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Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Post-vaccination Infections Come in 2 Different Flavors. Lumping all breakthroughs together, regardless of symptoms, miscasts what our COVID-19 vaccines can do.



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From the author:

Katherine J. Wu, Ph.D.
Once more, for the people in the back: Not all infections result in disease. As we work to vaccinate the world, against a tide of misinformation, that distinction is more important than ever.

#1 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2021-07-20 09:28 PM | Reply

Any anecdote that seems to own the libs is counted as a breakthrough case.

#2 | Posted by Zed at 2021-07-21 09:07 AM | Reply

The question of which breakthroughs matter ultimately depends on another: What's the goal of vaccination? Gounder thinks that, for now, the focus should stay on using immunizations to control COVID-19, especially while so much of the world remains unvaccinated; understanding whether we're accomplishing that goal, then, hinges on symptomatic breakthroughs.

The goal is not good with the current leaky vaccines. It is driving artifical selection for more variants and fit phenotypes. That's the big problem... and we are/shall see it grow exponentially worse as more people are vaccinated.

non-vaccinated people are not to be considered factories of variants as there is no evidence whatsoever that they transmit more virus or shed for a longer time than asymptomatically infected vaccinees. As explained in the above-mentioned article, non-vaccinated people are not responsible for selecting immune escape variants and enabling adaptation of increasingly anti-S Ab-resistant variants. Vaccinees, however, are to be seen as the breeding ground and pilot plants' for these variants.

Let's now comment on a few of these blunt statements:

"Unvaccinated people do more than merely risk their own health. They're also a risk to everyone if they become infected with coronavirus, infectious disease specialists say"

Comment: Not true. Unvaccinated people have the more reliable protection as they can deal with all Sars-CoV-2 variants. Their protection is merely threatened by the enhanced circulation of more infectious variants, the adaptation and spread of which is promoted by those who exert strong (but suboptimal!) immune selection pressure, i.e., vaccinees. To the extent that non-vaccinated people further adhere to infection prevention measures and -not at least - avoid close contact with vaccinees, the likelihood for them to become seriously ill remains reasonably low (but clearly higher as during the first 10 months of the pandemic where no variants were circulating). This particularly applies to children and youngsters in good health. As viral transmission by asymptomatically infected, non-vaccinated individuals is low and short-lived, they do not constitute a factory' of variants that poses a substantial risk to others.

"That's because the only source of new coronavirus variants is the body of an infected person."

Comment: Vaccinees get infected all the time. They cannot contain the variants as shown in a multitude of publications and breakthrough reports. They are not only a source of asymptomatic transmission but even a breeding ground for steadily evolving immune escape variants.

"Unvaccinated people are potential variant factories," Dr. William Schaffner, a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told CNN Friday.

Comment: This doesn't make any scientific sense. See above. They should show us the data and perform a comparative analysis on vaccinees compared to non-vaccinated individuals. They should show us which group is evolving more problematic variants, the vaccinees or the non-vaccinated.

"The more unvaccinated people there are, the more opportunities for the virus to multiply," Schaffner said. "When it does, it mutates, and it could throw off a variant mutation that is even more serious down the road."

Comment: This is the ludicrous mantra of the WHO (see my previously mentioned article). What makes immune escape variants problematic is when they get selected and can subsequently adapt to the population. S-directed immune escape variants are preferably selected in vaccinees and the higher the vaccination coverage rate, the more rapidly and easily they will adapt to the population and become dominant.

#3 | Posted by FSUknowit at 2021-07-21 10:11 AM | Reply

As I posted in response to a link you posted in another thread, this doctor agrees mass vaccination is key to getting out of this pandemic but just not with the vaccines currently being used. Do the type of vaccines he recommends exist?

#4 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2021-07-21 10:21 AM | Reply

Such nonsense. All of it. Guessing, fear, hope, pushing what one thinks over another.

I'll stick with what we actually know. Thank you very much.

#5 | Posted by YAV at 2021-07-21 10:23 AM | Reply

PS as has been pointed out the Delta variant developed in India before they started vaccinating anyone.

#6 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2021-07-21 10:25 AM | Reply

Delta, Alpha, Lambda, B. 1.351 (S.Africa), every variant out there I know of all developed in unvaccinated populations.
We may see one develop in a highly vaccinated population, but at this time, it hasn't happened.

#7 | Posted by YAV at 2021-07-21 10:32 AM | Reply

We may see one develop in a highly vaccinated population, but at this time, it hasn't happened.


A variant will surely arise in vaccinated/immune populations, but it's not going to be an issue for that population.

Coronaviruses don't mutate fast enough to completely overcome immunity that's already present. They don't have a large enough quasi species cloud to hedge their bets either.

Which is why it will become an endemic seasonal illness like the other five human coronaviruses, passing around immune people and causing mild URT illness until it gets lucky and happens on someone with waning or absent immunity, where it will be cause more symptoms but still not like what we see now.

#8 | Posted by jpw at 2021-07-21 10:38 AM | Reply

A variant will surely arise in vaccinated/immune populations, but it's not going to be an issue for that population.

I agree. I tend to think of this as a function of our inability to drive R0 below 1, which mediation methods include getting everyone we can vaccinated around the planet, ASAP. The more time the more variants, the more variants, the more likely one will be suited to make it through the vaccine defense. I don't view it as the vaccinated population being a breeding ground for virus mutation. We're not seeing the communicability needed in the vaccinated for that to occur. At least I haven't seen any evidence.

