Vancouver resident James Clark discusses two types of viruses and why it matters in this letter to the editor
Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author alone and do not reflect the editorial position of ClarkCountyToday.com
There are two types of viruses.
• 1. Viruses with very simple mechanisms of entry into cells can produce a wide range of survivable mutations.
• 2. Viruses with very complex mechanisms of entry into cells can produce only identical (or nearly) copies because mutations will cause the virus to lose an aspect of that complex mechanism of entry and will not survive to function.
The body can only acquire “leaky” (temporary) immunity to type No. 1 viruses because survivable genetic drift (mutation potential) is very wide.
The body can acquire “sterilizing or perfect” (lifetime or multiple years long) immunity to type No. 2 viruses because mutations tend to become evolutionary dead-ends and the only viral replication that persists are identical or nearly identical copies of the virus.
There is a “simple to complex” spectrum for mechanism of entry, and where a particular virus falls on that spectrum determines whether it is a candidate for “sterilizing vaccines” or “leaky vaccines.” This is true for natural infection as well. Coronaviruses are type No. 1 viruses, so (like flu vaccines) coronavirus vaccines will only ever be able to produce “leaky” immunity. Vaccines targeted to the spike protein alone will provide “leakier” immunity than natural infections because the spike protein has only 10 percent of the antigenic reference points that the entire virus has. This means that the acquired immune system “remembers” 20 features when it “sees” the whole virus and only two features when it sees the spike protein alone.
When it comes to coronaviruses and vaccines, there are two additional wrinkles:
• 1. Marek Effect. When chickens are vaccinated against Marek’s disease, the “leaky” vaccine produces adaptive pressure on the virus to escape the vaccine effect. If allowed to evolve and mutate naturally, type No. 1 viruses typically mutate to a level of virulence that is mild enough that the host is well enough to be out spreading it, yet sick enough to allow viral replication to happen. Getting a host sick to the minimal degree possible is the ideal equilibrium that the natural selection programming of the virus seeks. Then the virus can become endemic in the population while having maximum reach. When large percentages of a population are vaccinated with “leaky” vaccines, that can drive a Marek effect towards more virulent and pathogenic “super” variants. This is good for vaccine manufacturers because it can create a captive market of vaccine dependent individuals, but it is not good for the population as a whole and can become dangerous for unvaccinated individuals who have not had a natural infection. Eventually, this can also become dangerous to the vaccinated individuals as well if immune escape renders a highly virulent virus unaffected by a vaccine. The intense political pressure to achieve high percentages of vaccination within populations could drive super variants. If this were a type No. 2 virus, wide scale vaccination would be the scientifically prudent thing to do because highly pathogenic type No. 2 viruses do not mutate into milder diseases and vaccines produce “perfect” immunity. However, with type No. 1 viruses, it is better to use leaky vaccines sparingly on the most vulnerable and allow natural infections to drive the evolution of milder variants in most of the population. “Herd” immunity is acquired with type No. 1 viruses when most of the population has acquired some immunity to the currently circulating variants. Once acquired, regular re-exposure to the circulating virus will act as ongoing boosters to new variants. If individuals do not take themselves out of circulation by isolating themselves from other people for too long, their immunity will stay current with emerging variants, and infections will become asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic like those of the common cold. Isolation from other people’s cold and flu viruses can allow too much genetic drift to occur between exposures, and subsequent waning of immunity can result in more severe illness. Our lockdowns and social isolation have created pent up pressure for infections of flu, cold viruses, RSV, etc… and that delay may have resulted in genetic drift that will cause future infections to be more severe for a period of time until a natural equilibrium is reestablished. This effect is already showing up in countries that used prolonged and strict isolation methods during the pandemic.
• 2. Spike protein. The spike protein has been linked to the inflammatory auto-immune effects found in long COVID sufferers and long vaccine syndrome sufferers. A new study has shown that spike protein in long COVID patients persists an average of 15 months. Not enough time has transpired to know if that effect will be mirrored in long vaccine syndrome patients, but an ongoing study in that population is showing similar patterns as those found in long COVID patients. So, we might expect a similar issue among the vaccinated. The rub is this… if vaccine boosters are required every 5 months, spike protein may be accumulating in the body in at least 3x the rate of the body’s ability to clear spike protein. And that doesn’t take into effect the variation between individuals when it comes to how much quantity, and for what duration, the spike protein is being produced in the vaccinated individual’s cells. If some individuals produce more spike protein and for longer periods of time, accumulation rates of spike protein between boosters could be much higher than 3 to 1. This could spell auto-immune disaster down the road if vaccine boosters become a frequent part of the program.
We need to pay attention to the effects of our interventions. We are blessed to be an inventive and creative species with the power and ability to benefit ourselves with our medical technology. But if history has taught us anything, it is that tweaking complex systems should be approached with the utmost caution, and our interference with nature should be minimized to the greatest degree possible. The truism “Nature always wins” has been born out time and time again, and too much human tampering often creates unintended consequences that are far worse than the thing that we were trying to prevent. I think that we are in grave danger of creating bigger medical problems with the massive scale of our tampering during this pandemic… and that does not account for the massive negative non-medical consequences to our economy, our society, our physical health, and our psychological health. We really need to step back and ask ourselves… “Is this virus, that kills less than 1 percent and hospitalizes less than 4 percent going to become much worse if we keep this up? What if we booster ourselves into mutating super variants that kill more than 25 percent of us? What then?… What if we mutate a virus that currently kills primarily the weak and the elderly and turn it into one that kills the healthy and the young? What then?” I think that we would do well to strategically use our vaccines to buffer the vulnerable, and then maximize our early treatment therapies to get the remainder of the population safely through a natural infection. This approach might not be as good for the bottom line of Pfizer, Moderna, Black Rock, and Vanguard’s shareholders, but I think it would be a much better approach for humanity. But in order to do that, we must stop blindly following the corporate media that is owned by the same corporations who own the pharmaceutical companies. We need to stop thwarting nature or else the benign may backfire and become a magnitudes worse disaster!
Marek’s and SARS-CoV-2 are very different viruses, with very different vaccines, very different hosts and very different mechanisms by which they sicken and kill.
FWIW to hear it directly from scientists and physicians, please consider listening to TWiV (This Week in Virology) clinical updates:
“In COVID-19 clinical update #91, Dr. Griffin discusses final results of molnupiravir trial, Omicron variant of concern, outcomes in B-cell depleted patients, recovery in T-cell depleted macaques, peptide for induction of T cell immunity, high respiratory viral RNA loads in infants, IgA and T cells transferred to breast milk after vaccination, sensitivity and specificity of ID NOW, post-acute sequelae at 12 months, disease in low and middle income countries.”