Sunday, February 7, 2021

As A-Z vaccine fails against new strain, naturally derived immunity probably defeats it

According to today's Washington Post, "South Africa will suspend use of the coronavirus vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca after researchers found it provided "minimal protection" against mild to moderate coronavirus infections caused by the new variant [B.1. 351] first detected in that country." Switzerland decided to ban it too.  Some other European countries are still using the A-Z vaccine, but only in those below certain age limits. 

Why would you start vaccinating your population with a vaccine for a viral strain that is being outcompeted by another strain that is resistant to the vaccine?

Are governments trying to use up the supply they purchased before its efficacy is completely gone?

While, according to the La Jolla Institute of Immunology "T cells try to fight SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, by targeting a broad range of sites on the virus. By attacking the virus from many angles, the body has the tools to potentially recognize different SARS-CoV-2 variants." Here is the entire paper.

The point to take away is that the immunity derived from getting a mild case of the disease is likely to be much more broad and robust than the immunity you will get from a vaccine.

Why do I say "a mild case"?  Because I believe almost everyone would have only a mild case if their Vitamin D level was adequate and they were given appropriate treatment.

Ivermectin use in many countries in Latin America has drastically reduced death rates.  

We need to rethink our Covid-19 strategy. 

Update 2/7/21: from the WaPo:

The coronavirus variant that shut down much of the United Kingdom [yet another strain, B.1.1.7]--Nass] is spreading rapidly across the United States, outcompeting other strains and doubling its prevalence among confirmed infections every week and a half, according to new research made public Sunday.

The report, posted on the preprint server MedRxiv and not yet peer-reviewed or published in a journal, comes from a collaboration of many scientists and provides the first hard data to support a forecast issued last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that showed the variant [the UK variant, not the South African variant] becoming dominant in the United States by late March...

The CDC forecast shows that, with a steady rate of a million vaccinations a day, infections will most likely continue to decline even in the presence of the more transmissible variant.

But the decline will be much more gradual than if the variant had not taken hold, according to the CDC’s forecast... [i.e., protection against the B.1.1.7 variant will be measurably less--Nass]

The new study only looked at data through the end of January, but the percentage of infections in Florida involving B.1.1.7 may have risen from a little less than 5 percent to approximately 10 percent in just the past week, Kristian Andersen, an immunologist at Scripps Research Institute and a co-author of the new study, said Sunday in an email. 

Andersen is the first author of a Nature Medicine study published last March which told a whopper of a tale about how SARS-Cov-2 could not possibly have come from a lab. Which makes him a knave, a fool or a tool. I'd go with #s 1 and 3. Tools provide narrative, and he has already done that once. Let's see where this narrative is going.


Barry Kissin said...

Yes, by all means let’s rethink our “COVID-19 strategy.”
At the end of Meryl’s Feb 6 blog entry (yesterday’s): “Learn how corrupt forces are aiming to make billions of dollars from expensive medicines and vaccines, and how hundreds of thousands of deaths could have-and should have-been prevented!”
A better COVID-19 strategy rejects the “corrupt forces” which can be referred to as the Big Pharma complex, and accordingly rejects the strategy based on COVID vaccines and lockdowns.
Instead we rely on the broader and more "robust" natural herd immunity that arises from widespread infection controlled by Vitamin D and (when necessary) treatment with ivermectin cocktail and/or HCQ cocktail.
This better COVID-19 strategy is now working in some fashion in many parts of the world.
For example, according to the website of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (, Belize, Macedonia, and the state of Uttar Pradesh in Northern India recently incorporated ivermectin as a prophylaxis and treatment agent for COVID-19 in their national treatment guidelines.

