Last August looked positive for seeing an ending to the pandemic as there were no Omicron BA.5 replacements in the works. However, this doesn’t mean there never will be a replacement. Viruses do change. Months later we still see no potential replacement that is more transmission-able than Omicron BA.5. As far as vaccines are concerned, over the course of most of the pandemic there was no change, but more recently there were changes to the boosters which are geared for BA.4 and BA.5.
About 80 percent of the American population is currently vaccinated. New data has come out showing that vaccinated people have died more from Covid than unvaccinated people. So it is not surprising to see a surge in deaths from Covid among those who have been vaccinated and boosted. Some of the latest CDC data has shown that 58 percent of Covid deaths in the US are from people who have been vaccinated and boosted. In September 2021, only 23 percent of vaccinated people died of Covid. Then in January and February of 2022, it went up to 42 percent for vaccinated people with boosters dying of Covid. And then in August of 2022, it went up to 58 percent! This means the ‘pandemic’ of the unvaccinated as President Biden used to say in order to encourage people to get vaccinated has changed. The idea of using that slogan to encourage people to get vaccinated was a bad idea, more political than common sense medicine because the virus changes and increases vaccinations over time.
On August 31st, 2022, the FDA approved the first major update on the vaccine, a vaccine that was geared for the new variants, BA.4 and BA.5, along with the old variant. The one thing found that is very strange, to say the least when this original variant included in the vaccine doesn’t exist anymore. Nobody is getting infected anymore by the original strain. The updated booster was recommended for people 5 years or older. Previously it was recommended for people 12 years and up. This bivalent shot hasn’t been a hit with the American population, only 35 million which is about 11 percent have gotten the newly updated shot. Data has shown, the average infection rate was 50,000+ for the US, which dropped beginning around October 10th, 2022, where it’s been around 37,000 to 41,000+ infection rate up until December 2nd, 2022. At the time of this post being written.
Sadly, the new CDC study only mentions the benefits of the bivalent vaccines rather than mentioning adverse effects, hospitalization, or deaths along with the benefits. There is also a strange comparison in this study one could say political in nature rather than science-based, and that is, why is the CDC comparing the new vaccines with the old ones when Covid 19 isn’t the same virus as it was in the past? As stated before, nobody is getting infected with the original strain of Covid 19. Omicron has taken over with its subvariants for months now. Furthermore, vaccines wane over time with their protection while the virus continues to change. Currently, we don’t have the data that shows the new vaccines are preventing serious illnesses and deaths. These are only assumptions being made. But yet, the likes of Celine Gounder who is an infectious disease specialist for the Kaiser Family Foundation said there is no evidence that these new vaccines are better than the previous ones but recommends people take them anyway!
Pei-Yong-Shi virologist from the University of Texas medical branch said that so many have been infected both vaccinated and unvaccinated people that has created an enormous wealth of immunity that it’s difficult to measure the effectiveness of the newly updated vaccines. He goes on to say, “Personally I doubt if there would have been much if any difference but we may never know.” This makes it easier for people like President Biden to make a case for the booster because it’s up to mere speculation. It’s also easier to be wrong like in the case of President Biden claiming the disease was the disease of the unvaccinated.
Let’s take a look at natural immunity in Italy and some new data about cross-immunity in general. There has been -new data coming out concerning these two subject matters but different studies. The first one linked above is from Italy, the study is showing a progression of less severe illnesses over time with fewer hospitalizations and fewer deaths among the population which is very positive! 20 to 40-fold reductions with Omicron being the dominant strain compared to the previous strains of Covid. The trend is predicted to continue. Also, another positive aspect going on recently. The first phase is the Wuhan phase (the original strain) they noticed a 5.4 percent hospitalization rate per infection. The study uses the number of infections or what they call the attack rate rather than cases using data with mathematical adjustments. The probability of death was 2.2 percent as at the beginning of the pandemic it affected older people the most and those who had other medical issues.
