Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Are COVID-19 vaccines useful? (3)

Here is an interesting twitter thread by a mainstream author in which he discusses the problems in the Swedish observational study preprint

Effectiveness of Covid-19 Vaccination Against Risk of Symptomatic Infection, Hospitalization, and Death Up to 9 Months: A Swedish Total-Population Cohort Study

where vaccine efficacy drops to zero by 200 days and becomes negative there-after. 

Life is probably not that simple and natural infection means that by the 200 day mark you are comparing recovered field infected people with naive vaccinated people, at least I think that's his argument. So apples are being compared to progressively ripening oranges.

What’s more interesting is a related second twitter thread of his in which he discusses this study of the fully vaccinated only (ie more than 14 days post second dose, mostly) 

Immune Responses in Fully Vaccinated Individuals Following Breakthrough Infection with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta Variant in Provincetown, Massachusetts

which looks at the short term consequences of vaccine failure (“breakthrough” infections) on a number of parameters. The vaccinated study population were jabbed in the near absence of circulating virus so the normal 14 days of immunosuppression didn’t cause an infection problem. Later on a wave of field infection passed through the area as the virus "virused" in its normal manner, though somewhat out of season.

Here’s the most important figure, it's as close as the study got to asking useful questions:

Section A simply tells us that having a vaccine systemic anti-spike antibody titre of around 1 in 200-ish derived from the vaccine does nothing to protect against infection and that field virus exposure bumps this up to 1 in 2,000-ish in recovery. Shrug, we should expect that there would be a marked response to the original antigen seen by the immune system, especially in the systemic circulation.

What is much more interesting is section B. This shows systemic IgG response to nucleocapsid antigen, which as essentially zero in people who were vaccinated but not infected, on the left side of the graph. The right hand side, filled circles, shows people who were vaccinated and then became infected. There is an anti-nucleocapsid systemic IgG response of a magnitude comparable to the anti-spike IgG response produced by the initial vaccination. This suggest that OAS is present but does not eliminate the response to other antigens of the field virus.

Now, whether a spike-only antibody titre of 1:200 is protective against anything is an open point, so whether a broad antigen antibody response, illustrated by anti nucleocapsid response, is effective against anything either is also a somewhat open point. All of the infected people were survivors and all had mild illness. It seems like a religious question as to whether mild disease was due to huge anti-spike response or modest multi-epitope response. Or catching the virus in July in northern latitudes.

Ultimately the vast majority (but clearly not all) of people are going to survive exposure to SARS-CoV-2, especially if it happens in mid summer. The vaccine appears to allow field infection to produce a broad antigen, probably sterilising immunity. OAS still shows as the marked anti-spike response to field virus but this does not stop recovery or a more general immune response.

And because the vaccine does nothing to eliminate spread we will eventually have enough people infected to then limit transmission to endemic levels.


Controversial addendum: This link is to a less-than-preprint conversational musing piece from someone who has access to NHS data of a detail beyond anyone's wildest dreams in Twitterland, hence it's on Telegraph. So some serious caveats have to be applied but his conclusion is that the vaccines do absolutely nothing. At all. An interesting idea.

From https://t.me/JohnDeesAlmanac/639

Consider with caution. There appear to be lots of ways of looking at lots of data!


raphi said...

if we can't have a good vaccine then our next best option is to "hope" for a really incompetent one... now lets just hope we keep it away from kids long whilst getting enough adults 'field infected'. maybe some special measures for the elderly and ill would be nice, but that'd be like believing in Father Christmas

JR said...

Thanks Peter, I think this is a positive message.

At first I ran into the Swedish pair matched study, which looked scary. And is such. The 4 month trial period seems optimal for showing the effectiveness of mNra. The steep waning starts right after.

My conclusion, would accept some help...
- after 2 doses (have them of different brands! Was in a hurry to fly), 3rd of the same buys only a couple of months.
- so a different approach would be needed (which probably will be late)
- best is vaxxes first and then mild infection. Then it is all set.

Insanity is repeating the old practise and expect different results; thank you Mr Einstein.

Peter said...

raphi, yes, it would also be nice if the available vaccines had better VAERS profiles.

JR, we'll never know is my guess. Ultimately the trade off will be getting some ability to travel/grudging place in society vs adverse reactions. Hell of a trade off.

