For nearly two years, vaccine expert and virologist Geert Vanden Bossche has been on a mission to raise awareness of why healthy children should not receive COVID-19 vaccines.
Vanden Bossche, who has 30 years of experience in the vaccine industry, claims that it is primarily the unvaccinated children and adults who can generate herd immunity.
“The children are our only hope still, to generate herd immunity,” Vanden Bossche told The Epoch Times. “And herd immunity means, thanks to their natural immunity, they can kill the virus, they can sterilize the virus.”
It is only herd immunity that “will be able, at the population level, to dramatically reduce infectious pressure and to tame the pandemic so that it can transition into an endemic phase,” he added, since the “vaccines cannot do this. On the contrary, the vaccines lead to the breeding of more and more infectious variants, which is enhancing the infectious pressure in the population.”
Herd immunity is defined as when a percentage of the population becomes immune to a disease—either through a previous infection or vaccination—which acts to stop or slow down the spread.
Yet, vaccines have never significantly contributed to ending influenza pandemics in the past. The virus in each pandemic had largely run its course and became endemic.
The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, caused by the H1N1 virus, began in March 1918 and ended in the summer of 1919 without the use of any vaccines. The 1957 Asian flu (H2N2) pandemic ended in 1958 with limited use of the flu vaccine. And in both the 1968 H3N2 (pdf) and 2009 H1N1 pandemics, the pandemic had already reached its peak by the time the vaccines were ready, so demand for the vaccines declined.
The COVID-19 pandemic is the first time that mass vaccination is being done in the middle of a pandemic.
According to Vanden Bossche, mass vaccination with vaccines cannot prevent infection during a pandemic when there is high infection pressure because it leads to immune escape, a phenomenon where a virus can escape the host’s immune system.
The late Nobel laureate and virologist Luc Montagnier was also against vaccinating the entire population during a pandemic. In May 2021, he called the mass vaccination program “a huge scientific error” and that the “history books will show that it is the vaccination that is creating the variants.”
Supporters of vaccination allege that the vaccines do not create more variants, arguing that the virus has mutated several times prior to the vaccine roll out in December 2020 and that the benefits of the vaccines outweigh the risks.
Vanden Bossche disagrees. He said that while variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus can occur naturally, it is the COVID-19 injections that are driving the process. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes the disease COVID-19.
The most important reason why children should not receive a COVID-19 vaccine is to protect their innate immune system from being compromised, according to Vanden Bossche. The innate immune system is the body’s first line of defense against foreign pathogens.
Children are “equipped with a special kind of antibodies that we call innate antibodies,” Vanden Bossche said in a video this summer, which “only lasts for some time during childhood and after that they disappear.”
“These innate antibodies have an incredibly important function because they will help the child to kick off its own immune system,” he said, adding that these antibodies may be able to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 and many other viruses that are encountered.
A study of 65 pediatric participants (younger than 23 years) and 60 adult patients infected with COVID-19 in New York City found that children had a stronger innate response compared to the adult group and their immune system had a higher concentration of several innate compounds. This gives insight to why children, for the most part, fare better with COVID-19 disease.
In addition, when the innate antibodies bind with viruses, this process educates the innate immune system to recognize the virus if it enters the body again in the future.
In a 2009 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists investigated whether the innate immune cells can retain “memory of prior activation, a function until now attributed only to antigen-specific adaptive immune cells” by studying natural killer (NK) cells.
They found that the innate immune cells could recognize a memory of their previous activation and thus “respond more easily and effectively to the next call for activation,” according to Dr. Wayne M. Yokoyama, professor of Medicine, Pathology, and Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine and the main author of the study.
Vanden Bossche also added that by “binding to viruses, these innate antibodies will prevent your immune system from recognizing self components,” meaning the innate immune system is also trained to differentiate self from non-self, so it doesn’t attack the body’s normal cells, leading to autoimmune disease.
When children are administered the COVID-19 vaccine, Vanden Bossche said that the antibodies induced by the vaccine will outcompete the innate antibodies in binding with the virus, as the vaccinal antibodies have a higher binding affinity to the spike antigen and thus cutting off the innate antibodies in doing its job and to properly train the innate immune system.
Federal and local health authorities have been pushing to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake in children in the past two weeks.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted authorization for the bivalent booster vaccine in children ages 5 and older on Oct. 12 and the advisory group to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted on Thursday to add the COVID-19 injections to the childhood immunization schedule, which then allows states to mandate them for students to go to school.
The CDC messaging now is to encourage everyone 5 and older to get the bivalent booster regardless if they’ve already received two booster doses.
“Anybody ages five years and older is recommended to receive this updated bivalent booster, but people need to have at least completed a primary series … or if they’ve gotten any number of booster doses in the past, they are also eligible to get this updated booster dose,” Dr. Sarah Meyer, chief medical officer at the CDC’s Immunization Services Division, said on Oct. 12.
“So instead of counting how many boosters somebody’s gotten, what we really want to emphasize is that everybody should get an updated booster this fall,” Meyer added.
The CDC says the booster, based on data from eight mice, provides protection against the original Wuhan strain and the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.
Dr. Vinay Prasad, a hematologist-oncologist, speaking out against COVID-19 vaccines for healthy children, said that no human data exists to show the new booster protects against any variants.
“I have yet to see human data that the updated booster ‘helps to fight off a wide range of variants,’” he posted in a tweet on Oct. 19. “There are 2 press releases touting human Ab [antibody] titers, with no numerical values provided. And mouse Ab titer data, which is the basis of EUA.”
Author : Meiling Lee is a health reporter for The Epoch Times. Contact her by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credits : Nora Burlingame, 3, sits on the lap of her mother, Dina Burlingame, and gets a fist bump from nurse Luann Majeed after receiving her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination at UW Medical Center-Roosevelt in Seattle, Wash., on June 21, 2022. (David Ryder/Getty Images)
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.