CDC Revised Vaccine Statements: Why Common Respiratory Vaccines Give Dubious Protection
Historically, vaccines were designed to protect against infection and transmission. However, this property does not extend to the recent respiratory viral vaccines.
While the annual influenza vaccines provide some protection against flu infections, their efficacy has left much to be desired. According to a 2023 research commentary co-authored by Dr. Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, flu vaccines have been shown only to be 14 to 60 percent effective over the last 15 flu seasons.
Furthermore, the CDC reported 36 percent efficacy for the 2021–2022 influenza vaccine against infections that required medical treatment, while the 2022–2023 vaccine is estimated to be 54 percent effective.
However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have reported that a vaccine is only considered effective if it has an efficacy of 50 percent or higher.
How well COVID-19 vaccines protect against viral infection and transmission is unknown. Neither Pfizer nor Moderna tested for transmission. Several studies have shown that during Omicron, vaccine effectiveness fell below 20 percent within six months of a person receiving the last dose. Immunity against the Delta variants also waned within weeks, but the decline was slower. Studies have also shown that the vaccines’ efficacy against symptomatic disease wanes rapidly within months of administration.
The recently approved respiratory syncytial virus vaccine likewise only promised efficacy against severe disease but not against infection and transmission, which marks a disappointing standard for effectiveness.
Before the COVID-19 vaccine rollouts, the CDC once defined vaccines as products that “prevent diseases” and “greatly reduce the risk of infection.”
Screen captures from the Wayback Machine showed that the last screenshot showing this statement was taken on May 23, 2021. The screen capture after that, taken on May 28, did not include this statement.
The focus of vaccines, according to the CDC webpage now, is on preventing severe illness instead.
3 Possible Causes for Poor Efficacy
Perhaps one of the most up-to-date explanations for why COVID-19 vaccines did poorer than expected comes from the research commentary co-authored by Fauci.
The article starts by stating that viruses like influenza, COVID-19, seasonal coronaviruses, RSV, and many common cold viruses “have not to date been effectively controlled by licensed or experimental vaccines.”
There are several reasons for this.
1. Vaccines Cannot Keep Up With Seasonal Viruses That Change Rapidly
All viruses come with a package of viral proteins and compounds that the body recognizes as foreign and pathogenic. During infection, the body responds to these foreign proteins. It develops an immunological memory so that the next time it encounters the same proteins, it can induce a faster and more robust response.
Vaccinations aim to familiarize the body’s immune system with these viruses and their proteins prior to actual infection.
However, viruses can change their protein markers to evade previous immunity. Some viruses, like measles, which is only recommended to be vaccinated against once, change very slowly, so immunity from an injection 10 years ago may still be effective.
But many common respiratory viruses are seasonal viruses that change much quicker, so vaccines must be updated to keep up. COVID-19 vaccines are a great example of this game of catch-up; by the time the vaccines are updated, the virus has already progressed to a new variant. So the vaccine is left forever chasing the variant, like a “hamster on a wheel,” pediatric disease specialist Dr. Cody Meissner, professor of pediatrics at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine, previously told The Epoch Times.
2. Injected Vaccines Immunize the Body, Not the Nose
Influenza, COVID-19, RSV, and common cold viruses cause local infection in the nasal cavities and upper airways. In both cases, the virus infects the mucosa. If this infection is not cleared, the virus causes severe disease, infecting the lower respiratory tract and eventually the body.
The person needs immunity in their mucosal tissue to prevent infections and transmission. However, parenteral vaccines—vaccines administered via syringe—do not create immunity in the mucosa. Instead, immunity manifests in the circulatory system. Therefore, immunity obtained from these vaccines only kicks in once the infection has become severe and systemic.
This is not to say that all respiratory viral vaccines only protect against severe disease. Vaccine efficacy against transmission and infection depends on the virus and its mode of infection.
Mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR) viruses are all respiratory, transmitting via saliva and respiratory droplets. But since infections trigger not only mucosal but also systemic reactions in early infection, immune responses from these vaccines can kick in earlier than those from the COVID vaccines.
There are also oral vaccines, such as the polio vaccine, made for oral viruses. Two doses of the vaccine give an efficacy of 90 percent against paralytic polio. Since polio infects the gastrointestinal tract, administering vaccines through the same route helps trigger immunity in the same areas of infection.
For this reason, researchers have considered nasal vaccines that stimulate an initial mucosal reaction. However, success has been limited, with the primary difficulty being that the vaccine does not produce strong enough immunity. So far, the only approved nasal vaccine in the United States is an influenza nasal spray called FluMist, which consists of a weakened version of the virus.
However, the demand for FluMist has been so low that it is unknown how its real-world efficacy compares to traditional influenza vaccines. Dr. David Bell, a biotech consultant in global health and former medical officer and scientist at the WHO, explained to The Epoch Times that, conceptually speaking, nasal vaccines should be effective against mucosal viruses. However, the low production of such vaccines currently suggests otherwise.
3. The Body Is Primed to Deal With Infections, Not Vaccines
Vaccines mimic an immune response, meaning the response is not real.
Due to safety considerations, viruses used in vaccine production are either attenuated or made into smaller components to reduce the chance of natural infection or disease. However, that is not how the body responds to diseases, Bell said.
The current public health system is centralized around immunization as the primary tool against infectious diseases. Yet experts have argued that this may have also given rise to “myopic” public health decisions, especially in relation to COVID-19.
Reposted from: https://www.theepochtimes.com/health/why-vaccines-for-common-respiratory-illnesses-give-dubious-protection_5255555.html
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