Further to the recent article on avian Flu outbreaks in France (https://afludiary.blogspot.com/2024/01/france-reports-avian-flu-outbreak-in.html), I've reproduced or cited below a few passages and snippets from recent and previous risk assessments related to mass vaccination against pandemic bird influenza in poultry. Please follow the provided links in the articles to read these scientific documents in their entirety. You will encounter terms such as 'asymptomatic transmission,' 'vaccine-escape variants,' 'immune selection pressure,' and 'faster molecular evolution and adaptation' (after the introduction of mass vaccination). Additionally, expressions like 'greater nonsynonymous divergence than other lineages' (after the introduction of mass vaccination) can be found. Note: The large-scale nonsynonymous divergence mentioned in some of these reports is attributed to what I previously described as large-scale steric immune refocusing (SIR).
When I used these terms to describe the health hazards associated with Covid-19 mass vaccination of humans during a SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, I was ridiculed and dismissed as a scientifically incompetent doom preacher. Sometimes, I wish those who criticized me for voicing my opinion on the impact of mass vaccination during a human viral pandemic (while being referred to as a 'cow doctor' by public health authorities and faculty professors in Belgium) had studied veterinary medicine. This might have helped them understand that humans are merely another mammalian species subject to the same laws of veterinary infectious diseases. However, it appears that a significant number of professors, physicians, and high-ranking experts do not perceive themselves as mammals. While lacking a comprehensive understanding of the intricate dynamics between SARS-CoV-2 and the host immune system post mass Covid-19 vaccination, they assert that their interventions and recommendations transcend nature with exclusivity for humans. I detest their insane arrogance, which, as already evident, inflicts immeasurable harm on the innocent masses they believe themselves to be standing far above.
Here are some relevant citations that, at least with veterinarians, ring a myriad of bells:
“The problem has been that while vaccines can often protect poultry against illness - with increasingly diverse and rapidly evolving avian flu viruses - they cannot always prevent infection. The end result being that subclinical infections can go undetected, viruses continue to circulate, and new variants or reassortants continue to emerge.”
“A leading Chinese expert on respiratory diseases has warned the public to be aware that poultry can be infected with the bird flu virus but show no symptoms. Special attention should be paid to such animals, including those that have been vaccinated," said Zhong Nanshan. "The existing vaccines can only reduce the amount of virus, rather than totally inactivating it," he said.
“But if changes aren’t implemented – and probably soon - at some point the vaccines available will no longer be able protect the industry. All of which serves as prelude to a dispatch, published yesterday in the EID Journal (Subclinical Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus Infection among Vaccinated Chickens,
China (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/20/12/14-0733_article), that looks for (and finds) subclinical HPAI infection in vaccinated Chinese poultry, and – as has been long feared - that mass vaccination is likely driving the creation of vaccine-escape variants.” In this report, the authors warned: “HPAI mass vaccination may increase spread of a virus that otherwise would be easily identified by observation of clinical signs.”
“HPAI mass vaccination played a crucial role in HPAI control in China. However, this study demonstrated multiple disadvantages of HPAI mass vaccination, which had been suspected (13,14). For example, this study showed that H5N1 subtype HPAI virus has evolved into multiple H5N2 genotypes, which are all likely vaccine-escape variants, suggesting that this virus can easily evolve into vaccine-escape variants. This observation suggests that HPAI mass vaccination, which is highly effective in the beginning of an outbreak, may lose its effectiveness with time. Moreover, this study showed that vaccinated chicken flocks can be infected with vaccine-escape variants without signs of illness. Thus, HPAI mass vaccination may increase shedding of the virus by infected chickens that otherwise would likely exhibit signs of illness and die soon after infection; therefore, HPAI mass vaccination may increase spread of a virus that otherwise would be easily identified by observation of clinical signs.”
“Conversely, HPAI mass vaccination in China cannot be expected to have a progressive effect because the practice leads to silent spread of vaccine-escape variants selected in the host immunologic pressure induced against vaccine strains.”
Association of poultry vaccination with the interspecies transmission and molecular evolution of H5 subtype avian influenza virus (https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2023.12.20.572711v1).
These researchers report that the impact of vaccination on poultry - and the movement of AIV lineages between wild birds and poultry - are complex and not fully understood.
They also note that regions that have heavily employed poultry vaccines have also seen more rapid evolution of avian flu viruses:
“However, we also find that the HA gene of the AIV lineage that circulated predominately among Chinese poultry with high vaccination coverage underwent faster evolution and greater nonsynonymous divergence than other lineages. Further, this Chinese poultry lineage contained more codons inferred to be under positive selection, including at known antigenic sites, and its rates of nonsynonymous divergence and adaptative fixation increased after mass poultry vaccination began.
“Our results indicate that the epidemiological, ecological and evolutionary consequences of widespread AIV vaccination in poultry may be linked in complex ways, and that much work is needed to better understand how such interventions may affect AIV transmission to, within and from wild birds.”
“In conclusion, we find that vaccination in Asian poultry likely reduced the inter species transmission of these viruses. H5 AIV in Chinese poultry, which are highly vaccinated, show evidence of greater HA gene molecular evolution and adaptation after the introduction of vaccination. Such circumstances may have increased the probability that birds susceptible to AIV belong to wild species at the interface between wild birds and poultry, leading to shifts in selection pressure on the virus.”
“As more countries decide to embrace AI poultry vaccination, the need for a better understanding of its impact - and potential risks - only increases. For now, decisions appear to be driven more by events and biases, than a wealth of scientific evidence”.
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.