r/science Oct 16 '21 Silver 1 Helpful 3 Wholesome 1

Scientists have shown for the first time that coronavirus vaccines and prior coronavirus infections can provide broad immunity against other, similar coronaviruses. The findings build a rationale for universal coronavirus vaccines that could prove useful in the face of future epidemics Medicine

https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2021/10/one-coronavirus-vaccine-may-protect-against-other-coronaviruses/
4.4k Upvotes

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u/pm_me_your_kindwords Oct 16 '21

Is any of this mRNA work opening the door to potentially coming up with a vaccine for common cold type coronaviruses?

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u/TheGreat_War_Machine Oct 16 '21

Presumably, yes, but don't fool yourself into believing that such a vaccine will prevent common cold. Common cold is caused by a large handful of viral genuses and families.

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u/snoboreddotcom Oct 17 '21

yeah its basically a shorthand at this point for various different afflictions that present similarly.

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u/IndigoFenix Oct 17 '21

"The Common Cold" symptoms are not really caused by the particular virus that triggers them - they are caused by the body's own defenses against said virus. Basically any respiratory virus that is strong enough to trigger the immune system's primary defenses but too weak to make any headway against those defenses will cause the common cold.

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u/TheGreat_War_Machine Oct 17 '21

Of course, but the relevance of your comment to the conversation seems minimal. The viruses still cause the common cold, because if there were no viruses, the body wouldn't be inducing a response. Unless you think suppressing the immune system stops the common cold, there's not much to gain from your comment.

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u/Extramrdo Oct 17 '21

He's escalating "Common cold is caused by a large handful of viral genuses and families" to "Cold is what we call anything we don't give a hoot about because it's too weak."

Also it would, nyeh.

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u/JustLetMePick69plz Oct 17 '21

Sure but if the common cold as we know it is really your body's immune response to a number of viruses giving your immune system to more efficiently fight off some number of those would make it so that some number of cases of the cold could be significantly milder. What any of those numbers are tho, I don't know

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u/TheGreat_War_Machine Oct 17 '21

The numbers will be low

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u/shallah Oct 17 '21

So maybe they could eventually make a vaccine that targeted the most dangerous of the strains or variants of those families as with the pneumonia vaccines that target multiple bacterial pneumonia strains? I recently read that Prevnar now has a 20 strain pneumonia vax FDA approved & other companies have vaccines in trials that cover even more :)

https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/next-gen-pneumococcal-vaccine-race-as-merck-answers-pfizer-s-approval-one-its-own

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u/dankhorse25 Oct 19 '21

20-30% of common colds are caused by coronaviruses. That's a big chunk

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u/blauerlauch Oct 16 '21

Definitely, the question is whether that's worth the money. Development and phase 3 studies are ridiculously expensive.

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u/not_lurking_this_tim Oct 16 '21

I would pay for a vaccine that stopped the common cold. I hate getting those

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u/manticorpse Oct 17 '21

Only 20% of colds are caused by coronaviruses, unfortunately.

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u/mattstorm360 Oct 17 '21

So what you are saying is we can be immune to 20% of cold viruses.

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u/MightyMetricBatman Oct 17 '21

No, there are dozens of viruses that cause the common cold.

Coronavirus OC-43 and its four strains, also one of the suspect viruses specie (strain A) possibly responsible for the 1890 "flu" pandemic is responsible for about 20% of all colds as infections. Not as a percent of all cold viruses.

The most common are the rhinoviruses and adenoviruses and aren't that horrible unless you're one of the poor bastards that somehow contracts adenovirus serotype 14. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adenovirus_serotype_14

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u/d3sperad0 Oct 17 '21

These vaccines are not making us immune to COVID. They are reducing severity of the infection. Stop thinking you are immune! You can still get and spread it. It's just less likely to be severe and cause disease.

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u/KingZarkon Oct 17 '21

They also reduce the chances of getting infected period, just not to the same degree that they prevent severe infection.

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u/d3sperad0 Oct 17 '21

That is true.

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u/[deleted] Oct 17 '21 edited Oct 25 '21

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u/amplesamurai Oct 17 '21

As well as some of the virus induced cancers even some other cancers as well.

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u/bluGill Oct 17 '21

I've been saying that for years. Problem is the common cold is several hundred different viruses with similar symptoms . There have been vaccine trials in the past, but even if the vaccine works it is hard to find any statistical difference.

