Mass Vaccination in a Pandemic - Benefits versus Risks: Interview with Geert Vanden Bossche

I would be interested in thoughts on this scientific perspective from a vaccine developer about the COVID-19 vaccination:

[video removed by moderators per scientific misinformation]

Hi Jessica,

Can you summarize some points in the video? Most Forum users will not want to watch a 42 minute video in order to reply.

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Sure. This vaccine developer says using a vaccine in the midst of a pandemic is the wrong approach (because of “immune escape”) - that it’s actually responsible for the more virulent strains we’re now seeing & that, as a mercy to humanity globally, this mass vaccination approach needs to be reconsidered. If you go to his website he cites the science: DVM, PhD | Geert Vanden Bossche

Going by your comments . . .

I am not aware of more virulent strains. There are some strains that spread easier, but the severity of infection is no different than the original strain. The more transmissible strains emerged before vaccinations started, and they were already outcompeting the original strain due to being more transmissible.

Also, the vaccines are still >60% effective against the new variants (if memory serves). That’s a heck of a lot better than 0% effective, which is what an unvaccinated person has as a defense. The vaccine will save lives, and there are no common side effects that pose a risk. The risk of getting the infection is much, much worse than getting the vaccine.

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He seems sincere, though not entirely without bias, as the end game as I understand it in his opinion is to develop a NK cell vaccine which he just happens to be trying to do.
Again, I have not studied it in depth, but his legitimate concerns of mutation are known by all in vaccine development. What I do not see is a good alternative to vaccination, other than letting the current pandemic continue and kill another 500,000 next year. While his concerns may have some basis in theory, in practice,with other diseases we vaccinate for, his doomsday prophesies have not been realized. In fact, polio in almost gone from the planet due to vaccines, smallpox is gone except for what is in the freezer, and diseases like measles are pretty much gone except in areas of low immunization. None have mutated into super diseases that can’t be stopped as he implies will happen with Covid-19.
Maybe I missed something in my superficial glance, but it seems like he is trying to whip up support for his pet project at the expense of those who would die without the current vaccines.
As T_aquaticus pointed out, new strains can arise with natural infection and transmission, and to be it looks like the selective forces are little different with vaccines or infection, but infection leaves a lot more bodies behind.

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Since humans are literally the animal portion of these particular trials, I don’t think we can say there are no common side effects that pose a risk - especially since the mRNA technology hasn’t been used before, from my understanding. Side effects could show up in a year. For those in high risk categories I can understand the argument for the vaccine. But for younger/healthier individuals, I just don’t understand why an experimental vaccine (or gene therapy?) is being recommended for a virus they have, what, a 99.75% chance of surviving? And if this guy is correct, it’s not just an unnecessary risk for those who would otherwise recover just fine, but may be putting everyone’s chances of survival at risk. . .

Is anyone without bias when it comes to the money made from vaccines? The CDC? WHO? Hospitals
& doctors? Our government which receives billions from drug company lobbyist? Just generally speaking, the US spends more on healthcare than anyone else and has worse outcomes in many, many categories ( U.S. Health Care from a Global Perspective, 2019 | Commonwealth Fund. We’re not doing health well but there’s a loooooot of money being made. And he addresses your question of “what’s the alternative”- it’s obviously not an easy question but he says we haven’t understood the big picture of COVID yet and that “do no harm” needs to come first so we don’t rush into a “solution” & inadvertently make things worse.

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Actually, we can. Millions of people have been vaccinated now, and adverse reactions are reported to a national database. Adverse reactions are very rare.

The technology has been studied extensively in animal models for about 10 years. In the end, the vaccine is not that much different from the virus itself which is a lipid bubble that contains the RNA of the viral genome.

If 0.25% of plane flights crashed to the ground would you get on an airplane? I wouldn’t. Not only that, young people who are vaccinated have a much lower chance of spreading the disease to people who are vulnerable. This is about herd immunity, not protecting individual people.

I don’t see how he could be right. A young person not passing on an infection to someone who is vulnerable or immunocompromised is a good thing.

mRNA vaccines are not gene therapy because the human genome is not modified by the vaccine.

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The CDC and FDA groups that are overseeing the vaccine are not paid by the vaccine companies nor do they profit from their use. Their sole purpose is to look out for the patient.

The alternative is to be injected with the entire RNA genome of the virus, including the spike protein that is found in the mRNA vaccines. If being exposed to just one of the viral genes is so dangerous, what do you think the risk is of being exposed to a live, replicating virus with 25 mRNA genes?

If we really went by “first, do no harm” then no one would ever use any medications, and we would find ourselves in the dark ages. Antibiotics are not without their risks, so should we stop using them and let millions and millions of people die from bacterial infections? Let’s take away all of the other vaccines and once again watch children die from measles or be crippled by polio. I’m hoping you can understand how helpful vaccines and medicine really can be.

