Are Vaccines Fueling New Covid Variants?

Source: Wall Street Journal (free link).

This may be a nature vs. nurture story. The question is whether the Covid virus as we now know it is following a natural or a nurtured pattern of evolution.

Might we have been better off letting the virus run its course through humanity instead of trying to stop it with mass vaccination?

14 thoughts on “Are Vaccines Fueling New Covid Variants?

  1. “The Biden administration’s monomaniacal focus on vaccines over new treatments has left the highest-risk Americans more vulnerable to new variants. Why doesn’t that seem to worry the experts?”

    If there was any doubt, the last paragraph gives it away. This is a partisan political polemic and need not be taken seriously as a science report. It may have some factual matter in it, but with a partisan political polemic one cannot know which parts are reliable and objective. You should get your vaccination advice from the experts and not some doctrinaire right wing nut.

    The implication that vaccination causes the variants is putting the cart before the horse. Variants do not emerge in vaccinated people. They emerge in unvaccinated people who provide a safe environment for the viruses to replicate. It is in the process of replication that variants emerge. The emergence of variants is one of the unintended consequences of anti-vaxx behavior. IMHO.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nope.

      Variants do emerge in vaccinated people, and vaccination does increase the speed with which the new variants displace the original strains.

      Think about it. If you have antibodies against the old strain and get a mixed exposure, the old strain will be suppressed allowing the new strain to dominate. When you pass it on to someone else, their exposure will be almost exclusively the new strain.

      You can’t really separate the epidemiology from politics. The vaccination of children increases the speed with which a new strain becomes dominant. The death rate for those under 19 from COVID is 0.0003% so there is almost no benefit to offset the harm done by imprinting(antigenic original sin) and filtering out the old strains.

      Instead of pushing vaccination of infants, we should be rapidly developing monoclonals targeted to the new variants.

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      1. “Nope.”

        No, you think about it.

        That “new strain” that you are exposed to emerged in a unvaccinated person whose foolishness created a heavy viral load in their body. Mutations are random events. The more viruses replicating the more mutations will occur.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You are making an unwarranted assumption.

          An infected person has billions of virus particles. A mutation is one particle among those billions. The odds of that one particle being the one passed on to another person, or multiplying in the host are very small.

          But if you introduce antibodies that wipe out the unmutated particles, then the mutated particle that escapes the antibodies does the multiplying and infecting.

          The vaccine effectively filters the old type particles out of the game.

          The vaccines saved lives early on, but continuing to vaccinate against an extinct version of the virus only suppresses the response to new types.

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          1. “The odds of that one particle being the one passed on to another person, or multiplying in the host are very small.”

            Talk about unwarranted assumptions.

            Why wouldn’t it multiply in the host? What is to stop it?

            Here is a fact – a person with none of the original virus is not going to be host to mutations.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. “Here is a fact – a person with none of the original virus is not going to be host to mutations.”

            That is ridiculous. Your facts are lacking in understanding of how mutations and selection work. No one has the original virus any more. Delta and the Omicron variants replaced it long ago.

            Current new variants are derived from the original Omicron lineage.

            In an unvaccinated person, a mutation starts as a single particle. There are literally millions of the existing strain so it is outnumbered to the point of irrelevancy. To get anywhere, the mutation must be far more virulent than the existing strain or it is overwhelmed and we never hear of it.

            But in a vaccinated person, the existing strains are inhibited giving the mutation an advantage if it evades the vaccine.

            So, while a mutation is equally likely to occur in vaccinated and unvaccinated people, the mutation is far more likely to gain a foothold in vaccinated people.

            So, vaccinating healthy young people greatly increases the chances of new variants emerging.

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          3. “This is ridiculous”
            You can say that again. By “original” I simply mean the form before the mutation. Whatever strain you care to discuss. The more of any strain in you body the greater the chance of a mutation. Unless the vaccines are 100% ineffective, unvaccinated people exposed to ANY strain will have more viruses than a vaccinated person. They therefore have a greater probability of a mutation occurring.

            As for selection, it has nothing to do with the presence of other viruses. They do not devour each other. A person free of a competing strain due to vaccination is no more hospitable to a mutation than an unvaccinated person.

            To summarize, this is the crux of your opinion . . .

            “So, while a mutation is equally likely to occur in vaccinated and unvaccinated people [FALSE], the mutation is far more likely to gain a foothold in vaccinated people.[FALSE]”

            The CDC has directly addressed the dangerous myth you are spreading.

            “MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines cause variants.
            FACT: COVID-19 vaccines do not create or cause variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.

            Instead, COVID-19 vaccines can help prevent new variants from emerging.
            New variants of a virus happen because the virus that causes COVID-19 constantly changes through a natural ongoing process of mutation (change). As the virus spreads, it has more opportunities to change. High vaccination coverage in a population reduces the spread of the virus and helps prevent new variants from emerging. CDC recommends everyone stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines for their age group”

            Liked by 1 person

          4. The VDV says a lot of silly things.

            A young person whose immune system has been blinded by Antigenic Original Sin will have a higher virus load than an unvaccinated person. Vaccination with the original spike protein hampers your ability to produce antibodies against the new strains, especially XXB

            That doesn’t mean that the vaccines were not life savers early on, especially for the elderly. But vaccinating people under 19 is counterproductive, though the CDC will never admit it.

            The CDC is primarily a political organization, not a scientific one.

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          5. “The CDC is primarily a political organization, not a scientific one.”

            Pure garbage. Just another of the pernicious after effects of Trumpism. This particular poison was generated by Trump’s belief that following CDC guidance would hurt the economy and therefore his chances of re-election. THAT’S what is “political.”

            You can consider yourself to be more knowledgeable than the dedicated scientists, doctors and epidemiologists at CDC. I, for one, am not buying your self-appraisal. Especially after reading your theory of how vaccinated people are creating variants.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. “Might we have been better off letting the virus run its course through humanity instead of trying to stop it with mass vaccination?”

    Why is it just COVID? What about the childhood diseases that vaccinations have been protecting children for decades? Should we just forgo polio vaccines?

    The idea of just letting nature take its course is a dangerous premise, promoted by those who believe in population control. (But interestingly, stand against abortion rights.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. COVID vaccines do not prevent reinfection and SARS 2 Cov mutates, while polio and measles do not.

      As a result, most childhood vaccines provide a lifelong immunity, but the current vaccines provide almost no benefit to young people.

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  3. This is largely a rehash of discussions we had here months ago.

    Because of Antigenic Original Sin (Imprinting) vaccination with the Wuhan strain is counterproductive, rapid development of monoclonal antibody infusions targeted for Omicron and especially the XXB variant should be the priority.

    Interestingly, Denmark banned vaccination for those under 50 years old not immune impaired in September,

    Our obsession with vaccinating children is a dangerous mistake.

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