I have a bad feeling about this

Multivalent vaccines 

The link above is one of many I have read on the topic and it is as good as any, but I really just want to post a warning based on what I know of immunology and bureaucratic inertia. 

And no, it is NOT about Trump, or Biden. 

First, a review about the two kinds of immunity. First, there is humoral, or antibody immunity. Antibodies intercept the virus before it infects a cell and neutralize it. After infection or vaccination, you initially have a lot of antibodies but after they are no longer needed they decline. But memory cells (B lymphocytes) store the information to make antibodies rapidly if you are reinfected. 

But once a cell is infected, it is a loss. The virus takes it over and uses up the cell’s resources to make new virus particles which are released when the cell dies. Nothing can get into the cell and save it. So, the second line of defense is cellular immunity, in which killer lymphocytes detect an infected cell and destroy it before it can make many virus particles. Those cells decline after an infection too, but cellular immunity memory cells (T lymphocytes) remain ready to make new killer cells. 

All well and good. But the antibodies made in response to the Wild Type virus(the initial strain) are ineffective against Omicron, they basically don’t fit the mutated spike protein well enough to neutralize it. Fortunately, the cellular immunity still works as the T cells don’t care what type of SARS-CoV-2  virus you have, it just kills the infected cells. 

But here is the problem with the boosters. They are all Wild Type. Yes, they will boost your antibodies, but not with antibodies that work. Worse, there is a phenomenon known as ‘immunological original sin’ in which when you are infected with a new variant, your body doesn’t make antibodies against the new strain, it just makes more of the original Wild Type antibodies.  

That actually slows your response to an Omicron infection because only the second line, cellular immunity works. The more times you get boosted, the more entrenched the immunological original sin becomes. 

So, my advice (too late for me) is if you haven’t taken the booster, don’t. Wait for the multivalent boosters coming in the fall(I hope) and for goodness sake DON”T vaccinate your toddler. The vaccine provides very little protection for children anyway, and if you vaccinate them, you have invoked immunological original sin in them, and they will not produce effective antibodies if they are infected with an Omicron variant, and thus will be MORE SUCCEPTABLE to reinfection later than if they had not been vaccinated at all. 

If you are immune compromised, consider waiting for the Novavax booster to be available as it is more cross reactive. 

The FDA should not reinvent the wheel. The safety and effectiveness for mRNA vaccines should be presumed and the updated bivalent (Wild Type and Omicron) vaccines and multivalent vaccines(particularly the nasal spray type) should be brought to market as fast as they can be manufactured, or we are going to have a very rough fall. 

And stop wasting time and resources on pushing Wild Type vaccines on younger kids and repeated boosters. They were miracles when we needed them, but now they are fighting the last war. We can stay ahead of COVID but only if the bureaucrats don’t drag us down. 

2 thoughts on “I have a bad feeling about this

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