A team of 19 scientists from the UK has published new research that helps explain why countries with the highest vaccination rates experience the highest number of what they call ‘breakthrough infections’, as well as re-infections with other variants of COVID-19.
This research paper, published June 14, 2022 in the peer-reviewed journal Science, has been downloaded nearly 277,500 times in less than two months. This is highly unusual for a highly technical, densely written scientific study.
We can only speculate why so many people read it. But what this study suggests — about which many clinicians and researchers have expressed concern — is that COVID-19 mRNA vaccines along with booster shots may make our immune response less effective against the Omicron variant of the virus.
If this is correct, it means that the vaccine itself is causing widespread infection. Instead of stopping the virus, it appears mRNA vaccination programs around the world have inadvertently made the virus more ubiquitous.
Higher use of vaccines leads to higher infection rates
As UK scientists point out, countries with higher vaccination rates are experiencing high numbers of primary infections and frequent re-infections with SARS-CoV-2.
In contrast, in places where vaccination campaigns have not been widely implemented, including most countries on the African continent, people are not infected.
Analyzing why the most vaccinated populations contract the most Omicron infections, this study focused on the most vaccinated professionals: medical staff who had received both doses of mRNA vaccines at the beginning, then who received two times more reminders. To find out what was going on at the cellular level with these highly vaccinated healthcare workers, the scientists closely tracked the different types of immunoglobin in the participants’ blood.
Immunoglobin (Ig), also known as antibody (Ab), detects viruses, bacteria, etc. and causes the immune system to respond appropriately.
Scientists have identified several types of immunoglobulins, each guiding the immune response in a different way for different stages and types of infection.
IgG4, a tolerance immune response
IgG4 is the form of immunoglobin that activates a tolerance response in the immune system, for things you’ve been exposed to repeatedly and don’t need to trigger an inflammatory response. This is good if you are trying to avoid immune sensitivity to a food, for example. But that’s not the kind of immune response that COVID-19 vaccines were designed to create.
Beekeepers, when repeatedly stung by bees during their career, develop an IgG4 response to the onslaught of their immune system. Basically, their body learns that bee venom is not dangerous and their immune response to bee venom becomes an IgG4 response, so they are able to tolerate the stings very well. Although bee venom itself does not harm the body, the body’s own inflammatory response can be dangerous. If the body overreacts and mounts a generalized response in which the inflammation itself compromises a person’s breathing, the immune response can be fatal.
More vaccines lead to more COVID-19 infections
This study demonstrates exactly how repeated vaccinations make people more susceptible to COVID-19. Initial doses of the vaccine elicited classic inflammatory immune responses. Inflammation is a fundamental part of an immune response (to a vaccine or an infection) and is responsible for most of what you feel when you are sick: fever, body aches, lethargy, etc. This inflammation is why you can feel sick if you get the flu shot and why the COVID-19 vaccine has become famous for making people so sick for a few days. Your body produces an inflammatory response to COVID-19 proteins.
But what happens in the body after you have received two vaccines and you have been given a third? Scientists have found that successive doses of mRNA vaccines begin to habituate or desensitize subjects to COVID-19 proteins, shifting their immune response to a form dominated by the IgG4 form, which essentially teaches the body to tolerate the proteins.
Participants’ response to COVID-19 had actually been disabled, making them even more vulnerable to infection and less likely to react to it than those who had never been vaccinated.
When you are exposed to a cold or any other virus repeatedly, spaced out over a lifetime, which happens with natural exposure, you don’t develop a tolerance, your body fights it off without you knowing it. Your body uses the normal immune response to fight off disease, but because it recognizes the infectious agent, you don’t have symptoms of inflammation. This is why when you are naturally exposed to many diseases, then you have lifelong immunity.
In contrast, this new study shows that repeated mRNA injections and boosters for COVID-19 produce a tolerance response, similar to allergy injections. They accustom the body to the virus, so that you no longer recognize it as something dangerous.
Another study, published in July by a team of more than 20 German scientists, independently confirmed that successive injections and boosters of COVID-19 convert the immune response from the protective class of the IgG response to the tolerance class.
At the same time, creating this vaccine-induced tolerance did not mean that subjects were left unprotected.
keep people sick
So the vaccine and booster program ended up doing the opposite of what it was supposed to do: keep people from getting sick.
But was that ever a realistic goal? COVID-19 is like related endemic coronaviruses. Just like the common cold, it seems that SARS-CoV-2 is not going away, no one can avoid it indefinitely and it will continue to mutate.
On the one hand, this study suggests that vaccines help the body’s immune system not to overreact to the virus. The virus itself did not kill people – it was the interaction of the virus with the patient’s immune system that caused serious and sometimes fatal infections, as the immune system overreacted to a new virus.
On the other hand, naturally acquired immunity appears to be stronger than vaccine acquired immunity, and the dangers of vaccines themselves, especially for young people, suggest that the risks of vaccination far outweigh on the benefits.
If the vaccinated are now easily catching the virus but only having mild reactions because their immune system is telling them to tolerate it, this may have been an advantage for the vaccination.
But booster shots were never needed to produce tolerance: the study showed that subjects began to develop tolerance after just two doses. Vaccines may have helped desensitize the population to harmful inflammatory immune responses to COVID-19. They played their part. It is not necessary to chain successive boosters.
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