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a simple, direct question about omicron boosters
a gato smells a rat
sometimes biology and pharmacology are stupefying complex.
but sometimes, they are actually rather simple and the real stinker questions wind up being ones that a precocious 9 year old (or an internet cat with ostentatious alliterative aspirations) could ask just from looking at something with clear, fresh eyes.
and so i have a question:
why would anyone accept a titers reading in mouse data as a sign of clinical efficacy in a purportedly variant specific vaccine booster when the titers being measured were not only already elicited by by the previous vaccine that was known not only not to stop omicron but to outright advantage it and to cause significant and durable antigenic fixation?
because when you boil this down, it really does not seem to make any sense whatsoever and i see no a priori reason or meaningful clinical evidence to suggest that these boosters will offer any useful protection against omicron variants and quite a lot of reason and evidence that they are likely to act similarly to the previous boosters that just made omicron susceptibility worse and deepened the antigenic fixation that prevents future adaptive immune response.
let’s take it from the top:
it was obvious by even the middle of 2021 that those who had been vaccinated were contracting covid at higher rates than those who were not vaccinated. the delta variant really started to open up this gap, but as you can see from this graph taken from the piece above (and explained in detail there including source materials) the arrival of omicron was a bit of a thunderbolt.
you can see this by variant prevalence HERE
relative risk ratios for contracting covid blew out from 1.5 to 2 then to 4 even despite changing the definition of “vaxxed” from 2 doses to 3. (unfortunately, this series was discontinued by the UK authorities, perhaps because of the inconvenient truths it contained)
that’s an astonishing number. that’s OAS/antigenic fixation. the vaccines rendered the immune systems of the jabbed one trick ponies that generated an antibody response that aided rather than impeded a virus that had evolved to take advantage because that’s what leaky vaccines do and evolutionary gradients are not optional. they manifest whether one believes in them or not.
this selected for/drove omicron which was actually a serious throwback variant. it is not descended from delta or even alpha. it’s a second serotype that was likely a set of failed recessive traits that were suddenly made highly adaptive and therefor selected aggressively for because of the vaccines and spread like wildfire because of what looks to be herd level antigenic fixation. (itself a very dangerous idea likely without precedent in human history)
note that delta itself was somewhat similar in that regard. alpha, beta, gamma were all off a similar branch. delta was not and ran off in a quite different direction as vaccines began and started to show propensity to infect the vaxxed preferentially. (coincidence, i’m sure)
and the EVIDENCE
of THIS EFFECT to preference viral infection in the vaxxed
and the evidence that variant specific boosters failed to elicit any novel antibody response in primates was quite clear.
and so now this takes us to the pfizer and moderna variant booster trials, performed in mice and measured by titer elicitation with reference to neither human nor clinical outcomes and rammed through the FDA without any sort of review by expert panel in a vaccine division where the top folks quit in disgust around the manner in which the last set of boosters were approved.
to call this data package “paltry” would be charitable.
(it’s positively mousy…)
but honestly, it’s the conclusions that seem even more problematic.
the argument for approval here was “look, these drugs elicit greater expression of a titer we’re claiming is associated with resisting omicron BA 4/5.”
but this seems like a dangerous line of reasoning to accept. as can be seen in pfizer’s own presentation slides, this is also a titer already expressed by the original BNT162b2 vaccines that has been a global best seller and that in 5 of 8 cases in the now aggressively pushed bivalent vaccine booster (contains old vaxx and new) it did not even elicit more of them.
so, the same titer,
possibly elicited in greater quantities in some mice (but not in most),
but that not only seems (as evidenced by past clinical outcomes data) not to work on omicron BA variants but to actually advantage them and make one even more likely to get ill
and that drives not only antigenic fixation but viral evolution to take advantage of antigenic fixation
is supposed to be a measure of efficacy against covid?
how does that even make sense?
is the claim that “you just need more of it”? because that not only looks fraught, but fails to bear out in most of the rodents. and why should we suppose that the very same response which has accelerated risk ratios in prior vaccines will now suddenly reduce them?
why should we not, instead, suppose that this is just going to be a new and stronger form of immune fixation that will drive still higher risk ratios, even more dangerous herd level vulnerability, and slant toward ever more viral mutation to take advantage while probably driving even worse side effects as the last round of boosters seemed to do?
because that to me appears the far more plausible outcome vs “this suddenly works, cuz, mouse marketing.”
maybe it helps to be a cat to see this, but this whole thing smells like a rat, and it’s not the ones in cages you should be worried about…