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CDC Weighs ‘Upgrades’ to COVID Vaccines as Booster Strategy Fails

By James Lyons-Weiler | PopularRationalism | April 21, 2022

According to CNN, CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) continue to “mull over” what’s next for Covid-19 boosters, and indeed are even considering what the “upgrades” Covid-19 vaccines. There are indications that they know that “entirely different vaccine formulations could be needed”.

Currently, additional booster doses are recommended only for certain people with weakened immune systems and adults 50 and older.

CDC quoted Dr. Sara Oliver, one of CDC’s epidemic intelligence service officers with the Division of Viral Diseases, who provided a robust soundbite:

“Policy around future doses require continued evaluation of Covid-19 epidemiology and vaccine effectiveness, including the impact of both time and variants, and the ability of doses to improve this protection.”

The specifics CNN cited Oliver as seeing CDC needing to take into account include recent case counts, hospitalization rates, and vaccine effectiveness in the US, and also – shocking – including whether it’s waning over time. They also cited that she thought CDC should weigh “the impacts of circulating coronavirus variants”.

We know vaccine effectiveness is unacceptably low – and given Dr. Fantini’s results may actually be negative, indicating disease enhancement.

Oliver stated that the evolution of the virus will be an important consideration for considering “platforms” for future COVID-19 vaccinations.

It’s not hard to read between the lines here. Readers of PopularRationalism already know that the mRNA vaccines have proven to be worse than a dismal failure. This is CDC putting the word out that a second round of vaccine development is expected, and is about the closest we’ll ever see to CDC admitting the vaccination program has flopped.

And it’s surprising to see ACIP being focused on future “effectiveness”. Clearly, if newly formulated vaccines are proposed, they will be a square one in terms of the regulatory stage of development, and we should be seeing data on efficacy, which is a measure of a vaccine’s ability to reduce transmission in a prospective randomized clinical trial, not effectiveness, which is measured using real-world data.

As the real-world data on COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness came in, it was quite bad, so the net was lowered from “preventing transmission” and “reducing new infections” to “producing an antibody response”.

So far, according to USASpending.Gov, the US has now spent over 3.63 trillion dollars in its response to COVID-19. According to the US Center for Economic Studies, the US suffered record-smashing loss of -9.5% of its GDP in 2020, and over 30% shrinkage in economic growth.

Nevertheless, both Pfizer and Moderna are taking a stab at vaccines meant to be available against Omicron, but it is doubted whether the variant will be around long enough to even be targeted by the new vaccines. Pfizer is hoping for a vaccine that will remain effective for more than a year, while Moderna’s non-peer-reviewed preprint containing data from their internal study of the efficacy of their bivalent vaccine was cited by CDC with the careful caveat that the preprint had “not been peer-reviewed or published in a professional journal.”

In the heyday of the pandemic, Pfizer and Moderna could get away with sending FDA assurances that they would share data mentioned in press releases once the FDA gave EUA or full-out approval. Now that the fog of the pandemic has lifted, it seems that the standard practice of labeling press releases, such as Moderna’s recent one on their bivalent vaccine as “Forward Looking Statements” is in place, so I suspect Moderna, Pfizer and the SEC got my memos.

Due to evidence of lack of efficacy and need, FDA, Pfizer and Moderna have delayed further consideration of COVID-19 vaccines for young children until June, according to Politico (SeekingAlphaPolitico).

Unfortunately, the companies are still communicating “success” as equivalent with “antibody response” when we all know (or at least my immunology students know that they really should be measuring and reporting memory B-cell responses and the degree of match between the antibodies produced by B-cells upon reinfection and whatever variant or variants have taken over after Omicron is a distant memory.

CDC also shared that Kaiser Permanente – which profits from vaccine sales – was in the driver’s seat of the CDC’s ACIP committee, with Dr. Matthew Daley, ACIP Vaccine Working Group Chairperson and senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Research issuing “marching orders” to the rest of ACIP to be “be more proactive than reactive” on the future of Covid-19 vaccinations.

This article is just a reminder to those who need it that #ParentsAreWatching, and that #ScientistsAreWatching, too.

April 21, 2022 - Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , , ,

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