Scientists: Mass vaccinations will not stop COVID-19 transmission, herd immunity not achievable
08/13/2021 // Nolan Barton // Views

Scientists advising European governments are starting to realize that the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) is likely to be around for a very long time and that mass vaccinations are not going to eradicate it. They are now recommending that the virus be allowed to circulate throughout the population, with precautions taken for vulnerable individuals.

As part of this, British experts have called for an end to mass testing.

"We don't have anything that will stop transmission, so I think we are in a situation where herd immunity is not a possibility and I suspect the virus will throw up a new variant that is even better at infecting vaccinated individuals," Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, told a parliamentary panel.

Pollard argued that if mass testing was not stopped, "the UK could be in a situation of continually vaccinating the population." He said that only those with symptoms should be tested while others should go about their daily lives.

Infectious disease expert Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at University of East Anglia, told the panel that vaccination would not bring about herd immunity. He said it was time to stop concentrating on supposed cases rather than actual infections.

"We need to start moving away from just reporting infections or just reporting positive cases admitted to hospital, to actually start reporting the number of people who are ill because of COVID," said Hunter, who also advises the World Health Organization (WHO) on the virus. "Otherwise we are going to be frightening ourselves with very high numbers that actually don't translate into disease burden."


According to recent reports, analysis by Public Health England has shown that vaccinated and unvaccinated people have a similar viral load when they catch the virus and likely have the same odds of transmitting it to others.

U.K. scientists aren't the only ones arriving at these conclusions. Iceland's state epidemiologist voiced similar sentiments on Aug. 8. Local paper reported Visir that "a record number of people [in Iceland] have been diagnosed infected in recent weeks, despite the fact that the majority of the population has been vaccinated." (Related: Coronavirus spreading among the vaccinated in highly vaccinated countries.)

"We really cannot do anything else but allow the virus to take its course in order for the population to achieve herd immunity," said Porolfur Gudnason, chief epidemiologist of Iceland's Directorate of Health. "We need to try to vaccinate and better protect those who are vulnerable, but let us tolerate the infection. It is not a priority now to vaccinate everyone with the third dose."

Experts have been trying to stop vaccinations for the past several months

Experts were giving similar recommendations in the past several months only to be ignored and ridiculed.

In April, former Pfizer Vice President Dr. Michael Yeadon implored those in the medical profession to stop giving COVID-19 vaccines to people who are not at risk of dying from the virus.

"Just stop giving them the vaccine. People are dying," Yeadon said. He cited the cases of blood clots in the brain associated with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Germany where the victims were mostly women under the age of 60. "Those are women who would not have died of the virus. They're being killed by the vaccine," said Yeadon, who has extensive experience as an allergy and respiratory researcher.

In March, vaccine expert Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche urged governments to stop vaccination drives. He said in an open letter that vaccinations will fuel the spread of new "dangerous variants" of the virus.

"I am not against vaccination. On the contrary, I can assure you that each of the current vaccines has been designed, developed and manufactured by brilliant and competent scientists," wrote Dr. Vanden Bossche, a seasoned vaccine developer who coordinated the Ebola vaccine program at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI).

"However, this type of prophylactic vaccines is completely inappropriate, and even highly dangerous, when used in mass vaccination campaigns during a viral pandemic,"

A prophylactic or preventative vaccine involves introducing antigens into a person's body. The goal is that the individual's immune system will create antibodies for those antigens and become immune to the associated illness.

Mass vaccination during pandemic makes virus more infectious

Vanden Bossche said the ongoing mass vaccination drives are "likely to further enhance adaptive immune escape as none of the current vaccines will prevent replication or transmission of viral variants." (Related: Fully vaccinated Americans are SPREADING covid's delta variant, health expert warns.)

Immune escape is a term used to describe when the host – in this case humans – is no longer able to recognize and counter a pathogen such as a relevant variant or mutant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

"The more we use these vaccines for immunizing people in the midst of a pandemic, the more infectious the virus will become," Vanden Bossche wrote. "With increasing infectiousness comes an increased likelihood of viral resistance to the vaccines."

Under this scenario, manufacturers will be forced to refine or improve the vaccines, which will then increase the selection pressure. Selection pressure is a term used to describe the process that helps an organism or pathogen to evolve in ways that make it better adapted to its changing environment. An antibiotic resistance, which is caused by overuse of antibiotic drugs, is a good example of selection pressure.

The virus will effectively outsmart the highly specific antigen-based vaccines that are being used and tweaked.

Vanden Bossche said the multiple emerging, "much more infectious" viral variants are already examples of immune escape from our innate immunity, and most likely created by the government interventions themselves – lockdowns and mask mandates.

Our innate immune system protects us from a multitude of pathogens, thereby preventing these pathogens from causing disease. Vanden Bossche noted that suppression of innate immunity, especially in the younger age groups, can become very problematic. (Related: Lockdowns BACKFIRE: Areas with most aggressive covid lockdowns saw highest infection numbers.)

"There can be no doubt that lack of exposure due to stringent containment measures implemented as of the beginning of the pandemic has not been beneficial to keeping people's innate immune system well trained," he wrote.

As the innate immune system cannot remember the pathogens it encountered – innate immunity has no so-called "immunological memory" – we can only continue to rely on it provided we keep it "trained" well enough.

"By keeping the innate immune system trained, we can much more easily resist germs which have real pathogenic potential. It has, for example, been reported and scientifically proven that exposure to other, quite harmless coronaviruses causing a 'common cold' can provide protection, although short-lived, against COVID-19 and its loyal henchmen (i.e., the more infectious variants)," wrote Vanden Bossche.

Training is achieved by regular exposure to a myriad of environmental agents, including pathogens. Thus, lockdowns and mask mandates are possibly stunting the training of our innate immune system.

Follow for more news related to coronavirus vaccines and mass vaccinations.

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