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u/[deleted] Oct 17 '21

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u/Rhenic Oct 16 '21

We could easily afford it if the profits from the worldwide vaccinations went back into development, rather than shareholders and CEOs.

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u/blauerlauch Oct 16 '21

They do get back into development at BioNTech, but for cancer treatments. Which is arguably more important than the common cold.

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u/DrowClericOfPelor Oct 16 '21

That's fair, I guess.

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u/Rhenic Oct 16 '21

They've spent about a billion in research/development ever since the company was founded in 2008. (developing mRNA-based flu vaccines originally).

They made 6.4 billion on the first round of vaccines, 3.6billion from the first EU order, good for 10 billion for just the first batch.

Ever since then 100's of millions additional doses have been ordered, good for god knows how many billions on top.

I would be very, very surprised if more than 2 billion would go into additional research (which tends to be funded mostly through loans and grants).

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u/Only_the_Tip Oct 17 '21

Yes, if people will actually take the vaccines. It will improve economic productively from sick days or family leave to take care of ill children.

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u/VodkaAlchemist Oct 17 '21

People already don't call in to work when they're sick for fear of losing their jobs.

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u/Only_the_Tip Oct 17 '21

But will be more productive while at work if not sick and infecting coworkers.

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u/VodkaAlchemist Oct 17 '21

Talk about a dystopian future where we are excited for a vaccine that allows workers to work more.

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u/Only_the_Tip Oct 17 '21

Who said excited, he was asking if development of common cold vaccines would be worth the cost. The answer is yes, they (business/government) would recoup the cost of vaccines through increased productivity.

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u/95percentconfident Oct 17 '21

Lots of groups work on this right now. And other common cold viruses. Vaccines, so hot right now.

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u/DreamWithinAMatrix Oct 17 '21

-80 Celsius hot

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u/95percentconfident Oct 17 '21

Yeah... We gotta get that sorted.

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u/hamsterfolly Oct 17 '21

I believe Pfizer is already working on it

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u/Kozeyekan_ Oct 17 '21

The University of Queensland vaccine candidate offered exactly this potential. The "mechanism clamp" stopped the spike proteins changing shape, and allowed antibodies to attack the virus.

The problem was, it did so using a protein that is common to (but not an infectious part of) HIV, and it gave false positive HIV tests.

It's being reworked now.

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u/Hsensei Oct 17 '21

I think I read they are using mRNA for a universal flu vaccine to actually rid us of the flu.

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u/not_mig Oct 17 '21

Is there any chance of antibody dependent enhancement? I know that was a concern before clinical trials of the covid vaccine and has been an issue for dengue (vaccines and natural infection)

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u/VitiateKorriban Oct 17 '21

ADE was present and a big problem in developing vaccines in the time between the first SARS Epidemic in 2003 up until 2019. It was actually the reason why people at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 thought theres never going to be a vaccine for this Coronavirus, because most trials with Coronavirus vaccines led to ADE on reinfection of the host. Pretty much doing the exact opposite that your immune system is supposed to do.

ADE is still a possibility for the recovered and vaccinated with a mutation of the current SARS virus or any other existing or emerging Coronaviruses. You just don’t hear about that in the media anymore at all.

And the current vaccines are considered "leaky“, hence all the breakthrough infections. Evolutionary pressure will at some point cause a mutation that circumvents the vaccine or make the virus more dangerous in one or another way.

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u/taylor__spliff Grad Student | Biology | Bioinformatics Oct 17 '21 Silver

And the current vaccines are considered "leaky“, hence all the breakthrough infections. Evolutionary pressure will at some point cause a mutation that circumvents the vaccine or make the virus more dangerous in one or another way.

Yeah, you're going to need to provide a source for that because I've yet to see any evidence for what you're implying. In fact, Dr. Andrew Read (aka the guy who proposed the "leaky-vaccine theory" in the first place and has been researching it for about 20 years) recently did an interview on this topic.

