Two studies have shown that the new “bivalent” COVID-19 vaccine boosters developed by Pfizer and Moderna have failed to protect people against newly emerging subvariants of the omicron coronavirus variant.
They also offer no extra vaccination benefits, compared with their original shot based on the mRNA technology.
Your Body Thinks It’s the Same Thing
Pfizer and Moderna’s mRNA bivalent boosters were supposed to help tackle the emergence of new COVID-19 subvariants. However, they have fallen short of accomplishing that goal, reveals a report by HealthDay News cited by US News and World Report.
The first of the two studies showing the bivalent boosters bring no extra health benefits to those who receive them is a blood testing study. This is by a team led by Columbia University microbiology and immunology professor David Ho.
The second study also demonstrated the boost shots failed to produce higher antibody levels and heightened immune responses compared with the original vaccines. This was led by Dan Barouch, head of the Virology and Vaccine Research Center at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Both studies were released in the New England Journal of Medicine on January 11.
According to Dr. Greg Poland, head of the Vaccine Research Group of the Mayo Clinic, the results from the new studies show vaccines supposedly tailor-made for various virus strains wouldn’t make a big difference, as COVID-19 is rapidly evolving.
Further experts are quoted as saying that human immune systems get “primed” to react to “aspects” of the original strain of COVID-19, not the newer strains’ novel mutations.
A senior scholar from the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University, Amesh Adalja, hypothesized a booster could be failing to adequately stimulate people’s immune systems because they were “imprinted” by the original virus strain.
Since the rollout of bivalent vaccine boosters targeting omicron subvariants, research has suggested they don’t elicit superior immune responses as compared with monovalent boosters. What happened? https://t.co/06A0VXdRN1 pic.twitter.com/v6ZbxN1xrm
— NEJM (@NEJM) January 11, 2023
Dr. Drew & Dr. Kelly Victory on a New Study Showing Poor Efficacy in Bivalent Boosters
“The efficacy of the [bivalent] booster was only 30% when the CDC says that the vaccine must be at least 50% to be considered viable”
— Chief Nerd (@TheChiefNerd) January 7, 2023
$5 Billion in Taxpayer Money Down the Drain?
The report noted there could be positives to receiving the updated boosters as they would give recipients a temporary spike in antibodies to COVID-19, but those wouldn’t do a better job targeting emerging variants.
Poland pointed out the fourth bivalent booster didn’t really help people develop “higher levels of antibody,” compared with the third booster, simply because the body deemed it “just the same thing.”
The results from the new studies have caused further controversy over the federal government’s process for approving bivalent boosters.
The report pointed out the original idea for the bivalent boosters was supposed to work like flu shots protecting against up to four different flu strains; a new component added to the initial mRNA shots was considered to achieve that.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, over 48 million Americans over four years of age have received a bivalent booster.
A report by the Kaiser Family Foundation said the bivalent boosters already cost the US taxpayers nearly $5 billion: $3.2 billion for Pfizer’s 105 million doses and $1.7 billion for Moderna’s 66 million doses.
CDC and FDA advisors have now said they didn’t get real world data on the performance of bivalent boosters before they approved the new shots.
According to CNN, the data demonstrated 1.9% of those vaccinated with the original booster shot got infected compared with 3.2% of those who received the updated bivalent booster.
Experts like Dr. Fauci told the public that new bivalent boosters would be significantly more effective at preventing infections than previous doses
Except it turns out that Moderna hid data from the FDA showing they weren't actually more effective at allhttps://t.co/WsQgNtbN0c
— OutKick (@Outkick) January 12, 2023
This article appeared in The State Today and has been published here with permission.
In a rare feat of investigative journalism CNN exposes how moderna lied to The FDA and CDC and concealed critical clinical data that showed their updated bivalent COVID-19 boosters were associated with a 69% increase in infection compared to the old one.https://t.co/C5YJlzFFhg
— Rising serpent 🇺🇸 (@rising_serpent) January 13, 2023