Studies show they fail to live up to their promise, but vaccine makers and experts keep pushing them.
You might have heard a radio advertisement warning that if you’ve had Covid, you could get it again and experience even worse symptoms. The message, sponsored by the Health and Human Services Department, claims that updated bivalent vaccines will improve your protection.
This is deceptive advertising. But the public-health establishment’s praise for the bivalent shots shouldn’t come as a surprise. Federal agencies took the unprecedented step of ordering vaccine makers to produce them and recommending them without data supporting their safety or efficacy.
The idea of updating mRNA Covid shots every season originally held promise. One advantage of mRNA technology is that manufacturers can tweak the genetic sequence and rapidly produce new vaccines targeting new variants. Hence the bivalent boosters targeting the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants along with the original Wuhan strain.
But three scientific problems have arisen. First, the virus is evolving much faster than the vaccines can be updated. Second, vaccines have hard-wired our immune systems to respond to the original Wuhan strain, so we churn out fewer antibodies that neutralize variants targeted by updated vaccines. Third, antibodies rapidly wane after a few months.
Two studies in the New England Journal of Medicine this month showed that bivalent boosters increase neutralizing antibodies against the BA.4 and BA.5 variants, but not significantly more than the original boosters. In one study, antibody levels after the bivalent boosters were 11 times as high against the Wuhan variant as BA.5.
The authors posit that immune imprinting “may pose a greater challenge than is currently appreciated for inducing robust immunity against SARS-CoV-2 variants.” This isn’t unique to Covid or mRNA vaccines, though boosters may amplify the effect. Our first exposure as children to the flu—whether by infection or vaccination—affects our future response to different strains.
The original Covid vaccines and boosters trained our memory B-cells to produce antibodies against the Wuhan variant. As the University of Pennsylvania’s Paul Offit explains in a New England Journal of Medicine article, previously vaccinated people who received the bivalent booster were “primed” to respond to the Wuhan strain and mounted an inferior antibody response to other variants.
The studies’ findings contradict November press releases from Pfizer and Moderna asserting that their bivalents produced a response to the BA.4 and BA.5 variants four to six times that of the original boosters. These claims are misleading. Neither vaccine maker conducted a randomized trial. They tested the original boosters last winter, long before the BA.5 surge and 4½ to six months after trial participants had received their third shots. The bivalents, by contrast, were tested after BA.5 began to surge, 9½ to 11 months after recipients had received their third shots.
A longer interval between shots would increase the antibody boost to the BA.5 variant. So would a prior infection with the BA.5 variant. In other words, people who received the bivalent boosters in August would have been primed to produce more antibodies in response to BA.5.
The vaccine makers designed their studies to get the results they wanted. Public-health authorities didn’t raise an eyebrow, but why would they? They have a vested interest in promoting the bivalents.
The Food and Drug Administration ordered the vaccine makers in June to update the boosters against BA.4 and BA.5 and rushed in late August to authorize the bivalents before clinical data were available. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the bivalents for all adults without any evidence that they were effective or needed.
Vaccine makers could have performed small randomized trials last summer and early fall that tested the bivalents against the original boosters and a placebo group. Results could have been available by the end of September. But the public-health authorities didn’t want to wait—and now we know why.
The CDC published a study in November that estimated the bivalents were only 22% to 43% effective against infection during the BA.5 wave—their peak efficacy. As antibodies waned and new variants took over later in the fall, their protection against infection probably dropped to zero.
Another CDC study, in December, reported that seniors who received bivalents were 84% less likely to be hospitalized than the unvaccinated, and 73% less likely than those who had received two or more doses of the original vaccine. But neither study controlled for important confounding factors—for one, that the small minority who got bivalents were probably also more likely than those who hadn’t to follow other Covid precautions or seek out treatments such as Paxlovid.
FDA Commissioner Robert Califf tweeted on Jan. 11 that “COVID-19 vaccines have been associated with a significant reduction in hospitalization and death” (my emphasis). He should know that correlation doesn’t prove causation. A study found the unvaccinated were significantly more likely to get into car accidents, but that doesn’t mean vaccines prevent crashes.
Many of the same experts who trashed observational studies supporting hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin now flog intrinsically flawed studies on bivalent boosters. After zealously promoting the bivalents, they may be seeking vindication. But science isn’t about vindication.
Covid vaccines mitigated severe illness while most Americans gained immunity through natural infection, which substantially boosts protection. There’s a growing consensus that we need better vaccines and treatments to protect those still at risk. But we also need honest public-health leaders.
Ex-top FBI official involved in Trump-Russia probe is charged with ‘trying to get billionaire oligarch Oleg Deripaska off sanctions list in return for cash’: Also ‘took $225,000 from ex-spy working for China’
A former FBI official has been arrested over his ties to a Russian oligarch charged with violating US sanctions.
Charles McGonigal, 54, was previously the special agent in charge of counterintelligence in the New York Field office – and worked on the investigation into Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.
He was arrested on Saturday afternoon after arriving at JFK following a trip to Sri Lanka and retired from the FBI in 2018.
Law enforcement says he has links to metal mogul Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire who was sanctioned by the US in 2018 and then charged with violating them last year.
Deripaska was among two dozen Russian oligarchs and government officials blacklisted by Washington in 2018 in reaction to Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump become president.
Court interpreter Sergey Shestakov, 69, has also been charged in connection with the case and working with Deripaska.
McGonigal is charged with violating US sanctions by trying to get Deripaska – who is worth $1.7 billion – off the sanctions list in 2019.
He is one of the highest-ranking former FBI officials ever charged with a crime, and was living in a plush $730k West Village apartment before selling it in 2020.
Both McGonigal and Shestakov are accused of receiving payments through shell companies and forging signatures to keep it secret that Deripaska was paying them.
According to the Justice Department, the pair, who both worked for the FBI and investigated oligarchs, agreed to investigate a rival oligarch in return for payments from Deripaska.
Both men are facing money laundering charges as well as violating sanctions – with each of the four counts carrying a maximum of 20 years in prison.
The FBI searched Deripaska’s $15 million home in Washington DC, his $42.5 million property in the Upper East Side and $4.5 million townhouse in West Village in 2021.
After leaving the FBI, McGonigal worked for Deripaska through a law firm, and made at least $25,000 working as an ‘investigator. ‘
He was then paid $51,000 and $41,790 for across several months of working for the Russian directly.
McGonigal told pals that he was working for a ‘rich Russian guy’ and stressed that his work was legal.
The US Attorney’s Office has unsealed a separate case against McGonigal, claiming that he accepted $225k from an individual who was an employee of a foreign intelligence service.
Documents claim that between August 2017 and September 2018 – just before his retirement – he hid the relationship from the FBI.
He is accused of travelling abroad with the ‘individual with business interests in Europe’, and met foreign nationals.
The person is described in the court documents as an Albanian national who was employed by a Chinese energy conglomerate.
The person later ‘served as an FBI source in a criminal investigation involving foreign political lobbying’ over which McGonigal had a supervisory role.
Former British PM Tony Blair Calls for Orwellian Digital Surveillance to Track Vaccine Status at World Economic Forum Davos
“You need to know who’s been vaccinated and who hasn’t been.”
Disgraced former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was run out of office for supporting the disastrous Iraq War, appeared at the World Economic Forum conflab in Davos shilling for a ghoulish technocracy.
Blair argued that total digital surveillance is needed to track vaccine status moving forward, as COVID-19 is used to usher in horrors that were previously unfathomable.
“You need to know who’s been vaccinated and who hasn’t been. Some of the vaccines that will come on down the line will be multiple shots so you’ve got to have…a proper digital infrastructure and many countries don’t have that, and in fact, most countries don’t have that,” he said.
The clip can be seen here:
Big League Politics reported on how the COVID pandemic and corresponding psychological terror operation would be used to usher in an inescapable Orwellian Nightmare on the peasantry:
“The late plutocrat and engineer of globalism David Rockefeller once said at a United Nations dinner: “All we need is the right crisis and the people will accept the New World Order.”
With COVID-19, it seems that the right crisis has finally arrived to usher in the new era of globalism. The mass media is already priming the public for the new permanent changes to society that are all but inevitable at this point.
BBC News has laid out their grand vision of the Orwellian “new normal” of what the central planners and technocrats intend society to look like by 2022.