Will The Coronavirus Go Away Without a Vaccine?

Pandemics are nothing new. The Old Testament, in the books of Leviticus and Numbers, addresses the unclean and contagious nature of leprosy and provides details on how to quarantine lepers. In the fourteenth century, the world was ravaged by “the Black Death”, a bubonic plague that first originated from Asia and spread to the Mediterranean, to unleashed horrific devastations all over Europe. Despite lacking any advanced knowledge of microbes or theories of disease transmission, Venice’s local authorities managed to link the origin of the disease to a boat that had entered the port and devised containment measures of those who were contaminated. That was the introduction of the “quaranta”, a forty-day period of confinement, which was established at that time, as the length of time necessary to certify entrants as medically safe.

But for some weird reason, in the face of today’s pandemic we would not consider quarantining only the sick. The “modern” approach of quarantine is about confining the general population. Which of course, is unsustainable. Therefore, short of being able to confine healthy people forever, the next beloved idea is to mass treat it with vaccination.

But it’s not that easy. Back in the 80’s, at the height of the HIV pandemic, US Secretary of Health and Human Services Margaret Heckler predicted that a preventative vaccine would be ready for testing in two years. As we know, it never materialized.

We’ve learned from past epidemics that as people get sick in the short term their immune system develops antibodies to fight the illness. In the long term this provides immunity for the affected population. This immunity limits person to person viral transmission. This is called “community” or herd immunity. It works but it can take years to achieve.

The fact is that the virus could remain with us for many years. In the meantime, the medical response to HIV/AIDS, for which a vaccine was never achieved, provides a framework for living with a disease may look like: The development of therapeutic treatments will help “flatten the curve” of new cases over time, and we will learn to live with the idea that the virus is “out there”. Developing new drugs for COVID-19 takes longer than getting approval for an existing drug, but the windfall for pharmaceutical companies developing new drugs is such, that there is a strong push back against the idea of considering anything old or natural (in other words, everything that cannot be patented). We will therefore wait for new drugs approval. The Federal Drug Administration is poised to speed it up by fast-tracking some approvals to treat those who get sick. The new norm for society will become continuing social distancing, as well as having a big number of our freedoms limited.

However, most experts remain confident that we will see the COVID-19 vaccine being developed in the coming months; in part because, the coronavirus does not mutate rapidly, making it a good candidate, at least on paper, for vaccination, and also because there is so much at stake financially and politically that pharmaceutical companies are under extreme pressure “to come up with something”.

Not all vaccines are effective. Actually, the CDC indicates that flu vaccine effectiveness has oscillated between 10-60% from 2005-2017, while systematic reviews show no beneficial effect of inactivated influenza vaccines on flu mortality.(1) Moreover, vaccines for the common flu (rhinoviruses and adenoviruses)—which, like the coronavirus, can cause cold symptoms—are known to be very difficult to develop. However, it is clear that even if a vaccine doesn’t work as well as advertised, chances are that low immunity will be considered better than no immunity. Considering the political pressure to provide the general population with a sense of security, any vaccine providing some level of immunity will be hailed as a victory against the pandemic.

Even though concerns over the need for more effective vaccines will be dismissed, a potential problem for vaccines that induce low levels of antibodies should not be ignored. A phenomenon called “antibody-dependent enhancement of disease”, is where the low level antibodies induce a more invasive spread of the virus into different cell types, actually worsening the disease. This is exactly what was seen in clinical trials when the science was abandoned for the HIV vaccine.

Research on the long term effects of not-so-effective vaccines reveal that even with 100% compliance, outbreaks would still occur because the vaccines would not provide the population with sufficient immunity to prevent epidemics.(2)

From recent data (3), researchers are able to compare the results obtained by countries having enforced a strict lock down (like France, Ireland, Italy, Belgium and the UK), to those who have opted for a “smart lock down” (like the Netherlands, where only activities requiring close contact with clients, as well as bars and restaurants, were ordered to close down), to those who opted for no lock down at all, only social distancing (Sweden), it is becoming increasingly clear that the lock down has failed to translate into a reduced mortality rate of COVID-19.

Sweden and Ireland have had similar mortality rates as a result of COVID-19, while the former allowed commercial activities to continue and the latter imposed strict containment. On the other hand, Eastern Europe is much less affected than Western countries, including the United States. This can be explained by the fact that the countries of Western Europe and the United States have areas of urban concentration with high population densities and many international airports.

Additional differences like demographics (ageing and multicultural societies) and health (obesity and diabetes) can also explain why some countries have rates of less than ten per million, while Western Europe and the USA are in the hundreds.

Finally, it is important to keep in mind that all those numbers are not absolutely reliable, as significant differences in diagnostic practice and recording have been observed around the world.

Belgium has the highest COVID-19 mortality rate in the world, at 763 per million, while Denmark and Germany are faring much better.

When researchers decided to compare the data with a map of the flu vaccination their findings were sobering. Pediatrician Alan Cunningham explains: “Such an observation may seem counter-intuitive, but it is possible that influenza vaccines alter our immune systems non-specifically to increase susceptibility to other infections; this has been observed with DTP and other vaccines.”(4)

It turns out that the countries with highest death rates (Belgium, Spain, Italy, UK, France, USA) had all orchestrated large vaccination campaigns specifically targeting their elderly population against the flu. Denmark and Germany, with lower use of the flu vaccine, have considerably lower COVID-19 mortality rates.

Although science should welcome data, and welcome any study shedding light to understand it meaningfully, looking at the possible correlation between the flu vaccination and the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic remains highly controversial: “Those who campaign against vaccination are campaigning against science. The science is settled…Those who have promoted the anti-vaccination myth are morally reprehensible, deeply irresponsible and have blood on their hands,” says British health secretary Matt Hancock.

In fact, instead of being “settled”, the debate is raging! It has been shown that the onset of rheumatic disease after a number of vaccinations (including influenza, MMR, HBV, tetanus toxoid, typhoid, paratyphoid A and B (TAB), polio, diphtheria, and small pox) signifies that the vaccine may trigger persistent autoimmune response in genetically predisposed individuals, suggesting that they are at increased risk for rheumatic disease after vaccinations.(5)
In other words, vaccines can lower their immune defenses against diseases other than those covered by vaccination.
True scientific attitude presupposes an openness to the various hypotheses proposed. But conflicts of interest, the profitability of vaccination campaigns, and the political agendas of certain politicians are far more powerful levers than the scientific ethics which our “expert” lecturers seem to be entirely lacking.

On March 15th, as the first cases emerged, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, predicted that 21 million Americans would be hospitalized with 1.7 million deaths. Three months later, less than 100,000 deaths have been reported, and this number is probably inflated, since many doctors have reported being “pressured” to classify many deaths as COVID-19, without any test being performed.(6)

No scientific evidence was needed for these terrifying numbers. Just like those hubristic economists before the 2008 global financial crisis, our health experts are now making mathematical models to fit their preconceived notions, indifferent to the economic and emotional carnage they are causing. The best we can do for now is to boost our immune system by going outside as much as possible (YES, fresh air is good for you!), enjoy the sun as much as you can (YES, Vitamin D deficiency weakens your immune system), and take two cones of RNA fragments a week (YES, they help create white blood cells and platelets, and have been shown in a clinical trial to be safe and effective even for vulnerable people under chemotherapy).(7) In my opinion is this is the best you can do to prepare your immune system to overcome anything, including any mandatory vaccination.