerable to variants or other illness.

This goes a long way to explaining why “vaccinated” people succumb to Omicron, whose spike protein is substantially different from the original Wuhan version. However, the degree to which the immune system can be re-educated to recognize subsequent mutations and learn to adapt to them as well, is an open question. The results of these new studies suggest that the answer is, “only to a very limited degree," and this is borne out by what the Barouch trial's authors themselves note:

Our data demonstrate that both monovalent and bivalent mRNA boosters markedly increased antibody responses but did not substantially augment T cell responses.

That is to say, the memory T cells responsible for “remembering” prior infection and mobilizing cell-mediated immune defenses following re-infection did NOT increase significantly following boosting with the bivalent shots (or the original version of the booster).

By contrast, immunity or resilience conferred by actual COVID infection is far broader, given that the antigen is not limited to the specific form of spike protein but rather is the entire virus containing all kinds of pointers to the immune system signifying, “Here's a threat – deal with it.” Even when confronted with a new type of spike protein, there are multiple other pointers that remain unchanged from the basic template.

If immunological imprinting is now being recognized in official circles as a real issue, this has broad implications for the future of COVID shots and for the best way to tackle the “pandemic.” It could very well mean that going forward, we will see much more stress placed on anti-virals (such as Paxlovid) and far less on “vaccines.” 

It also explains why, even after the bivalent shots have been rolled out, they are only being made available to those who have undergone primary series vaccination with the pure Wuhan shots. This is otherwise difficult to explain, given that the Wuhan variant is no longer circulating whereas Omicron (in various mutations) is. It also suggests that even prior to the results of these latest studies, scientists within official circles had good reason to suspect that immunological imprinting was a factor that had to be taken into account.

Meanwhile, around 20 million people have been injected with bivalent booster doses, and the CDC continues to promote the bivalent shot as preferable to monovalent versions (boldface in the original):

The updated (bivalent) boosters are called “bivalent” because they protect against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the Omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5.

Previous boosters are called “monovalent” because they were designed to protect against the original virus that causes COVID-19. They also provide some protection against Omicron, but not as much as the updated (bivalent) boosters.

This is despite the fact that the studies mentioned above are based on the only publicly available human data relating to the bivalent shots. If there were additional data supportive of the bivalent shots, one can safely assume that it would have been released by now.

A Frontline News inquiry to the CDC regarding their policy on promoting the bivalent booster shots was unanswered at the time of this publication.

Based on the new CDC guidance, at least three top-line U.S. universities are requiring students to be injected with a bivalent booster dose in order to study at their institutions – Harvard, Yale, and Columbia. Readers will doubtless be aware of additional educational institutions, as well as workplaces that are requiring these shots and Frontline News welcomes reader input, clarification, and comment.

 

* The two studies are: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.10.22.513349v1 and  https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.10.24.513619v1.full.pdf?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email

 

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