QUESTIONS PARENTS MIGHT WANT TO ASK THEIR PHYSICIANS:
Question 1: We have learned of Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche’s deep concern and strong opinion that the COVID vaccination campaign has been unwise and should be stopped immediately because: a rapid mass vaccination campaign, using a sub-optimal vaccine (like the COVID vaccines) and vaccinating across all age groups, in the midst of an active pandemic of a highly mutable and highly infectious respiratory virus— is a recipe for abnormally generating a prolonged series of dominating new variants that become increasingly infectious, increasingly vaccine-resistant (i.e., resistant to potentially neutralizing vaccinal antibodies), and inevitably more virulent. In other words, the mass vaccination campaign is responsible for prolonging the COVID pandemic and making it more dangerous, according to Dr. Vanden Bossche. Is this true? Are Dr. Vanden Bossche’s concerns appropriate? Are his predictions likely to play out? He seems very knowledgeable, very credible, and very concerned. Do you agree with him?
Response: Dr. Vanden Bossche’s concerns are based on a deep understanding of the complex immunology, virology, vaccinology, evolutionary biology, molecular biology, and molecular epidemiology involved in the COVID situation—as well as decades of practical, high-level experience in the vaccine industry and a deep dive into the medical literature on COVID. In addition, his writings are driven by a deep concern for Humanity, especially for children. In my view he is clearly honest, authentic, well-informed, and altruistically motivated. Compared to the information provided by the promoters of the mass vaccination campaign, Dr. Vanden Bossche’s information is deeper, wider, much less simplistic, and much more scientific. Furthermore, so far, his predictions have already played out, and they are likely to continue to do so. All of us can learn a tremendous amount from Dr. Vanden Bossche. I fully agree with and totally support his expressed concerns. It is imperative that the physicians and scientists who have been supporting the prevailing COVID narrative’s mass vaccination campaign thoroughly address Dr. Vanden Bossche’s concerns and explain why they disagree with his scientific explanations for those concerns.
One key to understanding Dr. Vanden Bossche’s concerns is to understand why use of a non- sterilizing (sub-optimal) vaccine in a rapid mass vaccination campaign in the midst of an active pandemic involving a highly infectious and highly mutable respiratory virus is different from using that same vaccine well in advance of a pandemic. Let’s try to explain this one step at a time:
Physicians were initially given the impression that the COVID vaccines produce large quantities of “neutralizing antibodies” that attach to the spike protein of the Wuhan strain of the SARS- CoV-2 virus; fully neutralize the virus; fully (or almost fully) prevent the virus from entering and infecting cells; and, therefore, prevent transmission of virus from one person to another.
[Before reading further, many readers might want to take a few minutes to view Figures 1-23 in the APPENDIX OF MEDICAL ILLUSTRATIONS at the end of this document for visual images of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, its spike protein, how the spike protein enters human cells by attaching to the ACE2 receptor on human cells, and how neutralizing antibodies block that attachment.]
Initially, there was some scientific evidence that the vaccinal antibodies might, indeed, be greatly neutralizing. For example, laboratory studies (in vitro studies, as opposed to in vivo studies in humans) demonstrated that the vaccinal antibodies to the spike protein of the original Wuhan strain were, indeed, neutralizing and did, indeed, impair entry of the Wuhan strain into cells—at least to some extent, at least in the laboratory setting. The exact extent to which these neutralizing antibodies prevented entry of virus into cells in vivo (in live human beings who encountered the virus) was not adequately determined. That is, it was not established whether these neutralizing antibodies completely prevented entry (i.e., 100 %) or only partially prevented entry (e.g., prevented only 80-90%, or a much lower percentage, of the virus from entering cells) when vaccinated humans encountered the virus. This is important, because a vaccine is “optimal” only if it is “sterilizing,” meaning that it results in sufficient containment of the virus in the vaccinated individual (when that individual is encountering the virus), to protect that individual from severe disease and prevent transmission of the virus from that individual to another person. When the virus enters the nose or throat of a vaccinated individual and is adequately contained, this containment occurs either because 100% neutralizing vaccinal antibodies are already present and adequately neutralize the viral load and/or because the normal immune system otherwise quickly contains the virus—such that infection is minimized and transmission is prevented. Vaccines that fail to prevent transmission are “suboptimal.”
It soon became apparent that the “neutralizing” vaccinal antibodies were not adequately preventing infection and transmission of the virus, even when the Wuhan strain was the sole or predominant strain. This was the case for one or more of the following reasons: It is possible that the vaccinal antibodies were never fully (100%) neutralizing in the first place. Neutralizing antibodies (even if 100% neutralizing) are not necessarily sufficient to contain the virus, particularly if the viral load is very high. Other immune mechanisms (e.g., innate immunity mechanisms) are typically needed, in addition to neutralizing antibodies. But, even if the vaccinal antibodies were fully neutralizing, it must also be realized that, after vaccination, it takes the immune system at least 1-2 weeks (often several weeks) before it is able to produce its mature, potentially neutralizing IgG anti-spike antibodies—and, in the meantime, it produces temporary IgM anti-spike antibodies that are immature and only sub-optimally neutralize the virus. Because people were being mass vaccinated in the midst of an active pandemic (i.e., when lots of virus was circulating in communities), it was very likely, statistically, that many people who were vaccinated would encounter the virus while their immune system was producing only sub-optimal IgM vaccinal anti-spike antibodies and before their immune system was able to produce a sufficient quantity of mature potentially neutralizing IgG vaccinal antibodies. So, even if the eventually produced mature IgG anti-spike vaccinal antibodies were fully (100%) neutralizing (which is unlikely), this was a moot point because the immature IgM anti-spike vaccinal antibodies were not fully neutralizing and this fact, alone, would result in infection and transmission.
