The gist: Some have taken note of the disappearance of influenza with this pandemic, and argued that this is because of viral interference from SARS-CoV-2: in essence, people are becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 and therefore rendered incapable of catching influenza. Some are taking it so far as to suggest that this explains the decline of flu rather than non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) like masking, distancing, ventilation, humidity, handwashing, etc. The problem is: there’s really no evidence to support that. Experimentally, influenza seems to enhance infection of cells by SARS-CoV-2, and worsens outcomes in mice. Additionally, the rapid decline of influenza occurred…

I honestly can’t believe I even wrote that title, because truthfully the optimism that is required to put together that sequence of words in that order is something I could not have conceived of even a few months ago. The pandemic is not over- it’s not close to over actually- in many parts of the world and for certain groups, and SARS-CoV-2’s transition to endemicity is all but certain, but we are seeing it transform into a manageable public health problem in some nations rather than the catastrophe it has been to date that has wrought historic devastation not seen…

A recent paper has found spike protein antigens in the blood of people who received the mRNA-1273 vaccine from Moderna, and this is naturally being spun to mean the vaccines are dangerous. But actually there are several points about this paper that are very reassuring. Firstly, the reason some are concerned has to do with the discoveries that the spike protein alone may play a role in some of the disease manifestations of COVID (such as those explored here, and here). I have a detailed post on spike that I am working on to explain basically everything anyone ever wanted…

The short version: COVID-19 vaccines are not even theoretically capable of shedding. Attributing health effects to contact with a vaccinated person because of their COVID-19 vaccine is completely baseless and anyone who is experiencing health problems should seek appropriate care from a qualified medical professional rather than dismissing it as the result of “shedding spike protein.”

People claiming that vaccinated people are shedding the spike protein which is leading to all sorts of terrible things, which is not how anything works. Let’s talk about what vaccine shedding actually is and how it works.

Shedding” refers to the ability of…

As a species, we are bad at sharing. We proved it in 2009 with the H1N1 pandemic, and then we proved it again with COVID-19. Many global health experts feel that the messaging in attempting to secure access to vaccines for nations where they would otherwise be inaccessible should emphasize solidarity against the global threat of the virus. Morally, I am in absolute agreement. I think Dr. Hassoun makes an excellent case for this point which she writes in response to the analysis put forth by Ferguson and Caplan:

Canada, for instance, has already secured enough to vaccinate its entire…

The FDA and CDC have elected to pause the JJJ vaccine’s rollout in the US; The most detailed and thorough information I could find on the matter is discussed in a media call between Drs. Woodcock, Schuchat, and Marks.

Here’s my summary:

  • Vaccinations have been paused for the JJJ vaccine after six reported cases of CVSTs ( cerebral venous sinus thromboses) with thrombocytopenia. In this time period, 6.8 million doses have been administered, thus the risk would be less than 1 per million as of right now.
  • The mechanism for this phenomenon is not fully understood currently, but is thought…

The Short Version: MTHFR shows up a lot on the internet in discussions about adverse events after vaccination, but this is completely baseless. There has been one study ever that suggested there might be a relationship: it was examining the smallpox vaccine, which is not routinely given to anyone except members of the military (in case of a bioterrorist event) as smallpox has been eradicated and it in no way showed a definitive link between MTHFR gene variants and adverse reactions to the vaccine- and in fact its own authors don’t believe such a link exists. Further research on the…

The short version: I am skeptical that the blood clots that have been associated with the vaccine are caused by the vaccine (though I do think that vaccination cannot be excluded as a cause based on the information available). However, they are worth investigating further and we should have the patience to await the results of those investigations. Additionally, these clots are exceptionally rare and the benefits of the vaccine with respect to preventing severe COVID-19, preventing hospitalization, and preventing death vastly outweigh the potential risks of the clots: of 20 million individuals who received the vaccine in European countries…

The short version: Geert Vanden Bossche has recently published a letter in which he argues that the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 is going to precipitate a public health disaster because the vaccines will select for viral variants that can escape their protection and drive them towards higher virulence. His claims are speculative, he offers no evidence to support his arguments, and makes several comments which are blatantly incorrect. The core of his argument relies on the assumption that COVID-19 vaccines do not have a significant effect on transmission. This has been repeatedly confirmed to be false in multiple studies. Furthermore…

Lots to unpack here, most of which is based on incorrect premises.

Firstly: mRNA therapies have been approved by the FDA as early as 1998 (https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03068-4#:~:text=The%20first%20RNA%20therapy%2C%20fomivirsen,retinitis%2C%20inflammation%20of%20the%20retina.) With respect to their use as a vaccine platform, the earliest clinical studies go back to 2013, and no long-term adverse events were noted from these, as Professor Krammer notes: https://twitter.com/florian_krammer/status/1332077763809996801?s=20

The registration numbers of the studies are included so as to permit anyone interested in the details to examine them more closely.

mRNA is very difficult to work with. It requires ultracold storage, it requires precautions against RNases which are everywhere- it makes…

Edward Nirenberg

I write about vaccines here. You can find me on Twitter @enirenberg and at deplatformdisease.com (where I publish the same content without a paywall)

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