fading vaccine efficacy and booster implications

more israeli data

adding to the mounting evidence of severe declines in vaccine efficacy over time, we get this new cut of data from israel (posted by eran segal, scientist at the weizmann institute)

this is an interesting way to cut the data. you take a short period (essentially one month from july 7 to aug 10) and looked at cases per 1000. this eliminates much of the seasonal and variant drift issues.

the spilt by age group and avoidance of the very high and very low risk tails of the very old and very young may give us a cleaner signal as well.

(that said, i’d very much like to see the high risk populations here as that’s the population where nearly all of the covid danger lies.)

you then look at case rates by vaccine vintage. this shows several worrying trends.

  1. these vaccines are clearly quite leaky and non sterilizing. that can carry and create systemic risks that can spread and intensify pandemics.

  2. while the vaccines do seem to assist in resistance, perhaps as much as 67% early on, this rapidly wanes.

  3. those who were vaccinated in february are showing roughly twice the infection rates of those vaccinated in april. that’s a 50% drop in sterilizing immunity over a 2 month interval.

  4. interestingly, this is more pronounced in younger people and infection rates are higher, though as this is non-randomized data it could be associated with lots and lots of things. that said, the fact that the infection rate is about the same for unvaxxed in both age groups makes me suspect there may be some signal here. this would warrant some investigation. is there something about younger immune systems that makes vaccination efficacy wane more rapidly?

this is additive to this data which showed a 50-67% drop in efficacy over 146 days.

at the time, i wondered how linear that was. this new data makes the lion’s share of the drop look very front end loaded with ~50% efficacy drops occurring over a 60 day span kicking off just a few months post vaccine.

once your antibody surge wears off, the drop in function is very rapid.

that seems consistent with the hypothesis that much of the sterilizing immunity provided by these vaccines is from high levels of initial immune system activation and antibodies and that when they (inevitably) drop (a natural, desirable, and expected outcome) the vaccines get extremely leaky and fail to stop spread or to reduce viral load in those infected during the initial week of so of viral colonization. that’s peak period for contagion.

if we’re literally looking at 50% drop over 60 days, boosters here are pointless. that’s MUCH too short an interval and you do NOT want to live in a state of constant immune activation. the side effects from the vaccines will pile up alarmingly and the biological stress on you from being constantly immuno-activated would be dire and likely to set off auto-immune issues over time.

to sustain even the leaky 67% sterilizing immunity, you’d likely need 2-3 boosters a year. that’s unsupportable on risk reward.

that makes this new push and set of claims look both fanciful and irresponsible. there is not a shred of sound clinical evidence to back this.

i mean, sure, you can boost antibodies again by provoking immune response, but there’s a reason your body does not make antibodies all the time. it’s not good for you.

this idea that "longer booster intervals leads to more robust immunity” lacks basis in fact or evidence and extrapolating from other vaccines like polio and hepatitis (perfect, sterilizing vaccines using actual virus) vs the leaky mRNA vaccines that code for proteins is a false equivalence.

very little about this new vaccine modality works like traditional ones.

“Moore said studies have shown that people who were previously infected with COVID-19 experience affinity maturation, as they have higher quality antibodies months after initially getting sick.”

this is even more irrelevant.

mRNA vaccination is not viral exposure. boosters are just another batch of RNA that teaches you to code for proteins. there is zero evidence for these “experts claim” claims nor good biological reason to presume it. they are not even trying to provide any. this is being made up on the fly.

a friend sent me this:

“The CDC ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) disclosed that there have been no studies shared on the efficacy of the booster against the Delta variant. Seems like a lot of taking shots from the hip these days…”

the industry is just not buying this. i speak to an awful lot of biotechnologists and scientists. they seem baffled by this booster claim. no one seems to have any links to real data or science, it’s just a circular set of reference that never seems to have any actual data at the bottom.

this feels like a panic response to a vaccine that is not tracking anything like it was advertised and an attempt at trying to cover posteriors and careers. when public health is abandoned to pursue public relations, you do not want to be the test subject...