Dear colleagues at the WHO, I think the time has come to admit that the mass vaccination program that you have been proposing in an attempt to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a complete failure. At the beginning of this year, I've been urging you to open a scientific debate on the potential risks of mass vaccination with these vaccines - in the midst of a pandemic. I've never received a response to that request. But shortly thereafter one of the most renowned vaccinologists on this planet wrote me an email saying; ‘vaccinating with these vaccines would only breed new variants. But that it wouldn’t make sense for me to go against the mainstream because nobody would listen to me anyway, and hopefully that second-generation vaccines would solve the problem.’
So, I wanted to let you know that it is not because you are the WHO, that you can afford to ignore the opinion of people who have long-standing expertise - in all of the different disciplines involved in this pandemic: virology, immunology, vaccinology, evolutionary biology, epidemiology, zoonoses, etc. Whereas, some of us have been predicting that mass vaccination with these vaccines in the midst of a pandemic would inevitably lead to the expansion of more infectious variants, your leading scientists have been preaching the simplistic mantra that the more we vaccinate the less the virus will replicate, and the lower the likelihood that new variants will emerge. Now, the consequences of these simplistic and erroneous viewpoints is that today we are dealing with dominant circulation of Omicron, the most infectious SARS-CoV-2 variant that we have seen so far, and probably the most infectious virus that we have seen so far.
So, given the fact that we are now dealing with a number of variants that are circulating and a multitude, of course, of sub-variants, and that infection rates are going through the roof, and that also we are already most likely having a number of animal populations that are serving as a reservoir for the virus, the likelihood that viral variants are now recombining and building reassortments within one and the same host is becoming increasingly likely. So, what that means is that it will become increasingly difficult to trace the origin of new variants, and that it will be even more challenging to predict the characteristics of those new variants in terms of infectiousness, in terms of virulence, pathogenicity, and also in terms of resistance to vaccinal antibodies or to vaccines in general.
But what is very clear is that if those new variants are to survive on a background of high population-level immune pressure, then those variants will need to be more infectious – like, for example, the Omicron variant. The Omicron variant, however, is offering a very nice opportunity, because Omicron has acquired a substantial level of resistance to the vaccinal antibodies, and that means that the vaccinal antibodies are less likely to outcompete the innate antibodies, which is very good news, because we know that innate antibodies can protect against SARS-CoV-2. This has been repeatedly reported in the literature. We also know that innate antibodies can be trained, and therefore they can even improve their recognition and protection against the virus. Innate antibodies can be trained just like other innate immune effectors can be trained, by repeated exposure to what we call pathogen-associated molecular patterns. This is, in fact, nicely shown by the data published by the UK Health Security Agency, previously Public Health England - where they have shown that basically with aging and also with more exposure to the pathogen, the number of cases in the unvaccinated people was dramatically reduced, and even to an extent such that vaccine efficacy, or we should say, in the population, vaccine effectiveness, would become negative. There is also increased evidence, or increasing evidence, that training of innate antibodies as a result of natural infection can enhance the abrogation of the infection, and that training of adaptive immunity – particularly the induction of T-cell memory, also as a result of natural infection – can enhance the abrogation of disease.
Thanks to the increased resistance of Omicron to vaccinal antibodies, the innate antibodies are set free and can now enable the vaccinees to eliminate the virus, to control viral transmission, and to lead to a dramatic decrease in the viral infection rate, just like healthy unvaccinated people are doing. So, in other words, the resistance to Omicron means, in fact, that we are freeing up a huge capacity of sterilizing immunity in vaccinees because the vaccinees are, in fact, regaining full functionality of their innate immune antibodies. That, of course, will lead to herd immunity because herd immunity requires that you induce a type of immunity that can sterilize the virus, that can dramatically diminish transmission. This would also mean: by freeing up this huge capacity of sterilizing immunity in the vaccinees – after certainly a very important incline of infectious cases – we would have a rapid decline of this wave. And we would also have a rapid decline of disease cases, and even more importantly and more dramatically, of severe disease. Now we know with (moderate) disease, when you recover from disease, you develop acquired immunity, which is long-lived and will protect you. And the few cases of severe disease, we have, of course, to treat – that is what we’ve always said.
It is important to realize that, in fact, Omicron is more or less serving, indeed, as a live attenuated vaccine, and that this is a unique opportunity. The fact that we free up the sterilizing capacity in the vaccinees, thanks to the increased level of resistance of Omicron to the vaccinal antibodies – those are no longer capable of outcompeting the innate antibodies – we may have a unique opportunity to achieve herd immunity, or to start building herd immunity. And so, it is very, very important that we leave people alone, and that we leave the children alone, and that we let the virus spread. And so, we shouldn't have any vaccination against this Omicron variant, and we shouldn't have lockdowns.
If we are now going to vaccinate against Omicron, we are going to take away this window of opportunity for the population to generate herd immunity, thanks to freeing up our innate antibodies. And what we are going to do is in fact we would build against antibodies, against the spike protein of Omicron, and particularly against the receptor-binding domain of this Omicron spike protein.
We know that this receptor-binding domain has already undergone a number, or several, important mutations. So, if we put again full pressure on this domain, there is a high likelihood that we are now going to promote variants that will be able to use a receptor that is different from ACE-2 to enter into the cell. And we know that SARS-CoV-2 can do that because it has already been described that SARS-CoV-2 can use receptors other than ACE-2 to enter into the cell. But so far this way of entering - this alternative way of entry into the cell - has not been the preferred way for the virus for entering the cells. But it would only take probably one or two mutations for the virus to make these alternative receptors the preferred receptors for viral entry.
By doing mass vaccination against Omicron, we may be putting enough immune pressure on viral infectiousness to give variants that are capable of entering into the cell through an alternative receptor - to give them a competitive advantage, and so, to provide them with a fitness advantage so that they can now become dominant in the population. What this means is pretty catastrophic, because this would mean that basically we end up with a situation where we have antibodies that still strongly bind to the virus, to the receptor binding domain, but that can no longer neutralize the virus because the virus is now using another domain to enter into the cell, a domain which is different from the domain that is blocked by the antibodies.
Such a situation is in fact, a textbook example, for how you provoke antibody-dependent enhancement of the disease. So, this would mean that such a situation, the virus covered with strongly binding antibodies but not being able to neutralize the virus, would basically lead, or would be similar, to a situation where the virus has acquired a higher level of virulence. This would be - this situation would really, really, really be at risk of provoking the kind of disastrous consequences that I have been warning against at the beginning of this year. And we know that industry is already gearing up for mass vaccination against Omicron. And, as this, according to my humble opinion, could potentially be - with a high likelihood - a real disaster. We must prevent such a thing from happening.
So in order to - or I would say unless - unless immediate action is taken to prevent this, it is clear that decision-makers in your organization, the WHO, will be held responsible, accountable, and liable for the dramatic consequences that this biological experiment on human beings could possibly entail. So I hope that this time you will take my warning very seriously into consideration.