Basic fact about an epidemic/pandemic, is getting back to baseline & this virus is NOT arriving back to baseline & this has to do with the VACCINE; after each wave, you return to baseline, NOT HERE!
by Paul Alexander
Why? You get to herd with control of spread with sterilizing immunity that cuts chain of transmission; via INNATE and acquired adaptive immunity; COVID vax immunity is enhancing spread of the virus!
The INNATE (and acquired-adaptive immunity) can eliminate the virus, while this vaccinal immunity enhances transmission and does not eliminate the virus.
The vaccinal immunity Abs is placing substantial immune pressure on the RBD on the spike, the infectiousness of the virus. As Geert explained, the virus became resistant to the neutralizing Abs and the pressure is via the non-neutralizing Abs.
To end the pandemic (any), you need to arrive at herd immunity (back to baseline etc.) and you get there via cutting the chain of transmission and to do this you need to sterilize the virus. This vaccine is doing none of this and does not sterilize the virus (still replicates) and actually is driving infection and transmission DUE to the non-neutralizing vaccinal antibodies. The non-neutralizing Abs is placing the virus (spike RBD/infectiousness) under immune pressure but not eliminating it. If we continue with these sub-optimal vaccines that do not cut transmission, then we are driving selection pressure (natural selection) to select the variants that could overcome the pressure (immune escape). Immune pressure whereby the virus can still replicate, then there will be immune escape.
The answer rests with the non-neutralizing vaccinal Abs that are not eliminating the virus but rather enhancing its spread. Geert is correct. The non-neutralizing vaccinal Abs can bind to the virus but not neutralize/eliminate it. This is classic antibody dependent enhancement (ADE). The non-neutralizing vaccinal Abs are poking the virus and not destroying it. One must, as per Geert, look at this within the environment of the virus itself, the host immune response, and in tandem with the non-neutralizing vaccinal Abs that is placing the RBD on the spike under immune pressure and driving infectiousness.
The non-neutralizing Abs bind to the virus and enhance the infectiousness of the virus and see this seminal publication as it shows why COVID vaccinated persons are more prone to infection (see abstract as it holds nuggets for you to consider):
‘Antibody dependent enhancement (ADE) of infection is a safety concern for vaccine strategies. In a recent publication, Li et al. (Cell 184 :4203-4219, 2021) have reported that infection-enhancing antibodies directed against the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein facilitate virus infection in vitro, but not in vivo. However, this study was performed with the original Wuhan/D614G strain. Since the Covid-19 pandemic is now dominated with Delta variants, we analyzed the interaction of facilitating antibodies with the NTD of these variants. Using molecular modeling approaches, we show that enhancing antibodies have a higher affinity for Delta variants than for Wuhan/D614G NTDs. We show that enhancing antibodies reinforce the binding of the spike trimer to the host cell membrane by clamping the NTD to lipid raft microdomains. This stabilizing mechanism may facilitate the conformational change that induces the demasking of the receptor binding domain. As the NTD is also targeted by neutralizing antibodies, our data suggest that the balance between neutralizing and facilitating antibodies in vaccinated individuals is in favor of neutralization for the original Wuhan/D614G strain. However, in the case of the Delta variant, neutralizing antibodies have a decreased affinity for the spike protein, whereas facilitating antibodies display a strikingly increased affinity. Thus, ADE may be a concern for people receiving vaccines based on the original Wuhan strain spike sequence (either mRNA or viral vectors). Under these circumstances, second generation vaccines with spike protein formulations lacking structurally-conserved ADE-related epitopes should be considered.’
What we are indeed seeing is that the non-neutralizing Abs bind to the upper respiratory tract and enhances spread (infectiousness) in URT yet the same non-neutralizing Abs bind to the virus in the lower respiratory tract (LRT) and prevent transfection from infected cells to non-infected cells and thus limiting severe disease. So this is why we are seeing vaccinated persons getting infected but NOT seriously ill. It was and is confusing but researchers are providing the evidence (see this study):
So we must look at the virus itself, the host immune response e.g. non-neutralizing Abs, and the sub-optimal immune pressure…all of these must be considered if we wish to discuss and understand what we are seeing now in COVID and the vaccine…it is NOT only the behavior of the virus (viral properties), it is what we are doing to it and the pressures and environment we impose around it so much so, it is now helping infectiousness while reducing severity. The non-neutralizing Abs are playing two roles and it is due to the sub-optimal vaccine itself.