On Feb 4, the Washington Post published an article titled “India’s coronavirus puzzle: Why case numbers are plummeting.” India has about 18% of the world’s population. “Just months ago, India was adding nearly 100,000 cases a day — more than any other country. On Tuesday, it reported only 8,635. That’s about the number recorded the same day by New York state, where the population is less than 2 percent of India’s. Epidemiologists in India say that there is only one likely explanation for the decrease in new cases: The virus is finding it harder to spread because a significant proportion of the population, at least in cities, already has been infected. The decline is not related to a lack of opportunities for transmission. India has fully reopened its economy …”

Is this the way to rethink our COVID-19 strategy?

John said...

Tuesday's "hit-it-hard" strategy, of targeting 80,000 people who may have been exposed to the South African Covid-19 variant is a sign of how we will be living for months and probably years to come.

What I mean is that we have entered an important and troubling new phase of this pandemic, in which new strains that are more resistant to vaccines are being imported and are developing naturally here.

NEW: Confronted with the possibility of coronavirus variants that may evade current vaccines, therapies and tests for the virus, the Food and Drug Administration is readying a plan for action in the next few weeks

The F.D.A. prepares plans vaccines less effective against new variants.

The mutations especially, in B.1.135, reduces the efficacy of the immune response. The same mutation is found in a variant first seen in Brazil. "Mutationally, this virus is traveling in a direction that could ultimately lead to escape from our current therapeutic and prophylactic interventions directed to the viral spike," Dr David Ho's team wrote at Columbia University.
"If the rampant spread of the virus continues and more critical mutations accumulate, then we may be condemned to chasing after the evolving SARS-CoV-2 continually, as we have long done for influenza virus," he added.

Perhaps inevitable, but it has happened. B1.1.7, the variant in the UK, has acquired the mutation that made the variants in South Africa and Brazil less susceptible to vaccines.
Seeing that B1.1.7 now acquired the E484K mutation in the UK

It would appear that possibly B.1.1.7 acquired the E484K now as well.
In terms of evolution it would appear maybe that 501Y comes first and 484K follows suit ‪…‬

The highly transmissible ‪#B1351‬ ‪#coronavirus‬ variant 1st seen in S. Africa has been identified in the US, in 2 people with no travel history.
The patients’ lack of travel suggests the variant is already spreading in the community.

UK Covid strain has already mutated to resemble the Brazil and South Africa strains

John said...

Coronavirus variant first seen in South Africa identified in South Carolina
People in South Carolina with no travel history have been infected with the variant, which has mutations that scientists say allows the virus to elude some treatments and threatens the effectiveness of vaccines

The 501Y.V2 variant emerged and spread rapidly throughout the country. Studies then changed to examine the vaccine’s potency against the original virus as compared to the new strain. Much of the antibody induced by the vaccine was not actually active against the variant circulating in SA.
Studies showed a “substantial drop” in the vaccine’s ability to neutralise the activity of the virus. When we analysed individuals in terms of how well the vaccine worked against the variant, there was very little difference between the vaccine group and placebo group. However, vaccines really remain the only sustainable option of reducing severe disease.

New Zealand tops Lowy Institute list as country with best response to coronavirus

New SARS-CoV-2 variants with mutations in the spike glycoprotein have arisen independently at multiple locations and may have functional significance. The combination of mutations in the 501Y.V2 variant first detected in South Africa include the N501Y, K417N, and E484K mutations in the receptor binding domain (RBD) as well as mutations in the N-terminal domain (NTD). Here we address whether the 501Y.V2 variant could escape the neutralizing antibody response elicited by natural infection with earlier variants. We were the first to outgrow two variants of 501Y.V2 from South Africa, designated 501Y.V2.HV001 and 501Y.V2.HVdF002. We examined the neutralizing effect of convalescent plasma collected from six adults hospitalized with COVID-19 using a microneutralization assay with live (authentic) virus. Whole genome sequencing of the infecting virus of the plasma donors confirmed the absence of the spike mutations which characterize 501Y.V2. We infected with 501Y.V2.HV001 and 501Y.V2.HVdF002 and compared plasma neutralization to first wave virus which contained the D614G mutation but no RBD or NTD mutations. We observed that neutralization of the 501Y.V2 variants was strongly attenuated, with IC50 6 to 200-fold higher relative to first wave virus. The degree of attenuation varied between participants and included a knockout of neutralization activity. This observation indicates that 501Y.V2 may escape the neutralizing antibody response elicited by prior natural infection. It raises a concern of potential reduced protection against re-infection and by vaccines designed to target the spike protein of earlier SARS-CoV-2 variants.
Competing Interest Statement
The authors have declared no competing interest.
Funding Statement
This work was supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Investment INV-018944 (AS) and by the South African Medical Research Council and the Department of Science and Innovation (TdO).