Here are a few quotes:

"The paper has gone viral because some people are using it to stoke paranoia that the COVID-19 vaccines will cause the virus to evolve in the direction of even more severe variants"

"This means that the future of one virus cannot be predicted by simply extrapolating from the past evolution of another. Marek's and SARS-CoV-2 are very different viruses, with very different vaccines, very different hosts and very different mechanisms by which they sicken and kill. It is impossible to know whether their differences are more important than their similarities [...] Extrapolating from our chicken work to argue against vaccination because of the delta variant has no scientific rationale: The delta variant would have become dominant even if everyone refused vaccination"

"But whatever was responsible for the evolution of more virulent strains in the first place (and there may be many causes), our data show that vaccination is sufficient to maintain hyperpathogenic strains in poultry flocks today. By keeping infected birds alive, vaccination substantially enhances the transmission success and hence spread of virus strains too lethal to persist in unvaccinated populations, which would therefore have been removed by natural selection in the pre-vaccine era."

”It is sobering for me to think that some of the next to die might have avoided lifesaving vaccines because people are stoking evolutionary fears extrapolated from our research in chickens."

And this is from the conclusions of the paper on the leaky Marek’s vaccines:

"Our data do not demonstrate that vaccination was responsible for the evolution of hyperpathogenic strains of MDV, and we may never know for sure why they evolved in the first place[...]But whatever was responsible for the evolution of more virulent strains in the first place (and there may be many causes), our data show that vaccination is sufficient to maintain hyperpathogenic strains in poultry flocks today. By keeping infected birds alive, vaccination substantially enhances the transmission success and hence spread of virus strains too lethal to persist in unvaccinated populations, which would therefore have been removed by natural selection in the pre-vaccine era."

And here's another paper of Dr. Read's that goes very in-depth to some of the reasons why the pathogen evolution frequently results in drug resistance but very rarely vaccine resistance.

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u/Jonsj Oct 17 '21

Yes I am curious about a source as well, who considers vaccines leaky?

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u/William_Harzia Oct 17 '21

The current crop of COVID vaccines don't appear to provide durable immunity against infection.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/23/delta-variant-pfizer-covid-vaccine-39percent-effective-in-israel-prevents-severe-illness.html

If that's not leaky, then what is?

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u/Jonsj Oct 17 '21

That's true for all vaccines is it not? Including the body's natural immunity, booster shots have been a thing forever

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u/William_Harzia Oct 17 '21

When was your last polio or measles booster?

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u/Jonsj Oct 17 '21 edited Oct 17 '21

You get 4 doses and if your traveling to a place where there is polio it's recommend you get a booster shot.

Why has that anything to do with being leaky?

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u/William_Harzia Oct 17 '21

Huh.

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/polio/hcp/effectiveness-duration-protection.html

Turns out the duration of protection is not known.

The only place where there's wild-type polio are the mountainous hinterlands on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Elsewhere all the polio is the vaccine derived type. Ironic, huh?

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u/Jonsj Oct 17 '21

Where is the vaccine derived type?

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u/William_Harzia Oct 17 '21

Last outbreak I heard of was in Uganda, but it crops up everywhere the oral polio vaccine is used.

https://africa.cgtn.com/2021/08/17/uganda-confirms-outbreak-of-polio/

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u/schizoanalyste Oct 17 '21

Promising, of course, but the challenge is daunting. I'd imagine targeting the RdRp of the betaCoV family with a pan-antiviral would be more successful that attempting a universal vaccine (a few researchers actually proposed such a strategy in preparation of a future pandemic after SARS1 but no funding). Of course, the proofreader is the major challenge here and why SARS2 nsp14 ExoN ripped out ribavirin and maybe that is a great barrier than posed by diversity.

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u/NoahbodyImportant Oct 17 '21

While I never had any doubt that a specific vaccine could provide some, if lesser, resistance to closly related diseases and mutations of the disease, it is good to see definitive science supporting the idea.

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u/DrOhmu Oct 17 '21

The mrna injections stimulate an immune response by making your cells produce specific proteins: mostly the s1 spike associated with sarscov2.

So they cant provide 'broad' immunity in the way overcoming an infection of the whole virus can. For the vast majority of people that occurs with no symptoms or common cold-like symptoms.

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u/BobGnarly87 Oct 17 '21

Well yeah, it can. It’s the spike protein that causes the response, not anything else. Honestly not sure what you mean by broad immunity. Natural immunity wanes over time just like vaccine immunity does. That’s why herd immunity is so important. And the quickest way to achieve that is everyone who can safely get vaccinated get vaccinated. Double vaxxed. Millions have already died from Covid, and the majority of them were unvaccinated. Vaccinated people are way more likely to survive. That’s a statistical reality.

