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COVID 19: Moderna finds its COVID-19 vaccine less effective against variant found in South Africa

In late December,I wrote:

The COVID vaccines are not only totally unproven “in the wild”, having ZERO scientific validity as yet as to efficacy out in the real world (or with respect to viral mutations),... 

Less than a month later, I am proven right on at least part of my “outrageous” statement (the viral mutations part). And the virus is showing multiple mutations now, with more surely to come*.

The “in the wild efficacy” portion of my claim remains to be proven false or not when it can be objectively evaluated six to nine months from now. No scientist can claim efficacy before the experiment! Which was my point of saying “unproven”.

Assumptions about efficacy mean at the least: immune system response to the vaccine and actual efficacy vs an in-the-wild viral infection in a large highly-variable human population. All of those. Together and millions of times over. Not some theoretical efficacy based on lab tests counting assumed-effective antibodies against a year-old strain**. We don’t actually know how the population will respond as a whole, and we won’t for months to come. And we cannot safely assume that some new mutation won’t render the whole exercise fruitless.

* The virus now has far more hosts worldwide. Possibly, the dual-dose vaccine regimen could give the virus further evolutionary pressure to mutate in persons with only partial immune system response (2nd dose not yet taken).
** This flaw permeates medicine and medical practice: a dubious study is done (numerous issues), and everyone takes it as gospel and it be. Later, the study cannot be replicated, or does not work in the Real World.

Moderna finds its COVID-19 vaccine less effective against variant found in South Africa

Moderna says tests show its COVID-19 vaccine offers protection against new variants of the coronavirus, but that the drug is more effective against the variant first identified in the U.K. than one found in South Africa. As a result, Moderna will test booster doses of its vaccine — including one that would be tailored to fight strains that have recently emerged.

The newly identified strains have caused alarm, as health officials in the U.K. and South Africa say the strains appear to spread more easily than older versions of the coronavirus. They emerged in recent months, even as vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech raised hopes in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moderna says that at current dosage levels, its COVID-19 vaccine regimen "is expected to be protective against emerging strains detected to date." But the company also says that when its vaccine was used against the variant initially found in South Africa, known as B.1.351, the vaccine produced levels of virus-fighting antibody titers that were around six-fold less than when it's used against other variants.

WIND: more mutations are coming.

There is a significant probability that all the vaccines currently in use may be only partially effective (or not effective at all) by the time the incompetent government-controlled rollout is done 6-9 months from now*. Still, partial protection might moderate the severity, so not all is lost—yet.

* If a glacially-slow rollout along with throwing out unused vaccine doses due to government regulations is not the epitome of government incompetence, I don’t know what is.

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