Omicron Booster At A Glance:
- Pfizer begins trials for omicron booster.
- Current vaccines provide negative protection against omicron, increasing risk in vaccinated individuals.
- Lancet publication suggests 80-90% of omicron cases are asymptomatic; half of world will have been infected with omicron by March of 2022.
As variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus have continued to mutate, the media and public health officials continue to endorse and push vaccines. Many times, the urging for people to take the jab come along with the admission that we do not know how the vaccines fare against the variant and an acknowledgement that the protection from the shots is quickly waning. To date, all of these shots are of the original formulation without taking recent variants into consideration.
On Tuesday, Pfizer announced it had begun testing an omicron specific vaccine on adults. According to the website:
The study will evaluate up to 1,420 participants across the three cohorts:
Cohort #1 (n = 615): Received two doses of the current Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine 90-180 days prior to enrollment; in the study, participants will receive one or two doses of the Omicron-based vaccine
Cohort #2 (n = 600): Received three doses of the current Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine 90-180 days prior to enrollment; in the study, participants will receive one dose of the current Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or the Omicron-based vaccine
Cohort #3 (n=205): Vaccine-naïve participants will receive three doses of the Omicron-based vaccine
According to US News and World Report’s analysis of the trial:
The modified vaccine’s safety and how it bolsters the immune system in comparison to the original vaccine will be examined by the researchers.
Volunteers will receive varying vaccine doses and will be monitored for how long virus-fighting antibodies remain at high levels after vaccination, so it could take months for the full study results to be available.
How Effective is Current Jab Against Omicron?
In a recent pre-print study, the currently available vaccine has shown to have less than encouraging results against omicron. The Canadian study states:
In contrast, receipt of 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccines was not protective against Omicron infection at any point in time, and VE [vaccine effectiveness] was –38% (95%CI, –61%, –18%) 120-179 days and –42% (95%CI, –69%, –19%) 180-239 days after the second dose. VE against Omicron was 37% (95%CI, 19-50%) ≥7 days after receiving an mRNA vaccine for the third dose.
We also observed negative VE against Omicron among those who had received 2 doses compared to unvaccinated individuals.
In the Danish study, there was no significant protection against Omicron infection beyond 31 days after the second dose of BNT162b2, with significant negative VE estimates 91-150 days after the second dose. We also observed a pattern of non-existent, or even negative VE in Ontario.
Putting Omicron’s Effect into Context
According to the CDC, omicron’s impact may have been in raising the sheer number of cases, however those cases appeared to be less severe than previous waves.
Despite Omicron seeing the highest reported numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations during the pandemic, disease severity indicators, including length of stay, ICU admission, and death, were lower than during previous pandemic peaks.
In a recent publication on Medical Xpress this week, a hopeful tone stood out. The article went on to show the sharp decline in cases in the U.S., similar to what has been seen in countries like South Africa. The article also suggested:
The latest trends have public health experts around the world daring to hope that Omicron will be the variant that turns a pandemic into an endemic disease.
Dr. Christopher Murray of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, issued a comment in the Lancet last week. Murray stated:
The unprecedented level of infection suggests that more than 50% of the world will have been infected with omicron between the end of November, 2021 and the end of March, 2022.
While that figure may sound alarming, he offered a reassuring context by adding:
Evidence suggests that the proportion of asymptomatic infections is much higher for omicron, perhaps as high as 80–90%.
He concluded the publication stating that the death rate due to omicron appears much like a bad influenza season for most countries in the northern hemisphere.
The era of extraordinary measures by government and societies to control SARS-CoV-2 transmission will be over. After the omicron wave, COVID-19 will return but the pandemic will not.
Many news sources have been reporting on a version of the omicron variant described as “stealth omicron.” This version of the omicron variant may appear to be less detectable and possibly more contagious, however hasn’t led to any more severe illness than the original omicron.
Hold the Phone — Doc’s Thoughts:
Before we go any further, look at those study specs again. Some of those participants are up to FOUR doses! How much faith do we have in this thing if it takes that many doses in that short of a period of time? Clearly their approach to that whole waning immunity thing is only resolved by more doses. This whole booster storyline is spinning out of control.
Let’s consider the fact that not only do we know about the 1,053,828 reports of adverse events on VAERS since the vaccine rollout, but we don’t know about the long-term effects of multiple doses. Talk about an experiment! They’re kind of pushing it here.
And let’s talk about that negative vaccine effectiveness shown in the study from Canada. That means that the vaccinated were more likely to get COVID than the unvaccinated. Kind of like the opposite you’d hope from a vaccine. Yet, they are still encouraging this formulation because they don’t have another one to push. Why aren’t they just stopping? That seems like the logical conclusion here.
Do you know what this reminds me of? The September 2, 2009 press release by the Department of Justice in which Pfizer was required to pay $2.3 billion for fraudulent marketing of pharmaceutical products. This was the largest healthcare fraud settlement in history at that time. Just under three years later, another company, GlaxoSmithKline took the lead with a charge of $3 billion for failure to report safety data. Do we still believe these companies are “transparent” with their hopes to hide the data for 75 more years? I’m wondering what the DOJ would throw at Pfizer today considering their failed vaccines. But then again, it’s the CDC marketing them, not Pfizer.
There’s one more thing we should consider. It will take months to evaluate the data here. Yet Pfizer CEO stated that we’d have an omicron specific vaccine available in March. That matches up perfectly with the timing that according to Dr. Murray that over half of the world would already have natural immunity. Yet they are working on this vaccine where 80-90% of the cases may be asymptomatic. This whole process doesn’t seem like there is any science, much less common sense being followed.
Viruses mutate. Stealth is an interesting choice in words. I have to ask, if you have a virus that may not cause symptoms, is following what we know about virus strains, and people will only know if they have it if they are tested, is the term “stealth” more for the media and fear mongering purposes or is it a necessary adjective?
There is good news in all of this. If people come into contact with omicron and develop an immune response, they’ll have a robust, natural immunity. Last week the CDC was forced to acknowledge the beauty of natural immunity:
By early October, persons who survived a previous infection had lower case rates than persons who were vaccinated alone.
With all of this craziness, what can you do? Focus on supporting the body and immune system. When your body is healthy and functioning well, it won’t matter what you come into contact with, you’ll stand a better chance. If you are wondering how to support your body, or how your immune response is functioning, reach out to a Wellness Way. We do health differently. We don’t guess, we test.