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WHO, European regulators warn of dangers of repeated boosters

Jan 13, 2022

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01:44 AM

'We will end up potentially having problems with immune response'

WHO, European regulators warn of dangers of repeated boosters

Posted by Y Rabinovitz

 

“And I know that Israel already started some of these experiments, and we will also conduct some of these experiments to make sure that if needed, we’ll use it. I don’t think we should do anything that is not needed.”

So said Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, on January 10, 2022, with regard to a fourth dose of his company’s COVID vaccine. Israel, of course, isn’t referring to its second booster shot program as an “experiment” – Prime Minister Naftali Bennett proudly announced the availability of a fourth dose to those over the age of sixty and the immunocompromised, telling the country: “The State of Israel will continue to stand at the forefront of the global response to the pandemic. Israeli citizens were the first in the world to receive a third vaccine dose, and we are continuing to lead with the fourth round of vaccinations.”

Not a single study had been made at the time of this speech to assess either the efficacy or the safety of a fourth dose – unsurprisingly, as Bourla never (at least publicly) anticipated a need for a second booster shot. Originally, the Pfizer vaccine was supposed to be a two-dose regimen that would “end the pandemic.”

So, there are now hundreds of thousands of Israeli guinea pigs thinking themselves lucky. Interestingly, former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is not one of them, even though he is over the age of sixty. Considering that he probably has better access than most to the real facts about the “vaccines” he was instrumental in bringing to the country he then led, it would be fascinating to know why he’s made the decision to hold off on that second booster shot.

Has Bourla himself received a second booster? Back in December, he was still sounding pretty enthusiastic about boosters in general. That’s just a few weeks ago, but these days, politicians and pharma executives can count on most of us having short memories. 

In an interview with CNBC on December 8, 2021, Bourla was asked: “Just to clarify things: All three of the shots – the two original shots and then the booster shot – it’s the same formulation. It’s the same thing. Is it a combination of those three working together and somehow making it work better against the Omicron variant or is this just a situation where people who got the shot a while ago and then are boosted and updated, that’s what provides the effectiveness?”

Bourla responded: “The best way to see it is the virus is the enemy, and if we want to protect ourselves, we should build that wall. The first dose builds a wall but it is not very high. The second dose builds a wall on top of the first that’s really high and it was very good for other variants. Now it looks like the Omicron has the ability to jump over this wall. The third dose takes the wall very high and should stop the Omicron. So people who have two doses, they should get the third one.”

According to that logic, a fourth dose would build an even higher wall to keep virtually everything out. (And according to that logic, there’s no reason why vaccine efficacy should wane, either, but we know it does.) Indeed, when asked, “What has gotten Israel to that point where they think that [a fourth shot] is necessary?” Bourla replied, “I think that they’re having a precaution … I think we will need the fourth dose. I’ve said that multiple times.”

Fast-forward a month to January 10, 2022 and we’re still with CNBC, whose reporter asked Albert Bourla: “We’re already seeing Israel giving fourth booster doses [sic.]. So, what do you think the future holds in terms of when we’ll be getting the next boosters?”

“I don’t know if there is a need for a fourth booster,” Bourla replied. “That’s something that needs to be tested.” (Apparently, Pfizer’s CEO wasn’t sufficiently impressed with the experiment Israel had conducted, testing a fourth shot on 150 healthcare workers and around six thousand others at Sheba hospital. Prime Minister Bennett had claimed on January 4, 2022 that the trial had shown the fourth shot was safe, just a week after the doses were given.)

Then he added that Pfizer was “working on a new version of our vaccine that will be effective against Omicron as well … and the hope is that we will achieve something that will have way, way better protection against the hospitalizations and the severe disease. It is reasonable right now,” he said (italics added), “as long as you are having let’s say the third dose…”

Bourla estimates that Pfizer’s Omicron-tweaked vaccine could be ready by March, but according to data from many parts of the world, Omicron will long have peaked and waned by then; it already has done so in the United Kingdom, most probably. So why is Pfizer bothering to invest in such a product? Or are they simply obfuscating, unwilling to admit that they’re done with toying with mRNA therapies whose efficacy is far more short-lived than anyone ever imagined?

But the story doesn’t end there. Virtually in lockstep with Bourla, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) also changed its narrative on booster shots; unlike Bourla, they provided at least a hint of the reason why.

At a regular briefing held as recently as December 21, 2021, the EMA’s Emer Cooke stressed that, “The priority now must be to increase vaccine uptake, to increase booster uptake, and to increase the supply.”

She added that, “All the data show that the authorized vaccines help to protect us from death, severe disease, and hospitalization. [But] with real world evidence that effectiveness wanes over time, boosters are increasingly important…”

The speaker to follow her was Marco Cavaleri, head of the Biological and Health Threats and Vaccine Strategy and chair of the EMA's COVID taskforce. He confirmed: “The booster shot is providing good cross-neutralization … the booster dose is able to restore quite high level of protection from symptomatic disease.”

Fast-forward three weeks to the EMA’s next briefing and it was another story entirely.

“We have not yet seen data with respect to a fourth dose,” said Cavaleri. “We would like to see data before we can make a recommendation.”

He then added, “At the same time, we are rather concerned about a strategy that entangles repeated vaccination within a short term … we cannot continually give booster doses every three or four months.”

Why not? Because it’s complicated? Expensive? Hard to ensure an adequate supply?

In answer to a journalist’s question, Cavaleri clarified: “If we have a strategy of giving boosters every four months approximately, we will end up potentially having problems with the immune response and the immune response may end up not being as good as we would like it to be, so we should be careful in not overloading the immune system with repeated immunization…”

The same day, the World Health Organization issued its own revised guidelines, noting that, “A vaccination strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original vaccine composition is unlikely to be appropriate or sustainable.”

And that same day, European Parliament President David Sassoli died in an Italian hospital where he had been treated for a “serious complication” related to his immune system, according to his office.

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