Meryl Nass, M. D. February 7, 2021

As A-Z vaccine fails against new strain, naturally derived immunity probably defeats it

Groucho Big Store Clip

Merri said...

Make Americans Free Again; Ohio lawsuit ag. unconstitutional COVID-19 response.
Attorney is working with same in New Mexico and Reiner Fuellmich of the German Coronavirus Investigative Committee, suing WHO and other entities, Dr Christan Drosten (initiator of PCR Test for C-virus, the head of virology at Berlin’s Charité Hospital, and Dr Lothar Wieler, the head of the RKI, the German counterpart of the US Center for Disease Control, who he claims knowingly misled governments across the world.

Anonymous said...

Pfizer one dose looking ineffective which is what was used through all of December and on 80+ age group.

Pfizer vaccine is already said to be ineffective against the S Africa variant after one jab on over 80’s.

Jan 31
CEO of Pfizer states their vaccine will most likely be ineffective against a number of the COVID variants.

Pfizer CEO to speed up vaccine development to combat the high likelihood mutant Covid variants will make current shots ineffective

Scientist Cele showed that the Pfizer, ASTRAZeneca, and Oxiford Vaccines are ineffective to the SA variant.

AND the first sera tests of these vaccines against new variant is: less neutralizing. (The sera test of one dose in ppl over 80 just against wild type was: ineffective.) the Pfizer/Moderna vaccines are like influenza vaccines. But covid is much much worse than the flu

Jan 25
The South African variant is producing a much weaker immune response in people vaccinated with Moderna. If the same thing happens with the initially less effective AZ vaccine I am guessing it would be fairly ineffective at preventing infection.

UK variant, mutation & Sarscov2 adaptability still deem vaccines as ineffective.

Anonymous said...

Jan 27
The Brazilian variant may elude both Moderna and Pfizer vaccine.

Feb 7, 2021
moderna is also very ineffective against the sa variant

Jan 22
This is terrifying. Studies are showing AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna ineffective to the new variant in South Africa

We might end up back at square one if we don’t stop these mutants. It was just discovered this week that the ‪#B1351‬ variant with the Eeek mutation is so evasive —people with prior ‪#COVID19‬ has no extra protection against this variant —not even for severe reinfection!

South Africa variant found in eight areas in England - New Scientist ,‪#B1351‬

A new variant ‪#501YV2‬, also known as ‪#B1351‬ emerged late last year

Now the SARS-CoV-2 variants that were first identified in the UK (B.1.1.7), South Africa (B.1.351), and Brazil (P.1) have been found in the US, a couple of thoughts (i.e., speculation...) on what happens next, as I been getting many questions about transmission and immunity

South African ‪#B1351‬ ‪#coronavirus‬ variant may reinfect people already stricken once with ‪#COVID19‬.

Dr. Deb’Mo’
The South African strain ‪#B1351‬ is coming, which we know is highly transmissible

TWO DIFFERENT ‪#COVID19‬ PANDEMICS—Many think with cases dropping that pandemic is nearly over. But truth is, there are now 2 different ‪#SARSCoV2‬ pandemics diverging—old strain is waning, while the more contagious ‪#B117‬ strain is dominating. We will be soon slammed very hard.