And Israel is about to tell us things about a winter surge in a highly vaccinated population. Rise is due in a few weeks.


cavenewt said...

Of course we won't know definitive stuff for many years, after things have had time to run their course. Good old reliable hindsight, although we haven't exactly taken advantage of our experience with things like Hong Kong flu.

In the meantime, as someone who got the mRNA vaccine seven months ago, a trip to North Dakota at this time is inconvenient. Maybe I'll go see the new Dune movie instead.

Malcolm said...

Interesting stuff, particularly that randomisation idea at the end. Unfortunately I didn't do stats at school and have never been much good at them, so I just take a simplistic view - look at the bodycount. I've just come across this web page: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/excess-mortality-in-england-weekly-reports - click on "Weekly excess mortality in England analysis". I looked at "All Persons" and the graph for All Persons, Excess Mortality. It seems to me that each wave is lower and slower than the previous one. Ok, this winter might be another bad wave (who knows really?), but also there's a decent chance it might not.

Peter said...

Thanks Malcolm, I recall all-cause being low in the Spring and that somewhat cancels out the current excess. For the Winter I can see three scenarios. One, everyone at risk of mortality is already dead or immune and we will be fine. Two, the current high Autumn mortality bodes ill for the Winter. Three, something else will happen!

Whatever happens I'm expecting lockdown/vacc papers/school closures in the next few weeks for the UK. Oh, and face nappies of course. Possibly Wayne the covid marshal to replace Bojo as PM.


cavenewt said...


I don't always agree with Eugyppius, but aside from the accusation about a "campaign against carbohydrates", this is a pretty accurate description of my feeling about how things have been going. And, I think, a good overview of the global pattern of behavior.

Captain Sunset said...

@ Cavenewt, I'm kinda with you girl, but I think Eugyppius has uttered about as much commonsense as anyone ever has with his more recent post. I guess I'm with the guy 100%. I would love to meet him, and I have no side in stating that. His take on so many fronts offers so much clarity, and as such, it is also so, so refreshing - much like that Petro guy.

Jay said...

Oh crikey Peter, I do hope not. At the moment, from the vantage point of Ireland, England looks like the only moderately sane place outside the Scandis (and Denmark could (allegedly) crack at any time)and I was hoping that they would hold the line against this madness. In Ireland the 'exit wave' (which is what it clearly is - nightclubs are now open for goodness' sake) is spooking everyone and they are 'doubling down' on vaccine passes. The average Joe is 'waking up' to the fact that they don't know what they're doing but it won't end well.

cavenewt said...

This explains clearly how mRNA manufactures spike protein.

It's a protein synthesis party! Who knew chemistry could be so much fun?

Note how thin everybody is in this 1971 film. It charmingly* mixes rock music and Jabberwocky. If only the quality was better. Also, the molecules are passing around a bottle at the end. Enzyme juice? ;)

Got it from Mike Eades' latest Arrow. https://www.proteinpower.com/newsletter-sign-up/


* maybe that's just because I was about the same age then

Ariadne R said...

I don't know what to think about so many aspects of this mess. Eugyppius, for example, makes me deeply, deeply uncomfortable. If someone had told me in 2019 that in a couple of years I would be paying close attention to the writings of a self-professed German Nationalist, my eyeballs would have erupted from their sockets and gone rolling down the street. And yet here we are in 2021, and several times I have found myself contemplating one of his pieces for days afterward. My opinions on them are far from settled. But I'm quite convinced that the Eugyppius phenomenon is an important facet of what is going on in the world right now. So I'll continue to read, watch, and ponder.

altavista said...

Would the vaccines be useful against this by mounting an earlier immune response? Or you just trade it for myocarditis?


LA_Bob said...

cavenewt, great video! Thanks for linking. I was pondering the organizational challenges that must have gone into that. The choreography, the music, the "olde English" poem. But then I suppose a "hippy" musical among college students is easier to pull off than a pandemic response or a sound nutrition study.

One thing I did learn is that ribosomes are apparently the cause of orgies in humans.

Peter said...

Jay and Ariadne R, political allegiances are funny things. I have to admit that the only reason England has not introduced the Green Pass equivalent yet is that Boris thinks he and his mates will do better without it. God only knows what life would be like here if Kier Starmer was PM, I shudder to think. I saw a post on twitter where a lady of Democrat leanings was having to grind her teeth because a person she detested, Ted Cruz, was talking Covid sense. I can sympathise with her. I doubt I would much like DeSantis but he sure as hell has nailed it re Covid.

