Scotland has just announced that they’re going to stop reporting the death rates of vaccinated versus unvaccinated COVID patients. Others have already covered this, so have a look at this:
And so here you see the problem we’re dealing with. Any conversation I have on the vaccines tends to go like this:
Normie: “The data shows the vaccines are very effective.”
Me: “Well actually, the data here shows that it’s not.”
Normie: “Then those numbers must be wrong and misleading.”
You’re not supposed to be able to win, the game is rigged against you. This is a global experiment, you’re supposed to participate and if turns out later on that it didn’t work, then we’re just supposed not to notice it.
Scotland was the country that published the most useful numbers: Age standardized death rates, for different levels of vaccination. They’re now going to stop reporting those numbers, because they have grown too ugly. England is likely to be next, because their numbers are also embarrassing.
The main reason the numbers are becoming so embarrassing is because of the reality that viruses evolve to adapt to their host’s immune response. Omicron BA.2 is spreading faster than BA.1 and BA.1.1, because it has more immune evasive characteristics.
Delta mainly made use of the fact that vaccine induced antibodies rapidly wane, so it simply replicated faster than the antibodies could deal with in a handful of people. With Omicron, the situation is different. The spike protein has dramatically changed its appearance, so most antibodies that neutralized Delta, don’t neutralize Omicron. Protection is now dependent on a greatly diminished number of antibodies that continue to neutralize the virus. This also means that any individual single mutation to a single codon can now offer the virus a much greater advantage than before. That’s for example, why you see this:
BA1.1 can drive its ancestor into neigh extinction within a month.
What you’re going to see now is that BA.2 will grow globally dominant and through random chance you’ll see new mutations that happen to have a selective advantage. We can think of two types of selective advantages:
- Inherently increased transmissibility
- Transmissibility increased through evasion of the adaptive immune response
With type one, the inevitable question is: If these sort of mutations still exist, if there are still subtle tweaks left that can increase transmission, wouldn’t we expect them to have already grown dominant by now? A possible explanation can be a situation where a type 1 mutation is dependent on the presence of a type 2 mutation to deliver its advantage.
On the other hand, with type two, we can answer this question easily: These mutations only emerge now, because immune evasion only begins offering a substantial advantage by now. Type 1 mutations dependent on type 2 mutations to emerge can then also show up.
Evolutionary pressure to evade the adaptive immune response is now massive. In fact, the selective advantage of any additional antibody evading mutations is increasing. When ten neutralizing antibodies work, evading any single mutation eliminating one neutralizing antibody reduces the neutralizing antibody potential of your blood by just 10%. on the other hand, when there are just three neutralizing antibodies left doing the job, such a mutation now gets rid of 33% of the antibody response.
Because the impact on the antibody response is now so massive, mutations that once stood no chance of becoming successful now do have a chance to become dominant. Imagine a mutation to the Spike protein makes it slightly more difficult for a version of the virus to bind to your ACE2 receptor.
When twenty different antibodies can neutralize the virus, the fact that it evades one of them doesn’t weigh up against the difficulty it creates in binding to the ACE2 receptor. On the other hand, when just three different types of antibodies are responsible for 90% of the neutralizing potential, that same mutation may now suddenly offer a reproductive advantage that it previously didn’t offer.
Now apply this idea to the vaccines. You probably already know that all antibodies induced by the vaccines are against one protein (the spike protein) in one conformation (the open conformation). Imagine vaccinated people have 6 different types of antibodies responsible for 90% of neutralizing potential, whereas naturally immune people have 20 different types of antibodies, responsible for 90% of neutralizing potential.
Now imagine that every mutation that allows the virus to evade an antibody comes with the disadvantage of making it slightly more difficult to bind to the ACE2 receptor. Because every virus particle is in competition with other members of the swarm, this places these particles at a selective disadvantage. However, it’s easy to see that with more homogeneous immunity, antibody evading mutations that would have had no selective advantage in a naturally immune population, can now have a selective advantage in a vaccinated population.
If you understand the explanation I have outlined here, then you understand why highly vaccinated populations allow certain mutations to grow dominant, that could not have grown dominant in the absence of highly vaccinated populations. This means that the range of possible variants increases, because of the existence of populations where the vast majority of people have been vaccinated with non-sterilizing Spike directed vaccines.