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u/William_Harzia Oct 17 '21

I don't understand why people in r/science are still talking about herd immunity. It's not going to happen until a vaccine comes out that provides durable immunity against infection. Or maybe if 90+% of people get and survive COVID.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/23/delta-variant-pfizer-covid-vaccine-39percent-effective-in-israel-prevents-severe-illness.html

You can't get 90% of the population immune with a vaccine that is less than 50% effective against infection after 6 months.

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u/DrOhmu Oct 20 '21

By broad immunity i mean the immune system recognises all the proteins expressed on the surface of the virus, and is trained by a genuine vector and spread of infection. While the antibody level drops, B and T cells remain to ramp up antibody production when infection reoccurs.

The mrna makes muscle cells at the injection sits (and any other cells that it gets to subsequently) produce the spike protein until the immune response destroys the cell. A more specific immunity by a different and novel vector.

The "quickest" way to expose most people to sarscov2 and gain widespread immunity was to do nothing at all while protecting the most vulnerable. Now vaccines are available i dont see the justification for government to dictate personal associations.

The justification for all of this antisocial stuff (in the uk at least) was to protect the health service from being overwhelmed in the growth phase of a pandamic. It was aknowledged that in flattening the sarscov2 curve we would increase the area under it.

Its now a year into being endemic, there are vaccines, all vulnerable people are vaccinated, antiviral treatment is available.

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u/BobGnarly87 Oct 20 '21 edited Oct 20 '21

Not all vulnerable people are vaccinated. We’re not even at 70%

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u/tooluckyformyowngood Oct 17 '21 edited Oct 17 '21

Immune - “For example, a person who has had chickenpox or has been immunized against chickenpox is immune from getting chickenpox again. The inflammatory response (inflammation) occurs when tissues are injured by bacteria, trauma, toxins, heat, or any other cause.” -Immune response article on medlineplus.gov

No covid vaccine makes you immune to anything. This is false and misleading information.

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u/benderisgreat63 Oct 17 '21

I don't get the link between your citation and the point you are making.

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u/tooluckyformyowngood Oct 17 '21

This title and article implies you are immune to covid and other things but youre not. Immune should not be a word used so liberally. As its not true.

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u/benderisgreat63 Oct 17 '21

Immune in the medical sense, meaning to have increased resistance. You're talking about immune in the popular/layman sense, meaning invincible or untouchable.

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u/William_Harzia Oct 17 '21

Has the definition of immunity changed? Immune means you're not susceptible. It doesn't mean you're "resistant".

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u/tooluckyformyowngood Oct 17 '21

No, im talking about it in the way i did in my first comment… which is medlineplus.gov sounds pretty medical to me

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u/benderisgreat63 Oct 17 '21

In both the article and your citation, "immune" means "resistant to", not "100% protected from". Especially since in the article they use the term " "immunized against".

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u/tooluckyformyowngood Oct 17 '21

When the “resistance to” something is as strong as the resistance is to chickenpox post chickenpox then you can be considered “immunized/immune”. This vax shouldnt make anyone consider themselves “immune” to anything because they arent. Not even close.

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u/benderisgreat63 Oct 17 '21

Nowhere in the article does it say the vaccine will make you invincible to any virus. It says it will provide a measure of protection against them. That's why I am saying the word immune has a medical meaning, and a general meaning.

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u/tooluckyformyowngood Oct 17 '21

It says it’ll provide “broad immunity”. I can read. Blatantly tries to correlate the word immunity with the covid vax. But literally there is no proven immunity. Not even close to the word.

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u/benderisgreat63 Oct 17 '21

Immunity means resistance to. Broad immunity means resistance to a variety of different organisms. Nowhere do they imply that any vaccine provides 100% protection.

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u/bremergorst Oct 17 '21

Great now we just need a vaccine for stupid

Oh wait they won’t take it

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u/djanice Oct 17 '21

What for? Idiots are going to deny its efficacy. And the rest of us who actually trust science are left having to reassemble the truth from all its shattered pieces.

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u/5uperGIRL Oct 17 '21

You’re not supposed to trust science.

You’re supposed to question it until it becomes irrefutable.