Alta, interesting paper. Good job they found it wasn’t then spike protein causing all the vascular problems. Otherwise there might have been a whole lot of vascular problems after a spike protein inducing vaccine. What a relief.

cave, just got time to watch! Fantastic. And slim…


Eric said...

Not convinced by this latest Eugyppius piece.

"Very soon, millions of children will be vaccinated against a virus that is less dangerous to them than influenza. These useless vaccinations will kill some of them, and they will not save any lives. As outrages go, this one is very far up there. It is also the latest in a long line: Many countries have for months observed a sustained trend of elevated mortality in younger demographics, almost surely the result of vaccine-induced myocarditis. "

- a virus that is less dangerous to them than influenza --> maybe true
- will kill some of them --> there is one case of that in all of Germany up to now that I am aware of
- will not save any lives --> juvenile covid deaths are in the thousands in the US
- surely the result of vaccine-induced myocarditis --> I think we have the statistics to disprove this

Peter said...

Eric, I have already written to my son's headmaster explicitly stating that both myself and my wife absolutely do not give permission for this vaccine to be administered to our son, under any circumstances, at his school. I have also asked that he be put under no pressure what so ever to accept the vaccine should we eventually descend to the level of allowing 14 year olds, or even 12 year olds, to "consent" to a potentially damaging medical procedure.

Good luck to your children.


JR said...

Hi Peter, just finished Kendrick's "the plot thickens". It is very very well written, focusing on different routes to vasculitis and blood clots. Let's hear a very abbreviated version on covid:

"...even most people are dying of increased blood clotting. Heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and widespread thrombi in the micro-circulation, known as disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC).

The reality is that COVID19 is not really a respiratory virus, it is a cardiovascular virus.

In addition to CVD, several younger people were found to be developing a delayed immune response following COVID19 infection.

It is Kawasaki’s disease, kind of. So, how does COVID19, a viral infection, cause both cardiovascular deaths, and Kawasaki’s? Yes, COVID19 is causing a widespread vasculitis.

The acute vasculitis also helps to explain why diabetes is such a significant risk factor. In diabetes, the glycocalyx is already weakened and thinned, and COVID19 doubles down on the damage.

It also explains why kidney failure has been another major problem. Damage to the glycocalyx causes specific problems with the micro-vessels in the kidney. In addition, a healthy glycocalyx will almost certainly help to prevent COVID19 from sticking to the ACE2 receptor in the first place, thus making entry into the cells more difficult.

All the scientists needed to do was to think endothelial damage/vasculitis. But no-one yet thinks this way. So, it is all considered mysterious. Even though it has been known for years that respiratory viruses can damage the vascular endothelium, and greatly increase the risk of death from blood clots."


Eric said...


thanks, and the same to yours.

I wrote that I do not find this particular piece by Eugyppius that Cave quoted convincing. His two pieces on OAS were better, but contrary to his claims, apparently, OAS does not usually happen when healthy adults receive a flu shot: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18449194/


Peter said...

Thanks JR, that fits nicely with "Try not to be diabetic". Perhaps we could add "Try not to predispose yourself to DIC" but the latter is always a good plan. Sadly reducing your plasma FFA double bond index on admission to the ITU is not as easy as maintaining normal blood sugars...

Eric, I have been a clinician for around 40 years. In the UK the adverse reaction reporting scheme is called the Yellow Card System. I've filled in maybe 5 or 6 since 1981. They are a pain to do and no one ever fills in as many as they should, the system massively under reports all adverse reactions. I also expect that if one child in 5000 develops myocarditis sever enough to be hospitalised that many, many others develop myocarditis subclinically and no one knows (yet).

Many patients with vaccine induced myocarditis improve quite a lot over the months following their hospitalisation but the information as to how many will have permanent myocardial scaring five years down the road is sadly lacking. The swine flu vaccine was pulled for a 1 in 50,000 incidence of narcolepsy.

Vaccinating healthy children is insanity. Being morbidly obese with occult diabetes in-situ is not part of my definition of a health child, such "healthy" children should be allowed the vaccine if they/guardians so wish. Whether it protects them against anything is another question. Mandating it for all is criminal.


raphi said...

Good on you Peter for writing to the headmaster!

