January 22, 2022

Polemics at the crossroad of politics and science

Although the overwhelming majority of politicians have no education in any of the disciplines relevant to understanding the evolution of a pandemic, they have been given far-reaching political mandates that are now increasingly being exploited to decide on unprecedented public and individual health issues. This is very problematic, especially in light of the highly complex evolutionary dynamics of the devastating C-19pandemic the human population is currently facing. Politicians and governments still don’t seem to understand that enhanced circulation of more infectious Sars-CoV-2 variants is now seriously threatening their citizens, vaccinees and unvaccinated alike. Enhanced viral infectiousness is only an intermediate step on the virus’ path to full resistance to C-19 vaccines (a phenomenon that can only be expedited by an additional ‘update vaccine‘ booster) while also threatening innate immune protection of the unvaccinated against Coronaviruses in general, and Sars-CoV-2 in particular. The latter are now becoming vulnerable to C-19 disease, not primarily because they’re not vaccinated but because they’re getting exposed to enhanced infectious pressure as a result of dominant circulation of more infectious variants. Propagation and expansion of more infectious variants is heavily promoted by the tremendous immune pressure mass vaccination campaigns cause the population to exert on viral infectiousness. As all C-19 vaccines target the spike protein(S), the resulting population-level immune pressure is directed at the very protein that is responsible for enabling virus entry into susceptible host cells.

Of course, politicians are supposed to take advice from scientific experts. However, all of a sudden the latter seem to have become allergic to the media attention they previously used to feel most comfortable with.They’ve now passed the torch over to factcheckers. This is beyond worrisome, especially since factcheckers are uniquely featured by 3 characteristics that question their credibility:

  • Scientific illiteracy (which also applies to so-called ‘experts’ who think their name and reputation can substitute for profound gaps in their understanding of virology a/o immunology a/o vaccinology a/oevolutionary epidemiology.
  • Sponsoring by mass vaccination stakeholders
  • Backstabbing (i.e., throwing dirt on people from behind the corner they’re hiding in).

Despite multiple requests, it has not been possible to convince politicians or even any public health authority to foster an open, multidisciplinary scientific debate on matters of highest concern to the public.Consequently, people are now left to do their own research and draw their own conclusions on complex topics they are anything but familiar with. This lack of rational debate now coincides with a narrative that can no longer be supported by politicized mainstream media. The overall narrative is falling apart as the current evolution of the pandemic is no longer aligned with the claims made on the alleged beneficial impact of mass vaccination on global health. In addition, breakthrough disease cases are on the rise, and both vaccinees and non vaccinated are now to be considered comparable sources of viral transmission. Despite the WHO’s recent opposition to not make C-19 vaccination mandatory, some public health authorities continue to further pressurize children, youngsters and healthcare personnel to get vaccinated in ways that hardly leave them a choice to even make an informed decision.

However, decisions about a life-long imprinting of one’s own healthy immune system should not be taken lightly. That C-19 vaccination serves a public good and should, therefore, also be driven by a sense of solidarity and public sympathy has – already quite some time ago - been classified as a myth. This has only been re-emphasized by Prof. Sir Andrew Pollard who recently stated that ‘herd immunity is not a possibility’.One can only hope that people will finally manage to reduce and distill the vast amount of information and the ever-changing narrative down to common sense to realize that mass vaccination is anything but promoting herd immunity. The decision on whether or not to take the vaccine can, therefore, never be subject to any kind of political or peer pressure.

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Geert Vanden Bossche received his DVM from the University of Ghent, Belgium, and his PhD degree in Virology from the University of Hohenheim, Germany. He held adjunct faculty appointments at universities in Belgium and Germany. After his career in Academia, Geert joined several vaccine companies (GSK Biologicals, Novartis Vaccines, Solvay Biologicals) to serve various roles in vaccine R&D as well as in late vaccine development.

Geert then moved on to join the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health Discovery team in Seattle (USA) as Senior Program Officer; he then worked with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) in Geneva as Senior Ebola Program Manager. At GAVI he tracked efforts to develop an Ebola vaccine. He also represented GAVI in fora with other partners, including WHO, to review progress on the fight against Ebola and to build plans for global pandemic preparedness.

Back in 2015, Geert scrutinized and questioned the safety of the Ebola vaccine that was used in ring vaccination trials conducted by WHO in Guinea. His critical scientific analysis and report on the data published by WHO in the Lancet in 2015 was sent to all international health and regulatory authorities involved in the Ebola vaccination program. After working for GAVI, Geert joined the German Center for Infection Research in Cologne as Head of the Vaccine Development Office. He is at present primarily serving as a Biotech / Vaccine consultant while also conducting his own research on Natural Killer cell-based vaccines.


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