The Daily Telegraph (UK) is reporting that two studies in the US--one at the University of Washington and one at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention--indicate that persons who have been vaxed and then contract Covid are far more likely than unvaxxed persons to contract a variant. Of special concern, according to the article, is the fact that while these vaxed individuals who contract a Covid variant have not died (in the Washington study) they do exhibit a very high "viral load," meaning that they would likely be able to infect others.
You may recall that a vaccine developer whom we cited in the past, Geert Vanden Bossche, expressed a strong concern that the use of these vaccines while the pandemic was still ongoing would tend to foster the development of new variants that might actually be more problematic than the original version. Here's how Vanden Bossche expressed his concern in Vax Hesitancy--Reasonable Or Not?
In summary, the concerns center around the notion that a combination of lockdowns and extreme selection pressure on the virus induced by the intense global mass vaccination program might diminish the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the short-term, but ultimately, will induce the creation of more mutants of concern.This is the result of what Vanden Bossche calls ‘immune escape’ (i.e. incomplete sterilization of the virus by the human immune system, even following vaccine administration). This will in turn trigger vaccine companies to further refine vaccines that will add, not reduce, the selection pressure, so producing ever more transmissible and potentially deadly variants.The selection pressure will cause greater convergence in mutations that affect the critical spike protein of the virus that is responsible for breaking through the mucosal surfaces of our airways, the route used by the virus to enter the human body. The virus will effectively outsmart the highly specific antigen-based vaccines that are being used and tweaked, dependent on the circulating variants. All of this could lead to a hockey stick-like increase in serious and potentially lethal cases — in effect, an out-of-control pandemic.Not only that, it will be Western nations with high proportions of metabolically diseased, overweight or obese individuals with compromised immune systems that will be hit hardest.
Below is a fairly full excerpt from the Telegraph article. I'm not qualified to comment in any depth. However, I will point out that there is at least one discrepancy between what Vanden Bossche said and what the study author (Pavitra Roychoudhury) says. According to Vanden Bossche the "antigen-based vaccines" are "highly specific". Roychoudhury, on the other hand, maintains that
"A lot of the antibody responses are pretty broad. The vaccines are not designed to be super specific so they will be able to target the variants."
I'll go out on a limb a bit and state that my impression is that Roychoudhury's tone is that of a cheerleader for the vaccines. Nevertheless, according to the article, she is aware that her findings go against the "prevailing understanding" of what would have been expected. Clearly, this is a "developing situation."
Study shows post-jab cases more likely to be infected with virus strains that have emerged in recent months.
Researchers at the University of Washington in the United States sequenced samples from 20 health workers who went on to contract Covid after receiving both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
The study showed that all 20 were infected with variants of concern that have been driving second waves of Covid in many parts of the world – eight had the UK variant, one the South African variant, 10 had one of the two California variants and one had the Brazilian variant.
The researchers then compared the samples collected from this group with samples collected from 5,174 non-vaccinated individuals who had Covid.
While everyone in the vaccinated group had a variant of concern, only 67 per cent of non-vaccinated individuals did. The study also showed that the vaccinated individuals infected with Covid had high viral loads.
Dr Pavitra Roychoudhury, the lead author of the study, said the "prevailing understanding" was that while vaccine breakthrough cases would occur, they would be mild.
"But in contrast to that, what we saw among our 20 samples was that a number of them actually had quite robust viral loads. That was concerning in the sense that there was definitely enough virus to sequence, and potentially there might be enough virus to transmit," she said.
None of the 20 patients studied were hospitalised ...
A recent study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also showed that vaccinated individuals who contracted the disease were also likely to be infected with variants.
Data released earlier this week showed that, as of April 30, there were 10,262 cases of post-vaccination infection among the 101 million people that had been fully vaccinated.
Some 555 of these 10,000 samples were sequenced and researchers found that 356 were identified as variants of concern. ...