Eric, do you read boriquagato.substack.com? He's got excellent analyses of the vaccine/covid data. Here he compares myo/pericarditis from covid vs myo/pericarditis from the vaccines https://boriquagato.substack.com/p/the-french-are-correct-to-stop-using turns out that, in most age group's, there's NEGATIVE efficacy (i.e. it's riskier to take the vaccine than get covid). And this is just looking at mayo/pericarditis... if we included a full accounting of all side-effects there's just no benefit to be found. the degree to which these vaccines are failing is impressive and getting worse as more data comes in

France has recently suspended Moderna for < 30s based on Scandinavian data. More suspensions are to come.

No other vaccines are allowed on the market with such a terrible side-effect profile. It's pure folly to keep them on market

Eric said...


altavista said...

So Gates invested $55m in BioNTech. In Sep 2019 lol

After 5bn vaccines at 20 euro a pop, and a few deaths along the way, it's actually not that good. wtf



cavenewt said...

Here’s an unusually lucid and reasonable suggestion for how to move forward. From someone with credentials. https://www.startribune.com/time-to-face-hard-truths-and-get-on-with-life-virus-and-all/600115234/

Puddleg said...

Bingo - the vaccine (which does fit Bradford Hill criteria well when we look at the almost entirely Covid-naive New Zealand data) allows the vaccinated part of the population to get natural immunity safely IF spread occurs before too much vaccine waiting. The priority should then be protecting the unvaccinated vulnerable till this happens.
If I'm exposed to Covid and I fight it off because of the vaccine antibodies, so that I test negative, do I still make some of these extra antibodies as well?

NZ raw data, see Vaccination status of total cases and hospitalisations in Auckland's outbreak chart. Natural immunity is not yet a factor here.

Peter said...

Thanks George, for those vaccinated but still ‘rona naive this is encouraging to say the least. From the UK data there is absolutely no suggestion that the vaccine mitigates either infection or transmission, so relaxing lockdown will effectively allow the virus to run through the NZ population. Whether NZ can keep the ‘rona out of care homes using a non sterilising vaccine will be your next test.

That above paragraph is a clear declaration that I have come to accept that lockdowns do affect transmission by a predictable amount, mostly I’m influenced by https://twitter.com/federicolois, who seems like a pretty good modeller. I note from his current pinned tweet that he doesn’t seem to like the NZ approach!

Still, so far so good for NZ and it almost looks like cases have peaked under your current circumstances. I keep waiting for a sustained drop but its not quite there yet… I guess running out of people to give a first dose of vaccine to will help!


cavenewt said...

Hey George, the word "waiting" at the end of your statement is confusing me. Can you clarify please? "...allows the vaccinated part of the population to get natural immunity safely IF spread occurs before too much vaccine waiting."

As a vaccinated person I'm very interested in this conversation. Maybe I should reconsider that North Dakota pub crawl...

Peter, I have no idea about the credibility of this source, but there's this story today: "Operation Rampdown: Leaked official Covid 'exit plan' to dismantle key measures including self-isolation, mass testing and Test and Trace by early next year" https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10198985/Operation-Rampdown-Codename-revealed-Government-papers-dismantle-key-Covid-measures-year.html

Of course they're still gung-ho on boosters, it sounds like.

Peter said...

cave, yes, it's a rumour. With the current government it probably means lockdown right through next year but you never know, it might be true. But then they're going to sack non vaccinated health care workers at about that time. Doing both seems a bit odd.

George, just noticed that you said "The priority should then be protecting the unvaccinated vulnerable till this happens". Do you have unvaccinated vulnerable in NZ? The vulnerable were a priority for vaccination in the UK, not that it did much good last January.


Peter said...

cave/George, waning perhaps?


Puddleg said...


cavenewt said...

Oh duh.

Puddleg said...


there are people with exemptions because of autoimmunity, people who's shots won't take well because of immunosupressants, comorbid antivaxxers...

Puddleg said...

In this NZ raw data, Covid-naive population and Pfizer vax only, we do not see an immunosuppressive effect of the first shot, there is no increased rate of hospitalization in the first 14 days after vaccination vs unvaxxed.


Today's numbers, case/hospitalization ratio

under 12s - 1302/21
unvaccinated - 2795/241
1 shot <14d - 470/35
1 shot - 742/37
2 shots <14d - 217/8
2 shots - 641/16