This, then, resulted in the virus entering cells, replicating, and mutating—in the presence of both immature and eventual mature (and probably not 100% neutralizing) anti-spike vaccinal antibodies. These vaccinal antibodies put tremendous immune pressure on the virus, at a population level, to develop a way to escape these anti-spike antibodies. Viruses with mutations in their spike protein that enabled them to evade the vaccinal antibodies had a “fitness advantage,” regarding survival. Through the Darwinian principles of “natural selection” and “survival of the fittest,” new strains (variants) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (hereafter referred to as SC-2) developed that could evade the mature and immature anti-spike vaccinal antibodies. [1-17] These variants soon became dominant variants (because they successfully out-competed other variants). This meant that the mature vaccinal antibodies that may have been considerably neutralizing (even if 100% neutralizing) against the Wuhan strain were no longer neutralizing against the new variants (like Delta and Omicron) that had “vaccine- resistant” mutations involving their spike proteins. Even if the vaccinal antibodies were 100% neutralizing against the Wuhan strain, they were no longer adequately neutralizing against the new variants.
The above sequence of events explains why it is clearly accurate to view the COVID vaccines as “suboptimal” vaccines when used in the midst of an active pandemic—even if the mature IgG vaccinal anti-spike antibody was, initially, 100% neutralizing. They were suboptimal even when the Wuhan strain predominated (because they were being given in the midst of an active pandemic, which meant that the virus was being exposed to immature IgM vaccinal antibodies that were only partially neutralizing). They have become increasingly suboptimal as new variants have appeared, against which the potentially neutralizing vaccinal antibodies against the original Wuhan spike protein have become far less neutralizing. (The vaccinal antibodies that were “neutralizing” against the Wuhan strain are now far less neutralizing against the current dominant Omicron variant (BA.4/BA.5).
If the COVID vaccines, with their potentially neutralizing anti-spike antibodies, had been administered in the absence of an active pandemic (i.e., when no SC-2 was around), they might have been at least partially successful as a prophylactic vaccine, and there would be less reason for the above concerns. That is, they might have provided at least some protection when,
many months later, the vaccinated individual was first exposed to the virus. The vast majority of vaccinated individuals would have had plenty of time to develop mature IgG anti-spike antibodies by the time of their exposure to the virus, and, if those antibodies were fully neutralizing (or nearly so), those antibodies would be considerably protective. This situation would have resulted in less immune pressure on the virus, compared to the pressure exerted by the current COVID mass vaccination campaign—particularly if only the most vulnerable were prophylactically vaccinated. But the problem is that the COVID vaccines have not been used well in advance of a pandemic—they have been used in the midst of an active pandemic— and they have been given across all age groups.
That has been one major problem with the mass COVID vaccination campaign. That is one reason why it has been uniquely unwise and dangerous. A prophylactic vaccine, even if it produces fully (100%) neutralizing antibodies, should never be used in a rapid, mass vaccination campaign in the midst of an active pandemic—for the reasons explained above. This principle– -i.e., the interplay between a highly mutable virus and the human immune ecosystem and how that interplay is affected by vaccinal antibodies, at a population level—is what promoters and acceptors of the COVID vaccination campaign do not seem to appreciate. It is a basic principle of virology, immunology, vaccinology, and evolutionary biology, based on principles Darwin taught us 160 years ago.
To summarize, Dr. Vanden Bossche is not claiming that COVID vaccines have never been capable of producing a potentially neutralizing and potentially effective anti-spike antibody, nor is he claiming that such COVID vaccines could not be somewhat effective if they were administered well in advance of a pandemic. He is warning that use of these vaccines in a rapid mass vaccination campaign across all age groups, in the midst of an active pandemic involving a
highly infectious, highly mutable respiratory virus is a recipe for great regret—because, in this setting, the vaccines are suboptimal, allow considerable infection and transmission, put immense immune pressure on the virus, and this results in the natural selection of variants with mutations that allow them to escape the immune pressure. [1-17] A prolonged series of dominant “immune escape” variants results, with each new variant becoming more infectious than its predecessor and with variants eventually becoming more virulent. I fully agree with this concern. The promoters of the current mass COVID vaccination campaign have not provided a scientifically-sound argument against this concern, and I think they will be unable to do so. They have ignored Dr. Vanden Bossche’s concerns and warnings—which he first brought to the attention of the WHO, CDC, and NIH in March 2021.
Finally, I hasten to again emphasize that an “optimal” immune response involves much more than simply producing “neutralizing” antibodies, even if those antibodies are 100% neutralizing. An “optimal” immune response involves utilization of all of the potential immune capacities that might be needed to contain the virus and prevent transmission—e.g. natural antibodies and NK cells of the innate immune system, etc. There is much more to the story (of immune protection) than the levels of neutralizing antibodies. It is simplistic and misleading to focus only on “levels of neutralizing antibodies.” The enormous importance of a well-trained innate immune system has been greatly under-emphasized by proponents of the mass vaccination campaign, as has the importance of the well-orchestrated collaborative effort that normally occurs between the innate and adaptive immune system. That is why the comprehensive and collaborative natural immune response is much more protective than antibodies alone.