When the Omicron phase came around, there was a 95.1 percent reduction in the risk of hospitalization. ICU risk of admission went down by 97.3 percent. And the risk of death went down the most at 97.5. Which is great news. There was a gradual reduction in risk over time with the Omicron strain compared to previous strains. Omicron has accelerated the process of natural immunity. With the attack rate in phase one without lockdown restrictions or restrictions in general, the attack rate was 2.8 percent of Italy’s population. In phase two without restrictions, jumped to 11.4 percent of Italy’s population. Phase three: Alpha variant which went on for five months, the attack rate went down to 10.1 percent. In phase 4, a relaxation of restrictions the attack rate become 17.1. And in the Omicron phase, the attack rate was over 51 percent of Italy’s population. So over half the population was infected with Covid regardless of previous vaccinations or not, regardless of previously being sick by Covid. A very high infection rate is bad but the good news is, Omicron created a lot more immunity at a quicker pace. The huge amount of protection from Omicron is great news while vaccine protection wanes quickly. It would be also great if the countries like the United States (the CDC) would also study this as well after a year of Omicron.
Cross immunity has been one of the rarest studies for Covid 19, but worth taking a look at in more studies because it’s definitely an important study. Big drug companies do not have an interest in studying natural immunity let alone “cross immunity”. Because of course, it may damage their drug profits. A new study called, Common Endemic Coronaviruses published in nature communications answers the question about a belief at the beginning of the pandemic that the common cold could help protect against the SARS-2 virus. There are four coronavirus viruses that cause the common cold. 20 to 25 perhaps even as high as 30 percent of colds are caused by coronaviruses while the rest are caused by Rhinoviruses. If you have been infected by one of these four viruses recently, will that give you cross-immunity with the SARS-2 virus? The answer is yes! Memory T-cells play a huge role in the cross-immunity process.
In a study (click on cross-immunity) they went into peoples’ homes when someone in their home was infected by Covid. They tested the rest of the households who didn’t have Covid for previous coronaviruses in the T-cells. They found that those people did in fact have protection against the SARS-2 virus, and thus cross-immunity was confirmed. It is interesting to note, the memory T-cells were identifying other cells of the virus when building its protection against SARS 2, rather than the spike proteins which is what vaccines are focused on. Why did the drug companies just focus on the spike proteins and not on other aspects of the Coronavirus SARS 2 virus like the memory T-cells did? They could have chosen other parts of the virus which would have activated the memory T-cells but there is no rationale published by the private drug companies on why the spike protein was the most important aspect of the virus and the only option for vaccinations than what the memory T-cells were using. One would think that these options could have made their vaccines better! Only China tried another option in one of their vaccines.
Slightly early on in the pandemic,, doctors were exploring treatments and one of the treatments that arose was Vitamin D. In a follow-up to this treatment many months later, Scientific Reports had a great article on Vitamin D. This comes at a good time as winter approaches. Viruses spread more easily in the winter months. Lack of vitamin D causes immune function problems. Drug companies have avoided doing random tests with vitamin D because it is selling vaccinations. No profit for them with Vitamin D. The US veterans was part of the study using Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3. Either one can do the job. But D3 is slightly better. Over 220,000+ people used D3. 34,000+ used D2, and 407,000+ patients were untreated. A very good size for this kind of study. It takes a couple of weeks before the body is able to implement the Vitamin D supplement taken by the person. The best treatment is to take it before infection, long before the infection is the best. The study discovered that Vitamin D3 had a reduction of 20 percent with infections and 28 percent with D2. It doesn’t make D2 better overall but better only with infections! D2 has a higher rate of deaths than D3 which makes D3 better. D3 reduces deaths with Covid by 33 percent. A 67 percent survival rate. D2 is 25 percent lower but not that significant the study points out. Why isn’t there a push for people to take Vitamin D as there was to get vaccinated? Perhaps the drug companies do not make enough profit…The study concludes, “As a safe, widely available, affordable treatment, Vitamin D may help to reduce the severity of the Covid 19 pandemic.”