Proving Schifanelli Wrong
The Cox campaign has consistently provided gross misinformation surrounding masking, vaccines, and therapeutics
Gordana Schifanelli wrote a response on a twitter post: “WOW and the profit to Pfizer and Moderna also jump 4 times. Meanwhile the best protection from Covid-19 is natural immunity. Prove me wrong.”
I’ll accept this challenge, Gordana.
The study referred to in the original Twitter post is an Israeli study “Protection by a Fourth Dose of BNT162b2 against Omicron in Israel” by Bar-On, et.al. The purpose of the study was to determine the benefit derived by the fourth vaccination of the Pfizer vaccine given to people over the age of 60 in light of the highly infectious Omicron variant.
Before highlighting anything further in the study, Moderna and Pfizer’s stock did NOT jump 4 times. While Israel boosted a fourth dose of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine to all their healthcare workers, people over 60 years of age, and the immunosuppressed, that alone would not cause profits to jump 4 times. In the US we are boosting with an mRNA vaccine (either Moderna or Pfizer) only those people over the age of 70 and the immunocompromised. Gordana uses hyperbole to misconstrue actual data.
Let me now clarify the results of the study, in the interest of learning. The conclusions of the study state that “protection against CONFIRMED (caps added by me) infection appeared short-lived, whereas protection against severe illness did not wane during the study period.”
We know that the vaccine will not perform as we would ideally prefer, totally protecting the vaccinated from infection. But from the review of the initial clinical trials, the mRNA vaccines have significantly reduced serious disease (requiring hospitalization) or death. This Israeli study continues to confirm this. The vaccine is working. Hopefully, medical science will determine how to make the vaccine that will provide longer-term immunity, but that is a VERY complicated problem to solve, given the nature of this virus.
I presume Gordana’s “prove me wrong” statement was referring to the issue of natural immunity providing better protection than vaccine-related immunity. Let me address why Gordana is wrong.
I reference this fantastic article, spoken in lay terms for everyone to read. I urge you to read it. https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/natural-immunity-and-super-immunity/
Some key points from the article backed up by science (I have added some “bold” emphasis on keywords.):
-- “. . . we did know that post-infection immunity to coronaviruses is often transient and that variants that evade immunity commonly develop.”
--In the CDC study appearing in MMWR:
“Vaccination protected against COVID-19 and related hospitalization, and surviving a previous infection protected against a reinfection and related hospitalization during periods of predominantly Alpha and Delta variant transmission, before the emergence of Omicron; evidence suggests decreased protection from both vaccine- and infection-induced immunity against Omicron infections, although additional protection with widespread receipt of booster COVID-19 vaccine doses is expected. Initial infection among unvaccinated persons increases risk for serious illness, hospitalization, long-term sequelae, and death. . . Thus, vaccination remains the safest and primary strategy to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections, associated complications, and onward transmission.”
The author continues: “So, basically, yes, in this one study looking at the original COVID-19 strain and the Delta variant, post-infection immunity appears to be more robust, but with a lot of caveats . . . Again, let’s just say that it’s way more complicated and nowhere near that clear, even if you look at just this CDC study.”
The author concludes: “From my perspective, boiling it all down from the studies . . . for now it does appear that infection-induced immunity is roughly as efficacious as the mRNA vaccines, not including boosters, and, like the vaccines, not as effective against later variants, an entirely expected finding that just needs quantification of how much less effective “natural immunity” is against later variants. Regardless of whether one views this “natural immunity” as superior or more robust than immunity from the vaccines, contrary to the claims made by boosters. . . even by the most optimistic metrics, post-infection immunity is nowhere near lifelong and probably doesn’t last a lot longer than post-vaccination immunity, particularly for new variants. Indeed, even if post-infection immunity were to be found to persist two or three times longer than post-vaccination immunity, that would still be nowhere near good enough to make “natural herd immunity” a viable strategy to end the pandemic, particularly with the emergence of new variants and the variability in immune response after infection.”
“As I’ve always said, we call it science-based medicine because medicine (and its related specialty public health) can never be purely science. Science can provide the parameters of what we can do by giving us interventions to combat the pandemic and telling us what the risk-benefit ratio of those interventions are. . . .”
“The medical jury is still out on disease acquired immunity versus vaccine induced immunity. Medical science is ever evolving. We continue to learn about this virus. We simply do not yet have an answer to the disease acquired immunity length of duration, ability to protect with the variants coming at us. “
My concerns with Gordana Schifanelli’s shoot-from-the-hip medical comments are many. I have two graduate degrees. I took a total of three law courses during those studies. I am no more qualified to provide legal advice to anyone. Gordana is a lawyer. To the best of my knowledge, she has NO medical education or experience. She is no more qualified to provide medical advice or comment with any degree of authority on medical issues. She must stop spreading this disinformation.
The criteria I’m looking for in our next governor of Maryland include:
He/she must be one that takes public health seriously.
He/she will NOT flippantly throw out disinformation on public health.
He/she will not promote ANY product with false statements as has the Cox campaign.
He/she will have taken the time to do a preceptorship at the University of Maryland or Johns Hopkins to learn about Covid patients, vaccines, and therapeutics.
He/she must be willing to listen to true experts, not the conspiracy theorists or the newly self-proclaimed FB health experts.
He/she will protect ALL sectors of the Maryland population and lead by example that all residents of Maryland will show behavior that protects all of us (not just the self).
The Cox campaign has consistently provided gross misinformation surrounding masking, vaccines, and therapeutics. The Cox campaign must stop with the disinformation.