Transcript & Slides
My name is Aditi Bhargava and I’m a professor at UCSF and a microbiologist with 33 years of research experience. These are my scientific views.
Covid-19 vaccines are often compared to polio vaccines. This is apple to orange comparison because RNA and DNA viruses are fundamentally different.
DNA viruses mutate at a very slow rate. DNA viruses induce life-long immunity. After a natural infection with DNA viruses, such as the polio or chickenpox, no-one needs to be vaccinated who develops the disease in their life time.
In contrast, RNA viruses mutate frequently and do not induce life-long immunity, as we have seen with SARS-CoV-2 or flu viruses. One can have influenza multiple times in their lives. Vaccines or no vaccines. Flu had not been eradicated. Nor is there any talk to eradicate it. There is no herd immunity for flu. It is simply not an achievable goal.
Safety issues happen with vaccines despite best of intentions. There are no drugs without side-effects. For example, measles and […] virus vaccines have been recalled due to safety concerns despite stringent clinical trials and years of data. Unlike drug trials, vaccines trials are different as they are tested on a largely healthy population to prevent infection.
Good vaccines are modelled to mimic natural infection and rely on ones own immune system to produce antibodies and provide protection. Natural immunity is the gold standard.
CDC estimates that nearly 43% of the country has already been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and thus naturally immune. And that was all before the more transmissible delta variant took hold.
Living in a bubble of sterile conditions is counterproductive to everything we know about strengthening the immune system. It’s Immunology 101. To downplay the beneficial and protective powers of our immune system goes against the founding principles of immunology. Several studies about SARS-CoV-2 are validating that knowledge.
There is no documented case of a naturally immune person getting re-infected with severe disease or hospitalisation, despite the first case reported nearly two years ago. In sharp contrast there are thousands of cases of severe Covid, hospitalisations and deaths in fully vaccinated people.
CDC now estimates 90% of Americans over the age of 16 have antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. But vaccine induced antibodies are only a small fraction of our immune responses.
Immune studies from the British Health Ministry suggests that Covid vaccines might interfere with the ability of our immune system to produce antibodies against other parts of the virus, [a] crucial aspect for developing cross protection. The spike antibodies are incomplete and cherry-picked stories.
Vaccine induced protection fell through 33 to 42% within 3 months. That is no different than the protection the unvaccinated have. Hence mandates to prevent spread by using spike antibody levels as the gold standard is gross misrepresentation of data.
It should not have taken the Massachusetts breakthrough infections this summer to discover that fully vaccinated people are just as vulnerable to being infected and transmit SARS-CoV-2 as the unvaccinated. Had the trials been stringent, had the phase II and III [trials] stuck to the protocols of follow-up, had the regulators enforced manufacturers to study prevention of infection in their clinical trials, this fiasco could have been avoided.
Instead, manufacturers configured these trials to study the prevention of mild symptoms and used pre-clinical models, such as the rhesus monkeys, in whom the virus does not cause disease. If all we can do is prevent symptoms and severe disease [then] we should be talking about drugs to treat Covid, not vaccines and mandates.
We lost the opportunity of discovering these major shortcomings by torpedoing the clinical trials. The placebo groups were eliminated just two months after the second dose. Instead, we are learning through trial and error on hundreds of millions of people. And, we insist on eliminating a very important control group by these vaccine mandates. There is no scientific study or experimental design in which we can learn anything of value without a control group. Certainly not about safety and efficacy.
Persistent high levels of antibodies often indicate […] to the body’s immune system. That is the basis of autoimmune disease. Hence boosters’ long-term adverse events should be taken seriously. The notion that we are in an emergency nearly two years after the pandemic [began] and that should justify cutting corners or taking short-cuts is simply wrong. Trust in scientific methods is at stake.
Media reports often state that [the] science is clear. But scientific publications do not think that the science is clear. And as you’ve heard from various testimonies – real people suffered serious adverse events and perhaps life-long disabilities due to sloppy trials.
I will conclude by asking you. If the vaccines don’t prevent infection and transmission, surely mandating person A to protect person B is pointless? But if the vaccines are effective – in preventing infection and transmission [and] decreasing symptoms, hospitalisations rates and death – then what do the vaccinated fear?