The current crop of COVID-19 vaccines will not effectively handle the new omicron variant, according to the CEO of one of the biggest shot producers, Moderna.
Stéphane Bancel predicts the existing vaccines will be much less effective against the omicron, warning it would take months to manufacture at scale a vaccine that can tackle the new strain, the Financial Times reported.
“There is no world, I think, where [the effectiveness] is the same level … we had with [the] delta [variant],” the Moderna chief told the British newspaper in an interview at his company’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
He added that “all the scientists I’ve talked to … are like, ‘This is not going to be good.'”
President Biden has described omicron as “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic,” arguing the government’s medical experts “believe that the vaccines will continue to provide a degree of protection against severe disease.”
But Bancel points out that the vaccines focus on the coronavirus spike protein to boost immunity, and 32 of the 50 mutations in the omicron variant are on that protein.
While Biden’s top health adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has dismissed the power of natural immunity from a previous COVID infection, many scientists point to studies indicating its durability and effectiveness against variants is superior to the vaccines.
A study published last month by researchers at Stanford University found the Moderna vaccine was only 56.6% effective against the virus amid the delta outbreak.
Meanwhile, a former health adviser to the federal government, Dr. Paul Elias Alexander, has teamed with Dr. Harvey Risch of the Yale School of Medicine and others to compile a list of 135 studies indicating natural immunity to COVID-19 from a previous infection is superior to immunity afforded by vaccines.
“We should not force COVID vaccines on anyone when the evidence shows that naturally acquired immunity is equal to or more robust and superior to existing vaccines. Instead, we should respect the right of the bodily integrity of individuals to decide for themselves,” Alexander writes for the Brownstone Institute.
He is a former assistant professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, in evidence-based medicine and research methods; a former adviser to WHO-PAHO in Washington, D.C., and a former senior adviser for COVID pandemic policy at Health and Human Services.
Alexander charges that public health officials, the medical establishment and establishment media are “misleading the public with assertions that the COVID-19 shots provide greater protection than natural immunity.”
He notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky claimed in a statement published in October 2020 in the British journal The Lancet that “there is no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection” and “the consequence of waning immunity would present a risk to vulnerable populations for the indefinite future.”
But for more than a century, it’s been known that natural immunity confers protection against a respiratory virus’s outer coat proteins. And there is strong evidence for the persistence of antibodies.
Somehow, he says, the CDC recognizes natural immunity for chicken-pox, measles, mumps and rubella but not for COVID-19.
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