June 19, 2022

VSS Scientific Updates During Pandemic Times #25

1.    Severe COVID-19 ‘Rare’ In Unvaccinated People

“An analysis revealed that compared to those who got jabbed, unvaccinated people reported fewer hospitalizations.”

2.    BA.5 Omicron is Winning the Covid Variant Battle in the U.S.

“BA.2.12.1 is only modestly (1.8-fold) more resistant to sera from vaccinated and boosted individuals than BA.2. On the other hand, BA.4/5 is substantially (4.2-fold) more resistant and thus more likely to lead to vaccine breakthrough infections.”

3.    Media Wonders Why Boosted Americans are Testing Positive for COVID More Than Those Without Extra Shot

“Since late February, Americans who have gotten a booster shot appear to be testing positive for COVID-19 more often than those vaccinated without the extra shot, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.”

4.    Unvaxxed ‘Control group’: First Release of Survey Data

“An international survey of a health-aware, ‘Control Group’ that includes over 300,000 people who have chosen to avoid COVID-19 vaccination, shows participants place minimal burden on health systems through their strong reliance on natural immunity, self-care and the use of natural health supplements to help prevent or even treat COVID-19.”

5.    Israel Contemplating Fifth COVID Vaccine as Number of Infections Rises

The country’s Corona Supervisor, Professor Salman Zarqa, stated on Wednesday at the 2042 Medicine Conference in Tel Aviv that “unfortunately, it seems that we are starting a new corona wave in Israel, the BA.5 wave, we are considering giving a fifth vaccine.”

6.    New Study Links COVID Vaccines to 25% Increase in Cardiac Arrest

“Study based on data from emergency services. COVID infection itself not linked to significant increase in cardiovascular complications.”

7.    WHO Says COVID-19 ‘Lab Leak’ Theory Needs Further Investigation

“There are key pieces of data that are not yet available for a complete understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic began,” the expert said in their report, stressing that further studies are needed “to follow up on several gaps in our knowledge,” according to Agence France-Presse.

8.    High Viral Loads: What Drives Fatal Cases of COVID-19 in Vaccinees?

“However, vaccinated cases also showed high viral loads, reaching Ct-values below 10, especially in the upper airways and lungs. This was accompanied by high rates of pulmonal bacterial or mycotic superinfections and the occurrence of immunocompromising factors, such as malignancies, immunosuppressive drug intake, or decreased immunoglobulin levels. All these findings were particularly accentuated in partially vaccinated patients compared to fully vaccinated individuals.”

9.    Heavily Vaccinated Taiwan Experiences Record COVID-19 Infections, Hospitalizations & Deaths

“While Taiwan is 80.3% fully vaccinated, with one of the highest boost rates worldwide at about 65%, an unprecedented number of SARS-CoV-2 infections surge alongside record fatalities.”

10.    Children Infected With up to Three Viruses at a Time Because of COVID Measures, Experts Warn

“Children are being infected with up to THREE viruses at a time because COVID measures have worn down their immune systems and made them vulnerable to illnesses usually only caught in winter, experts warn.”

11.    COVID-19 Deaths Remain Extremely Rare in Children and Young People

“Of the COVID-19 deaths, 61 (75.3%) had an underlying condition, especially severe neurodisability (n=27) and immunocompromising conditions (n=12). Over the 22-month surveillance period, SARS-CoV-2 was responsible for 1.2% (81/6,790) of all deaths, with an infection fatality rate of 0.70/100,000 SARS-CoV-2 infections in CYP aged <20 years estimated through real-time, nowcasting modelling and a mortality rate of 0.61/100,000.”

12.    Research Must Do No Harm: New Guidance Addresses All Studies Relating to People

“Specifically, it means at least three things: first, that the research community should consider potentially harmful implications of research as applied to groups; second, that the community should strive to minimize the potential for misuse and the risks of harm to these groups; and third, that authors should use respectful, non-stigmatizing language in their manuscripts.”

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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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