You’ve seen this claim everywhere. There’s a vaccine that works against monkeypox and it’s estimated to be about 85% effective. In other places, you see the same claim, but then it’s “up to 85” percent effective. So where does this claim originate and what does it mean? That matters, as hundreds of thousands of people are now going to be vaccinated against it.
Well, to answer that question, we have to find the source. And I did most of that work for you, so here you go:
Data on monkeypox in Zaire over the five years 1980-1984 are analysed to assess the protection imparted by past smallpox vaccination and the transmission potential of the virus in unvaccinated communities. Attack rates in individuals with and without vaccination scars indicated that smallpox vaccination (discontinued in 1980) imparted approximately 85% protection against monkeypox. It is predicted that monkeypox virus will continue to be introduced into human communities from animal sources, and that the average magnitude and duration of monkeypox epidemics will increase as vaccine-derived protection declines in the population. On the other hand, current evidence indicates that the virus is appreciably less transmissible than was smallpox, and that it will not persist in human communities, even in the total absence of vaccination.
This was written in 1988. We don’t have any new evidence since then, because widespread monkeypox exposure never occurred. We just have the same vaccines available for monkeypox as for smallpox and based off what we saw in Congo (then called Zaire) we assume it’s about 85% effective.
But now do me a favor and remember: This was Congo, in the early 1980’s. The population structure of Congo back then looked like this:
You would have had about 1.5% of the population above the age of 65. In the US of A, it’s 16%. The AIDS pandemic had not started yet and there was no obesity (known to compromise immune function and the response to vaccines). In the United States today, 42% of the population is obese.
So, if the entire claim of 85% efficacy is genuinely based on early 80’s Congo, I’m willing to say the reality is the real effectiveness is likely to be less than 85%.
And the 85% figure was found in a population where people would have been vaccinated for years, as the vaccination program was stopped in 1980. Breadth of the immune response against a pathogen gradually grows. The vaccine we have against monkeypox requires two consecutive injections, 28 days apart.
We’re now going to do the same thing we did with SARS-COV-2, which is to vaccinate people at the start of a pandemic, against a virus with a lot of evolutionary potential left. The sort of people getting vaccinated now in New York, will see their vaccination as a carte blanche to engage in high risk behavior.
If you catch monkeypox within those 28 days or so after the first injection and pass it on, then you’re passing on a trained version of the pathogen. Eugyppius has written some interesting things about viral transmission and how new strains of viruses seem to come into existence. It seems quite likely that we will witness the same problem as we have seen with the COVID vaccines, that the vaccines initially suppress your immune function and thus make you more at risk of transmission.
And so we’re likely to face the problem we have faced before, which is that in the act of vaccinating the population, we make the vaccine itself ineffective, as we impose the kind of selective pressures on this virus that will force it to give birth to new variants. Just as antibiotics breed new pathogens if you don’t finish your course of antibiotics, taking a vaccine against monkeypox and then heading to the sauna next weekend where you have skin contact with an infected guy would appear to turn your body into a training ground for vaccine resistant versions of the pathogen.
All of this is worse of course if we assume that vast swathes of young men currently suffer some degree of immune dysfunction, thereby having allowed monkeypox to jump into our population. Either our bodies changed in some significant way, or we are just really unlucky and this virus changed in some significant way. If this virus is spreading because we suffer some degree of immune dysfunction, said immune dysfunction would affect our protection from a vaccine too.
With COVID, nobody really worried much initially, because we assumed “it mutates at 10% of the rate of influenza”. But here’s the part everyone forgets: Mutation speed depends on the sort of evolutionary pressure a virus is under. If there is strong benefit to be had from changes, changes will occur more rapidly than when there isn’t. With monkeypox there is strong benefit to be had, so everyone is now acting surprised by how rapidly it seems to change. Recently vaccinated people getting infected would again be the kind of situation where evolution accelerates. Evolution is not a steady process, it’s something that occurs in rapid bursts during periods of high pressure followed by little or no change during periods of low pressure.
But here’s the worst part: The vaccines that are available, are approved for people aged above 18. BUT THE VAST MAJORITY OF MONKEYPOX DEATHS AND SEVERE CASES EVER RECORDED HAVE ALWAYS BEEN IN CHILDREN. We have so far found four cases in children in Europe, one of whom ended up in the ICU with this virus. Children are not being tested at any significant scale, so there are likely to be many more cases.
And this brings me to my most important point:
I think most of you have rotting brains from the constant COVID-19 reinfections at this point because you interpret everything that happens to you in the laziest most self-serving way.
With SARS-COV-2 about 1 in 25,000 young men is hospitalized. With monkeypox it’s one in 10 right now.
Not the same virus.
With monkeypox, we have seen four cases in children so far. One of those cases ended up in the ICU, that’s 1 in 4.
Not the same virus.
You can repeat all the usual angry white man cliché’s that “they” want to “fearmonger” and “make money” and take away your steak to fight global warming as part of the great reset, but orthopox viruses killed 300 million people last century and monkeypox killed about 20% of infected children in Congo.
The WHO has said it’s already disseminating out of the gay community, into children and the immunocompromised.
Maybe just maybe, there’s a reason sodomy has been taboo in every major civilization. Even in India it’s generally been normal for men to kiss and hold hands, but the suggestion that two men would engage in such an act would be unspeakable.
We went from sodomy being a taboo, to the suggestion that sodomy endangers entire populations being a taboo. You’re not going to find anyone in public health who is willing to call a spade a spade and point out that men having large numbers of male sex partners turns them into a breeding ground for disease.
They’ll throw sand in the skateboard park to stop COVID-19. They’ll put up a sign on a bench saying it’s for essential use only, to stop COVID-19. They will let a virus that has so far sent one in four infected children to the ICU run rampant when it spreads through sodomy.
And then by the time the first child has died and the genie is out of the bag, they will repeat the rituals of the past two years that didn’t work: Closing the schools, wearing masks, not letting you leave your home after 10PM, injecting a magical elixir into your arms that may turn out to be 85% effective based on one study from 1980’s Congo, we’ll get to relive it all except this time for a virus that will genuinely kill children instead of mostly nursing home residents with ~1 year of life expectancy left.
The real question I’m left with is: Is this what I think it is?
The pathway I’m worried about is as following:
COVID vaccination has negative efficacy against Omicron –> Highly vaccinated populations suffer widespread Omicron infectious waves –> Repeat infections from Omicron start depleting T cell populations (CD8+ may actually be even worse affected than CD4+) –> Depleted T cell populations (along with NK cells and other lymphocytes) make people’s bodies take longer to purge novel infections –> Monkeypox has its R0 tipped from below 1 to above 1 –> Exponential spreads of monkeypox
If they really screwed up this badly, that droves of people have depleted lymphocyte counts (and reduced functioning) from constant Omicron reinfections caused mainly by original antigenic sin from the vaccination campaigns, then you’re going to see hell on Earth.
It’s a little too coincidental to me that you get pandemic #2 half a year after you finished vaccinating young people with a vaccine against the previous pandemic that failed to work.
Take ’em away monkeyman: