I’m concerned people are being re-infected with some of the newer strains of coronavirus


We’re never going to end this fucking pandemic. Already.

Groundhog day today, right? Well, let me quote the viral forecast: “It’s going to be cold, it’ll be gray, and it’s going to last for the rest of your life.”

Because I’m stupid, it didn’t automatically occur to me that a mutant strain of the virus capable of evading antibodies produced by a first generation version of a vaccine is also capable of evading antibodies. produced by a first generation version of the virus itself. If you were infected with a common coronavirus a few months ago and recovering from it, there is no logical reason why you would necessarily be protected from infection by a new strain that is sufficiently evolved for the immune system to your body no longer “recognizes” it. This is exactly what is happening in South Africa, according to Fauci. People who had COVID 1.0 get COVID 2.0 thanks to the variant that appeared there. Watch a few minutes here.

It’s not just South Africa where people are apparently re-infected. Manaus, a city in Brazil, was devastated by COVID last year. The reward for enduring a fierce epidemic is herd immunity among survivors – unless the virus mutates to the point that it is again a new pathogen, in which case another fierce epidemic is underway. This is what Manaus seems to be facing now:

Even in a year of horrific suffering, what is happening in Brazil stands out. In the tropical rainforest city of Manaus, home to 2 million people, bodies are said to be deposited in mass graves as quickly as they can be dug. Hospitals are running out of oxygen and people with potentially treatable cases of COVID-19 are dying of asphyxiation. This nature and magnitude of mortality has not been observed since the first months of the pandemic …

The data appeared to support the idea that collective immunity in Manaus was near. In Science this month, researchers mapped the takeover of the virus last year: In April, blood tests revealed that 4.8% of the city’s population had antibodies to SARS-CoV- 2. In June, this figure reached 52.5%. Since those infected do not always test positive for antibodies, researchers estimated that as of June, about two-thirds of the city had been infected. In November, the estimate was around 76%. In The Lancet this week, a team of Brazilian researchers noted that while these estimates were largely wrong, an infection on this scale “should confer significant immunity on the population to prevent a larger epidemic.” Indeed, it seemed. The city was able to reopen widely and remain open throughout its winter with low levels of COVID-19 cases.

Either scientists greatly overestimated the share of the population that gained immunity from the initial outbreak, or the new Brazilian variant burns people who have recovered from a common COVID. Best case scenario for us: We may need booster shots several times a year as new strains appear here or abroad and start to spread among the population, including among people who have already had disease. (Moderna is already developing a booster for the South African variant, and Pfizer is “laying the groundwork” to do so if its current vaccine ends up battling this strain.) Worst case scenario: A super-contagious strain emerges and begins to break down. tearing America apart at lightning speed as the drugstore struggles to develop a booster and dispense it, bringing us back to square one about herd immunity.

We may not need a “permanent” vaccine infrastructure to achieve this, but a short-term mobilization after which everything returns to normal around September seems more and more like wishful thinking.

In fact, The Times reports today that the highly contagious British strain of the virus could evolve to resist current vaccines. Pfizer and Moderna recently reported that they believe their products are just as effective against the current UK variant as against the common COVID. But what about the “new” British variant?

Scientists suspect that B.1.351 [South African] The partial leakage of the vaccine variant is largely due to a single mutation, called E484K. Experiments indicate that the E484K mutation makes it more difficult to capture antibodies to the virus and prevents it from entering cells.

Now it turns out that some B.1.1.7 coronaviruses in Britain also have the E484K mutation

[I]A report published online Tuesday, Rajiv Gupta, a virologist at the University of Cambridge, and his colleagues reported on an experiment they conducted to answer exactly that question. They combined the E484K mutation with other key mutations found in the B.1.1.7 variant, the one originally found in Britain. The addition of the E484K mutation made it difficult for the antibodies to block the viruses. The researchers wrote that they “observed a significant loss of neutralizing activity”.

If you liked the British Super Crown, you will love the British Super Super Crown. Now see why Fauci and the CDC started encouraging people to mask themselves twice? Just because Fauci is a kidnapper who won’t rest until we’re all in moon costume. This is because the foreign strains are already circulating here and it seems unlikely that we will get a significant number of people vaccinated before they have done a ton of damage. If super corona spreads more easily than corona, the obvious thing to do is add extra filtering to your airways to avoid inhaling it.

I leave you with a hopeful note from former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb, who believes SARS-CoV-2 is mutating slowly enough that we can stay ahead with an aggressive vaccination regimen. Importantly, he notes, although the South African and Brazilian strains appear capable of re-infecting people, the jury is still out on whether they are more contagious than common COVID. The British variant appears to have this advantage as it quickly became the dominant strain in the UK, but other worrisome strains may not spread as quickly. They are just a little more difficult for common antibodies to manage. Exit question: Why would the FDA take “weeks” to decide whether Moderna can fill its vaccine vials with 15 doses instead of 10, as it wishes? That’s a 50% increase in production instantly. And time is running out.

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