(see update below)
…and why I won’t take it. Or the Moderna version.
Last month, I gave my reasoning, but it was in a private, members-only forum. But I think my comments should be preserved for public posterity.
I’m leery of being an early recipient of a newly developed viral protein coat vaccine, because sometime flaws occur when they scale up production from testing to inoculating a nation. But this…
Instead of injecting a known quantity of a known protein to stimulate an immune response, this tricks the body’s cells into mass producing the proteins. How much? Who knows. It’ll vary widely from individual to individual. Delayed –for days or weeks — anaphylactic shock is a possibility. And that’s if the vaccine is right.
If something bad happens with the nucleotides, that vaccine could potentially tell your body to produce an outright toxic protein. I suspect one of the things the manufacturers like is that this is probably “manufactured” through PCR. They are going to have to be damned careful to avoid any contaminant, any stray RNA, because if the slightest bit of a potentially lethally coding strand gets in there, PCR will happily amplify that, along with the vaccine.
To clarify further: Conventional vaccines like the seasonal flu vaccines use the protein coat of the virus, but without the interior RNA that makes a virus work. So a known amount of a foreign protein is injected, and the body’s immune system sees the protein, recognizes it as foreign, and produces antibodies against that protein. So when/if the actual virus shows up, your body already knows how to recognize it and produce the proper antibodies. And the immune system stores the memory of the antibody for future use, which is why, if you had the smallpox vaccination as a kid, you’re still good to go years later.
The Pfizer/Moderna vaccines don’t use the protein coat. They use messenger RNA. mRNA is the mechanism inside the cell that transfers information from the DNA — about what protein to build — to the ribosomes, which are the “protein factories.”
The mRNA vaccines are custom-built mRNA pre-programmed for viral coat proteins. It enters cells and “hijacks” the ribosomes to trick your body into producing foreign proteins that look like the viral coat. So instead of introducing a known quantity of a foreign protein into the body, the body will start manufacturing foreign proteins in mass quantity.
Allergic reactions are the body reacting to foreign proteins. Anaphylactic shock — potentially deadly if untreated — is the body over-reacting to foreign proteins, or to large quantities of such.
Moving from test trials to mass inoculation, I fear we’ll see a lot of variation in individuals regarding how much proteins are produced. I’m not going to be a bit surprised if we don’t see some people going into anaphylactic shock days — maybe even weeks — after being vaccinated.
Another potential issue is protein coding errors. It would be real shame if you got your shot late in the day when the vaccine — which has to be shipped in dry ice so as to not degrade — has warmed up, and it turned out the degradation caused the mRNA to start coding errors and producing a lethal protein.
YMMV, but I think mRNA vaccines needed a lot more testing before going to mass human use. It’s a neat idea in theory, but I’m not sure enough that it’s ready for primetime to take it.
Added, 12/9: Well, well.
People who suffer ‘significant’ allergic reactions told not to take new Covid-19 vaccine
UK regulators have issued a warning that people who have a history of “significant” allergic reactions should not currently receive the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.
The warning comes after two NHS staff members who received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine suffered an allergic reaction, the NHS in England has confirmed.
Added, 12/17: And now that vaccination just started in the US…
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