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u/TheUnweeber Oct 17 '21

This. The scientific community deals poorly with the religious impulse in people when that religious impulse is directed towards science. The result is that many people believe in science, but don't bother with critical thinking.

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u/I_SMELL_BUTT Oct 17 '21

I'm going to stick with my natural immunity.

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u/SmightyTheMighty Oct 17 '21

It's weird that this is news. Isn't a vaccine supposed to completely irradicate a virus ....

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u/benderisgreat63 Oct 17 '21

No, it's supposed to prevent illness and reduce the spread of the virus, possibly until it goes extinct due to having no viable hosts.

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u/BobGnarly87 Oct 17 '21

Nope. Never.

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u/Harbinger2001 Oct 17 '21

No. The only one that’s ever been eradicated is smallpox.

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u/William_Harzia Oct 17 '21

Nope. Rinderpest was also eradicated.

Polio could be eradicated, but unfortunately a giant bureaucracy was created to that effect (the GPEI), and its continued existence depends on the continued existence of polio in the wild.

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u/VitiateKorriban Oct 17 '21

Or a new Coronavirus or mutation of an existing one will cause ADE in people that have been infected/vaccinated already. Just how it happened with other Coronavirus Vaccines before 2019.

That possibility is shockingly never discussed in the media.

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u/willun Oct 17 '21

You mean the media has not discussed all the variants of coronavirus? Delta might disagree with you.

Yes, another variant may appear. Coronaviruses do mutate often. This is why it is important to get people vaccinated and reduce the large pool of infected people who already today are generating more variants.

Hopefully none of them are more successful at evading the current vaccines. If they do, then we will need additional vaccinations. This is normal.

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u/Caelinus Oct 17 '21

It is really getting on my nerves how many people are saying the vaccine does not work because "_______." Pretty much every example they give is either entirely incorrect, or something that is completely normal and expected and was predicted before the vaccine was even produced.

I saw a Facebook post today with a bunch of people quoting some of the scientists who were promoting ivermectin for Covid treatment, so it was obviously going to be high quality stuff, but the overarching theme of their posts was that "The vaccine does not work because breakthrough infections exist."

We have had vaccines for a while now, and we know how they affect our immune systems, and we know a lot about how immune systems function. As such everyone already knew there would be breakthrough infections it is literally just a consequence of how the immune system works. It is not a new phenomenon. The companies themselves released data saying that their vaccines would not be 100% effective before it was ever administered.

It just amazes me how illiterate so many people are about basic medical knowledge. The information is not even hard to find.

(Side note: The ivermectin thing got me really mad. Yes, ivermectin does show some effect on slowing viruses in a lab. But in vivo it requires a dosage so high that it would make you sick or kill you. You know what 100% stops a virus every time? Fire. No cells, no virus. Works every time. I do not see people advocating for that though.

There are so many things that will inhibit viruses in a lab. So many. They are all completely worthless unless they have some mechanism to work inside your body, and will not kill or maim you in the process.)

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u/willun Oct 17 '21

The antivaxxers are noisy but not as great in numbers as their noise implies. Here in NSW we are at 92% first dose (16+) and 80% second dose.

The best tactic is to just laugh at them. They know they are wrong and thrive on causing trouble and getting attention.

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u/mgxci Oct 17 '21

Would be interesting to see what the numbers would be if the people of NSW weren’t threatened to lose our jobs and means to provide for our families.

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u/Airowird Oct 17 '21

That possibility is shockingly never discussed in the media.

Then you're consuming the wrong media channels.

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u/VitiateKorriban Oct 17 '21

So has it actively been covered? Because everyone around me who is vaccinated too doesn’t even know what ADE is and that it poses an actual threat.

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u/mastergunner99 Oct 17 '21

Scientists have also found that good health and nutrition can provide broad immunity against other, similar coronaviruses.

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u/SalmsonAL-3 Oct 17 '21

Scientists have also found

Post your source

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u/mastergunner99 Oct 18 '21

You have google right there at your fingertips. If you’re interested, you’ll do your homework.

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u/dankhorse25 Oct 19 '21

If we had had developed a good SARS-cov-1 vaccine we probably wouldn't have needed a SARS-cov-2 vaccine.

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u/[deleted] Oct 17 '21 edited Oct 17 '21

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u/Internal_Bill Oct 17 '21

Isn’t it true that a HIV like strand is contained in the Covid-19 virus?