September 17, 2022

VSS Scientific Updates During Pandemic Times #38

1.    Lancet Report Claiming COVID Could Have Come from U.S. Lab Met With Uproar

“A top medical journal at the heart of several pandemic-related controversies published a major COVID-19 Commission report Wednesday that concluded the deadly pathogen might possibly have leaked from a United States laboratory.”

2.    COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters for Young Adults: A Risk-Benefit Assessment

“Using CDC and sponsor-reported adverse event data, we find that booster mandates may cause a net expected harm: per COVID-19 hospitalisation prevented in previously uninfected young adults, we anticipate 18 to 98 serious adverse events, including 1.7 to 3.0 booster-associated myocarditis cases in males, and 1,373 to 3,234 cases of grade ≥3 reactogenicity which interferes with daily activities. Given the high prevalence of post-infection immunity, this risk-benefit profile is even less favourable.”

3.    Immune Boosting by Omicron Depends on Previous SARS-CoV-2 Exposure

“This “hybrid immune damping” indicates substantial subversion of immune recognition and differential modulation through immune imprinting and may be the reason why the B.1.1.529 (Omicron) wave has been characterized by breakthrough infection and frequent reinfection with relatively preserved protection against severe disease in triple-vaccinated individuals.”

4.    Johns Hopkins Slows Frequency of Covid-19 Data Publication

“We have seen a dramatic shift in the way that state and local governments not only collect this data but share it publicly,” said Beth Blauer, associate vice provost for public-sector innovation at Johns Hopkins and data lead for the school’s Coronavirus Resource Center. “That deeply constrains the way that we can actually report.”

5.    FDA Warns Monkeypox Could Mutate if Antiviral Drug is Overused

“The regulator says lab and animal studies, and evidence from a human case of this family of viruses, suggest monkeypox has "several genetic pathways" to evolve resistance to tecovirimat. Many "require only a single amino acid change," the FDA said.”

6.    Nearly 3 Million Birds Culled as UK Grapples with ‘Unprecedented’ Wave of Bird Flu

“While the devastating impact of the disease has been well documented among wild birds – especially in seabird populations around Scotland, Wales and northern England – the figures seen by The Independent reveal the enormous toll the outbreak is taking on livestock.”

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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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Voices for Science and solidarity, © 2021