Health experts around the world are now re-evaluating their nations’ “mitigation policies” have failed to contain two waves of the pandemic — with a..wave of highly infectious variants on the way.

The more it spreads the more chances of MUTATION and risk of vaccines being ineffective.

Recalibrate thinking about how to approach the pandemic virus and shift the focus from the goal of herd immunity against transmission to the protection of all at-risk individuals in the population against severe disease

B.1.351 is the variant raising alarms for possibly being able to circumvent a vaccine’s protection due to a helpful mutation called E484K. A Brazilian variant, P1, also has this mutation, though there’s not a lot of research on vaccine efficacy for this particular mutant.

Feb 6
‪: People with who had Covid 'just as likely to get sick'. Past infection not fully protective against variant #B1351.‬

This will be our problem in 2021
‪#SouthAfrica‬ ‪#COVID19‬ ‪#B1351‬

Pfizer and Moderna have also said the variants affects the efficacy of their vaccines

Coronavirus vaccine strategy needs rethink after resistant variants emerge, say scientists
7 Feb 2021

Some states in particular may be flying blinder than others. As Caroline Chen wrote in ProPublica yesterday, governors of New York, Michigan, Massachusetts, California, and Idaho are planning to relax more restrictions, including those on indoor dining. Such a plan is probably the perfect way to ensure these variants spread, so much that even Chen was surprised at how pessimistic the outlook was when she asked 10 scientists for the piece.

The B.1.1.7 variant is expected to become the dominant strain in the U.S. by March, according to the CDC. And on top of that, the B.1.1.7 variant seems to have picked up that helpful E484K mutation in some cases as well. Per Angela Rasmussen of Georgetown University, if these governors don’t realize how much they’re about to screw everything up, “the worst could be yet to come.”

Anonymous said...

What can UK do to limit spread of South African Covid variant?
Oxford/AstraZeneca jab appears to offer less protection against variant – so what can ministers do about it?

Peter Walker 8 Feb 2021
The government is scrambling to limit the impact of the South African variant of coronavirus after a study indicated that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine offers minimal protection against it for mild to moderate infection. With 147 confirmed cases in the UK, what are ministers’ options?
Tougher quarantine rules

A quarantine plan is already being put together, with arrivals from countries seen as high risk from new variants due to face mandatory quarantine for 10 days from 15 February. Labour and other opposition parties have questioned why this is not happening sooner – on Monday, Downing Street said no contracts had yet been awarded to hotels for holding arrivals – or whether the list of countries should be broader. The full plans are not due to be announced until next week.

Full border closure

The most thorough way to prevent new variants arriving in the UK would be to attempt a New Zealand-style near-total border closure, with small numbers of people only allowed in after quarantine. However, that would bring significant complications, including the amount of road freight that arrives in the UK every day, and the land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Further vaccinations

This is a contingency that governments around the world have been planning for, and appears inevitable. It was always known that a Covid-type virus would mutate as it spread through populations, and that this could include the emergence of variants that were partly or wholly resistant to vaccines developed for earlier incarnations. The expectation was that populations, or at least more vulnerable members within it, could well need annual vaccinations to provide some immunity to new variants, as happens with the flu.

However, it could now happen that people in the UK will get a third, “booster” vaccine dose later this year, to provide additional protection against new variants. On Friday the government announced that it had signed a deal with a German manufacturer to help develop vaccines that could combat new variants, and had placed advance orders for at least 50m doses of these.

Anonymous said...

I have heard that the fact the Covid-19 vaccines are not "sterilizing" --that is that they may allow infection and passage of infection to others (even without the new variants) that this kind of low efficacy tends to select for variants which will escape all vaccines. Not a given, but a tendency over time. Is this true?

Unknown said...

Seems to me vaccines are NOT the answer; that true immunity comes from having a disease and recovering from it, whether with nature's help or not. Warring against Nature is like warring against God: the more vaccines, the more Unprotected one becomes.