Sometimes the viability of particular mutations will be dependent on the presence of other mutations. As an example, many of the mutations in Omicron can’t function independently, they require the presence of the other mutations in Omicron for their viability. With this realization in the back of our heads, we realize that the existence of highly vaccinated populations extends the range of possible variants that can evolve over time.
You can illustrate the process as following. Imagine a river, with a number of stones. You want to get to certain islands, but to get to those islands, you need to follow certain paths. The landscape looks as following:
Here you can see a map. Yellow is a man, grey are different stones laying in the water, brown are floating boxes someone threw into the water. The man can only jump about two to three times his own width. If nobody had thrown the brown boxes into the water, two of the three green islands would be inaccessible to him. Although most intermediate steps to all islands are accessible naturally (through the rocks), the two brown boxes increase the number of accessible islands (a metaphor for variants) threefold.
As an alternative example, consider a scrabble-like game where you’re tasked with creating a word, based off six letters you randomly picked from a bag. If you were allowed to pick a seventh letter, it would dramatically increase the number of potential words you can form. When certain mutations can only emerge in the context of a vaccinated population this is very problematic, even if such mutations are a small minority of mutations that can emerge, because such variants may prove to be stepping stones towards other variants, or stepping stones into animal populations.
If it were hypothetically the case that most new variants don’t emerge due to vaccination, but emerge from immunocompromised cancer or HIV patients, it could still mean that vaccination dramatically increases the range of possible variants that can emerge, for the reason illustrated above.
Also keep in mind that the evolutionary relevance of the vaccinated population increases over time: The total number of vaccinated people increases over time, the share of those people with waning immunity increases over time and the total number of different types of antibodies that still neutralize the virus declines over time (every antibody evading mutation makes the advantage derived from additional antibody evading mutations even more useful).
Delta most likely didn’t evolve due to the vaccination campaign. It looked for a while as if Delta had walked into a dead alley, where no real useful new mutations were left for it to pick up. Even Omicron does not seem to have evolved because of the vaccination campaign. However, Omicron has had evolutionary paths opened up for it by the vaccine, paths that would have been inaccessible to it otherwise, because the intermediate steps would not have had a fitness advantage. If you really want to understand this concept better, I would recommend viewing this video where Richard Dawkins explains the problem with intermediate steps in evolution.
BA.2 with the Spike R346K mutation (found in BA.1.1 and Mu) is an unusual combination.
It appears to be gaining some recent traction in Israel.
It is still very low frequency – now 106 samples globally, +40 in the last day.
— Mike Honey 💉💉💉 (@Mike_Honey_) February 17, 2022
And that’s why the whole process of immune evasion accelerates itself. We already see a version of BA.2 in Israel (of course it’s Israel), where it has picked up the exact immune evading mutation that gave BA.1.1 its advantage over BA.1. This one now appears to be rapidly spreading.
Take a look at this interesting graph, of BA.1.1 in South Africa:
We see BA1.1 show up in November, but then it never grows dominant, South Africa skips straight to the radically different BA.2. Why is this? Just a quarter of the population has been vaccinated and they had overwhelmingly been vaccinated recently, so they’re still mostly protected from infection. In other words, Omicron is not subject to vaccine related evolutionary pressure in South Africa.
Now compare this to the United States, a highly vaccinated population with a lot of waning vaccine induced immunity:
Here BA.1.1 rapidly takes over from BA.1, because that one little antibody evading mutation (R346K) has a much bigger fitness advantage when you’re dealing with people whose immunity depends on just a handful of different kinds of antibodies against the Spike protein.
Once BA.1 has burned through the American population and the immunity it induces becomes an obstacle to itself, it’s BA.2’s turn to grow dominant. Once BA.2 and its inevitable subvariants take over, you’ll start to see the vaccines really begin to backfire. To illustrate what I mean, take a look at Denmark, which is a little ahead of everyone else, as BA.2 grew dominant there first.
Yesterday Denmark had 1604 people with COVID in the hospital. They also had a new record high in admissions, 480 admissions. You can compare this to last winter, when they always had fewer than 1000 people in the hospital, despite having no vaccines. It looks unlikely to get better anytime soon, because the boosters the elderly received are now beginning to wane.
