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Study adds to Covid vaccine fears

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STUDY from Stanford University, published in Cell, has found that vaccine mRNA and spike protein persist in lymph nodes for up to two months following the second vaccine dose. This is in contrast to what happens following infection, where spike protein was found only rarely.

The researchers also found the concentration of spike protein in the blood following vaccination was similar to that during infection.

The researchers found evidence of ‘original antigenic sin’ from the vaccines, where a person vaccinated and then infected with a variant develops a weaker antibody response to that variant than an unvaccinated person infected with the variant. They describe it as a ‘strong imprinting effect of prior vaccination’.

The researchers confirmed the fast decline of antibodies following vaccination, finding a 20-fold drop after nine months.

The study also confirms that vaccination doesn’t generate IgA antibodies (found especially in the respiratory and digestive tracts and mounting a first defence against infection) or IgM antibodies (found especially in the blood and lymph fluid), but only IgG antibodies (found in the blood). This has been proposed as a reason that vaccination is so poor at preventing infection and transmission.

Surprisingly, perhaps, the researchers found that vaccination (whether mRNA, adenoviral or inactivated virus) stimulated a broader antibody (IgG) response than infection, leading them to predict that ‘antibodies derived from infection may provide somewhat decreased protection against virus variants compared with comparable concentrations of antibodies stimulated by vaccination’.

However, the post-infection IgG antibody response improved over several weeks.

In addition, the apparent breadth-benefit of vaccination over infection disappeared when ‘whole spike antigens’ were tested rather than just the receptor-binding domain targeted by the vaccine, suggesting the benefit may be an artefact of the study design not found in a real encounter with the virus.

The high concentration in the blood of spike protein following vaccination and its persistence along with vaccine mRNA in lymph nodes for months, in contrast to the situation post-infection where such persistence is rare, will fuel concerns about the safety of these Covid vaccines. It has been argued that the spike protein is itself pathogenic, not inert, and that the free spike proteins generated by the vaccines have greater capacity to bind to more types of cells than the virus particles themselves, and that this may be what lies behind many of the serious adverse events reported to regulatory bodies and identified in case reports. This warrants further investigation.

A longer version of this article appeared in the Daily Sceptic on March 18, 2022, and is republished by kind permission. 

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Will Jones
Will Jones
Will Jones is editor of the Daily Sceptic.

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