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The question of who makes money from vaccines is interesting. Certainly, a lot of money has gone to contractors building manufacturing plants, and research scientists working on the vaccine, but vaccines are often money losers for companies, Most of the vaccine clinics around here are staffed by volunteers, both doctors, nurses, and clerical staff. Vaccines are being given without cost to the patients, though medicare is billed when available (I think they pay a little over $16 for administration,).

Uh, because the virus is really bad, even for survivors, maybe?

I personally know three people struggling with long haul COVID from infections they had last year. They are still having problems managing normal workweeks because of ongoing symptoms.

A year into our lived experience of this illness, our ongoing ailments have been legitimized by the scientific community with a name: Post Acute Sequalae of Sars-CoV2, and a number: 30%. One in three individuals continue to suffer nine months beyond an initial Covid-19 infection.

ONE IN THREE!!!

Get vaccinated!

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Yes, I understand that antibiotics and other medications are not without risks. That’s why I think a good risk/benefit analysis for each individual is a great idea. And yes, lets take away all the other vaccines and watch children die from measles or be crippled by polio- that’s exactly what I’m saying. Oh wait, no, I’m just returning your sarcasm. The good news is, vaccines don’t have to be an all or nothing question, despite how the discussions generally go these days!

Yes, I know. My parents had it late last year and are still struggling. They still don’t want the vaccine because no one knows how it performs long term- are there long term side effects? No one knows. Will you have to get the shot continually since, apparently, you can get re-infected with COVID? Probably. Is COVID a terrible thing? Yes, potentially for many people, of course. But many of us aren’t comfortable with a rushed vaccine that leaves a lot questions unanswered. Sometimes solutions are worse than the problem- opioids come to mind.

So I take it you must stay away from automobiles, then? Compared with the number of problems vaccines have caused, our dalliance with auto travel has, in comparison, given us carnage on a scale that must have you absolutely terrified!

[Not to minimize your point with Opioids - which I agree is a terrible problem - but only to point out that even good and real solutions to large scale problems like epidemics are not going to ever be entirely problem-free. And yet, some of them virtually are problem-free when kept in realistic perspective of what is accomplished.]

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You make a great point, Mervin. I choose to risk automobile travel because the benefits are worth it to me. I choose to risk contracting COVID (I’m actually 99% sure I had it a year ago when testing was not yet available. I was very sick for 2 weeks, had to get an inhaler & prescription cough suppressant then basically hemorrhaged every month during my period week for 9 months, which I believe was a longterm symptom of Covid) because at 37 with none of the comorbidities, I have probably a 99.9% chance of survival, my immunity will be much stronger, protecting both me and the vulnerable population longterm. The vaccine has too many question marks for me and is not worth the risk. My body is particularly sensitive to drugs and I’ve had multiple bad reactions to them. On the other hand, I’m a good driver.

You are right about risk and benefit, and people who make their life work studying these things, as opposed to those who spend a couple of hours on the internet, take that into consideration.
For example, after millions of people have been vaccinated, the rate of anaphylactic shock is roughly 2.5 per million. And to my knowledge, none have died. I am sure someone will though, if they have not yet, as life and vaccines have risk. But preventing a million infections will no doubt save many lives and prevent many more from having long term disability. Last I heard, one of 850 or so Americans have died due to Covid. So, preventing a million cases conservatively will save over 1000 lives. And vaccinated people are much less likely to kill those who have not had their shots either due to choice or inability.
The risk/benefit ratio is overwhelmingly in favor of vaccination. And vaccination affects your body and immune system just partially the way a viral infection affects it.
By the way, while you may have had Covid, keep in mind that a lot of viruses have the same symptoms, and there was a bad parainfluenza virus last winter.
Statisically, only 10 percent of so of people who were symptomatic and thought they might have Covid actually tested positive when tested, so most likely you and I did not. I had a bad respiratory bug last March also, and had been at ski resort that was a hotspot a few weeks later, so wonder also if I did, but probably didn’t.

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So far. What are the long-term effects of the new vaccines? 5 years, 10 years, lifetime, how will it affect future generations of those vaccinated?

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Geert Vanden Bossche has 2 hours of internet research time under his belt? I’ve seen the hilarious memes of people on the toilet doing “anti-vax” research. They are funny. They also alienate the people you would like to convince. Also, have they proven that the vaccines prevent spread? Last I heard, they had not. I’ve never in my life needed an inhaler for a cold. And my husband was traveling on the west coast going to trade shows when the first cases were reported out there. He came home sick, with “burning” lungs, and then I got it. Also, if I didn’t have it then, my infamously weak immune system has done an incredible job warding it off all these months since.

That’s rather moot if they would have died from COVID, right? And vaccines elicit natural immune responses without changing DNA.

It will affect future generations in that they will exist. :grin:

99.75% of us will exist without a vaccine. And I’ve heard concerns (from doctors) that the vaccine could lead to infertility in women because of the way it affects the uterus. It may not- they don’t know yet- which is the point. So we may be making the worldwide population of women infertile- women who, because of their age, would have survived without a vaccine. Guess we’ll find out.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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