It’s also worth noting by the way, that the seasons are becoming irrelevant. After all, here you can see cases in Australia in the summer:
The vaccines have so far failed to work and that’s why politicians are now so eager to return to normal, without reporting what’s going on in the hospitals anymore. They’re now under the impression that the vaccines can’t solve it and merely make it “manageable” and so they’re eager to get the population to go along with going back to normal. They’re also going to painstakingly insist that the problem is over, even when it proves to be far worse than last winter, as in Denmark right now.
However, unfortunately for everyone, this is just not where it stops. Vaccine efficacy doesn’t decline to zero, it declines below zero, as the virus gradually evolves to use your vaccine induced immune response to its own advantage. This eventually leads to the dreaded antibody dependent enhancement. The zero point is merely the point where governments stop reporting the data (because clearly there must be some issue with the data when it shows the vaccines don’t work, even if said issue wasn’t there before Omicron and even if we don’t have a clue what the issue might be!), it’s not the point where the numbers stop getting worse.
Our failed vaccine experiment that leads to antibody dependent enhancement is different from the failed Dengue vaccine experiment in the Philippines that killed children through antibody dependent enhancement, for a simple reason: Our vaccines have been distributed to so many people that they have created evolutionary relevant selective pressure for antibody dependent enhancement.
The reason you haven’t seen anything that sounds like antibody dependent enhancement yet is not because it’s not happening at a molecular level. However, it’s happening in a context of a wide variety of neutralizing antibodies that still prevent infection. As the virus mutates to overcome those antibodies, it is eventually just left with the antibodies that enhance infection.
There are a number of different paths towards enhancement of infection by these antibodies. Some enhancing antibodies bind to the Receptor Binding Domain. In other cases, enhancing antibodies bind to the N-Terminal Domain. It’s a subject that hasn’t been explored much, but we know this is a problem that’s going on. Hardly anyone seems to care however, because right now the enhancement is still being masked by the antibodies that do still work.
Antibody dependent enhancement may be playing a role in a strange phenomenon we observe: People get Omicron, they get sick and then they take an unusually long time to die from it. If infection triggers the rise in antibodies that merely make the infection worse, it would explain the delay in death.
And so this is how the vaccination experiment resolves. It’s not so much that the vaccines fail to protect people. That would be bad enough on its own, considering the numerous deadly side-effects they are clearly having. Rather, by inducing homogeneous narrow Spike directed non-sterilizing immunity, they expand the evolutionary landscape of novel variants that can emerge and create a population that turns into sitting ducks for variants that are evolving, that use this artificially induced immunity to their own advantage.
Because of the mass vaccination campaign, we become more susceptible to infection, more susceptible to rapid reinfection and in the long run, the vaccines also cause the individual infections themselves to become more severe.
You should expect to see the first signs of this process begin to emerge and lead to disturbingly high levels of hospitalizations in Israel and Denmark in the weeks ahead. Denmark will be first and then followed by Israel, as Israel has again decided to kick the can down the hall by giving people a fourth injection with the exact same vaccine, based on an extinct old variant.
Vaccinating elderly with a fourth dose temporarily works (with the cost of the usual risk of severe side-effects), but it merely sets you up for a worse situation, as you give the virus some time to further adjust to its vaccinated host, before jumping into the elderly. BA.2 is more severe than BA.1 and skipping out on BA.1 with a fourth shot merely sets you up to get BA.2 instead of BA.1.
As it takes longer for the elderly to get BA.2, their chances just increase that the BA.2 that ends up infecting them is a tweaked version capable of evading more antibodies. Ask yourself this: Is Omicron looking as mild to you as it did in December, when I warned you it probably wasn’t going to be mild? Catching it later just sets people up for a nastier version.
Worse, the breadth of the immune response declines with every booster, so it degrades the quality of the immune response, which is masked by the temporary increase in quantity. In other words, if you got off the booster train after the third shot and faced a 2% risk of death upon infection, you might for example face a 3% risk of death upon infection if you decided to get off the booster train after the fourth.
I’ll ask you this question: With the rise of Omicron it became apparent that Moderna and Pfizer would have to give people new specific booster doses. Why then, has Moderna’s stock price dropped by half since the emergence of Omicron? It seems to me, that the stock market is beginning to fear the potential risk of legal liability for these companies. If you committed fraud, the contracts you pushed on everyone rendering you immune from liability no longer apply. It’s not just interest rates or the usual shenanigans, as Moderna is clearly worse affected than Pfizer. The stock market is beginning to signal that these companies did something wrong.