Cortopassi wrote: ↑
Thu Mar 18, 2021 12:56 pm
I read, very fast, the transcript.
I wasn't clear on how this current event with Covid is different, from say, when a first major rollout happened for small pox, or polio, or what we do yearly with the flu?
I certainly get that there will be variants, but I am not getting why that is causing us more harm than the variants we create yearly with the flu vaccine?
I can only make an educated guess. This virologist emphasizes the fact that the problem is not the vaccine, but the fact that it is being utilized in the middle of a pandemic. He points out that the virus is now ubiquitous, the rate of transmission is very high, and that the virus is mutating (as coronaviruses do) very quickly. He concludes that the virus can't and won't be wiped out (as it might largely have been had it been allowed to circulate freely early on in the young, healthy population). So, he concludes, you've set up the worst possible situation, where vaccinated people WILL be reinfected, and because vaccination (unlike innate immunity) doesn't stop infection, the vaccinated people become particularly vulnerable reservoirs of a rapidly changing virus.
In the case of polio or smallpox, the virus never was ubiquitous in the general population, and to my knowledge it did not have a propensity to mutate rapidly. And traditional vaccines have been designed to replicate natural immunity--i.e., they are attenuated versions of the "real thing." I would therefore assume that they confer the same broad-based immunity that exposure to the actual virus would. So there's another potentially important distinction.
Another potential distinction arises from the author's point that the CV-19 vaccines are not all that effective. He draws a parallel to the situation where antibiotics are indiscriminately used on non-sensitive or only partially sensitive bacteria. You end up selecting for the non-sensitive variants.
He also talks briefly early on in the interview about the situs of the immune response, which he seems to imply is different when it comes to mRNA vaccines, and which appears to have something to do with the more specific, less generalized, immune response they generate.
So I see a number of differences between what's happening here and what has happened in the past with vaccines for polio, flu, etc. I just don't know enough to answer your question with any confidence. Maybe Sophie could chime in on this.