Your point on the quasi species cloud is so important, too.

Your thoughts, JPW?

#9 | Posted by YAV at 2021-07-21 10:54 AM | Reply

damn italics close tag.

#10 | Posted by YAV at 2021-07-21 10:54 AM | Reply

Gal, I didn't see your question elsewhere.

The Chinese have/are attempting to develop just such a vaccine. The efficacy of the Chinese Vax is difficult to assess because of, well, the secretive Chinese government. They could probably use some help.

We were warned in the beginning it would take years to develop a proper vaccine... but until then it's Operation Warp Speed. Fastest vaccine rollout ever! (Most of us will live to regret this)

Re: the Chinese program, AFAIK they are the only country to take that path and accelerate it. I believe their goal is different than the western governments. Our goal (is short term and short-sighted) seems to be reduction of deaths and hospitalizations to manageable levels and keep the economy open...and the current vaccine is mostly working in that respect, however the day will come when a variant will emerge that is going to knock out many who have little to no natural resistance to the virus. The unvaccinated will be better suited to fight that battle when it comes, and the vaccinated will be left almost completely unprotected. Prophylactic vaccines will not be the solution.

I'm not blanket anti-vax. I believe only the high risk should be getting the prophylactic jab. The rest of us will be better off awaiting a prophylaxis jab.

#11 | Posted by FSUknowit at 2021-07-21 10:59 AM | Reply


Will the vaccinated be able to just get the prophylaxis jab when/if available? or did we burn that bridge when we received the current vaccine?

#12 | Posted by eberly at 2021-07-21 11:04 AM | Reply

We were warned in the beginning it would take years to develop a proper vaccine... but until then it's Operation Warp Speed. Fastest vaccine rollout ever! (Most of us will live to regret this)

This is inaccurate and misinformed. Coronavirus vaccines and mRNA technology have been worked on for decades. The development of the vaccine wasn't what was rushed, it was the production and dissemination that was done rapidly, along with the FDA Emergency Authorization.

The key in your sentence is "rollout" - which is not development.

The unvaccinated will be better suited to fight that battle when it comes,

That's just plain nonsense.

#13 | Posted by YAV at 2021-07-21 11:29 AM | Reply

Eberly, no the bridge isn't burned, however the vax'd are at higher risk to variants until we have a vaccine that prevents transmission.

See this article on the way out of Covid pandemic.

#14 | Posted by FSUknowit at 2021-07-21 12:09 PM | Reply

See this article on the way out of Covid pandemic.

See this:

The COVID-19 pandemic has attracted a swarm of vocal contrarians like little else in the recent past. These public commentators, often bedazzled with advanced degrees, have painted themselves as brave mavericks escaping from the mainstream herd to denounce the cataclysmic consequences of public health measures. The latest example of this phenomenon comes in the form of Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche, who recently published an alarming manifesto. In it, Dr. Bossche makes a number of incorrect or exaggerated claims about the use of mass vaccination during a pandemic and urges international health authorities to stop the current crop of COVID-19 vaccines or else risk unleashing "a global catastrophe without equal." This is scary stuff, but it's all quite misguided.

So there's that.

#15 | Posted by REDIAL at 2021-07-21 12:21 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1


As a general rule, you're best not listening to people giving advice from a website that's their own name. They're almost always quacks.

In any case, much of what he says (said) is garbage.

Mostly because he treats immune escape as a black and white issue. Immune escape doesn't render all antibodies unable to bind. Just a handful of clones that specifically target that portion of the protein (called an epitope). Even a partial neutralization phenotype is better than no neutralization and non-neutralizing antibodies still have other functions to limit disease.

Which leads us to issues of the vaccine and cytotoxic T cells (CTLs). Yes, balanced activation of both the B cell (antibody) and CTL (T cell) arms is a long standing goal of vaccinologists. That's why live attenuated vaccines (ie FluMist or Sabin polio vaccine) are preferred when possible. The actual infection produces a more balanced response.

But guess what happens when you have partial protection from a vaccine then get infected-it acts as an attenuated vaccine booster! The data out there doesn't suggest ADE is occurring follow COVID vaccination, a worry that was based on what we know about other veterinary coronavirus vaccines. We would see this manifest as more severe disease in vaccinated or immune individuals compared to non-immune individuals. We're seeing the opposite.

So your partial antibody immunity knocks the infection down while the low level infection induces memory B cells (antibody) responses and T cell (these are induced by the mRNA vaccines) responses, which updates the repertoire of antibodies and T cells in circulation. This is also pretty much what would happen if you were infected twice, with the primary difference being the wider breadth of the antibody response following infection vs vaccination.

His assertion that the only (best) way to end this pandemic by natural infection is absurd and flies in the face of everything we know about about vaccines and their mechanism of action. It's also an incredibly dangerous thing to say when there is a significant proportion of the populace seeking information on the topic.

#16 | Posted by jpw at 2021-07-21 12:50 PM | Reply

It's not just about antibodies.

#17 | Posted by jpw at 2021-07-21 12:52 PM | Reply

#16 - great post, JPW.

#18 | Posted by YAV at 2021-07-21 01:03 PM | Reply

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