By Robert W. Malone, Peter K. Navarro
The Biden administration’s strategy to universally vaccinate in the middle of the pandemic is bad science and needs a reboot.
This strategy will likely prolong the most dangerous phase of the pandemic and almost assuredly cause more harm than good—as well as undermining faith in the entire public health system.
Four flawed assumptions drive the Biden strategy.
The first is that universal vaccination can eradicate the virus and secure economic recovery by achieving herd immunity throughout the country (and the world). However, the virus is now so deeply embedded in the world population that, unlike polio and smallpox, eradication is unachievable. SARS-CoV-2 and its myriad mutations will likely continually circulate, much like the common cold and influenza.
The second assumption is that the vaccines are almost perfectly effective. However, our currently available vaccines are quite “leaky.” Although they are good at preventing severe disease and death, they only reduce, not eliminate, the risk of infection, replication, and transmission. As a slide deck from the Centers for Disease Control has revealed, even 100 percent acceptance of the current vaccines combined with strict mask compliance will not stop the highly contagious Delta variant from spreading.
The third assumption is that the vaccines are safe. Scientists, physicians, and public health officials now recognize risks from the vaccines that are rare but by no means trivial. Known side effects include serious cardiac and thrombotic conditions, menstrual cycle disruptions, Bell’s Palsy, Guillain Barre syndrome, and anaphylaxis.
Unknown side effects which virologists fear may emerge include existential reproductive risks, additional autoimmune conditions, and various forms of disease enhancement—that is, the vaccines could make people more vulnerable to reinfection by SARS-CoV-2 or reactivation of latent viral infections and associated diseases such as shingles.
The fourth assumption, that the vaccines have “durability,” is the most alarming and perplexing. It now appears our current vaccines are likely to offer a mere 180-day window of protection—a decided lack of durability underscored by scientific evidence from Israel and confirmed by Pfizer, the Department of Health and Human Services, and other countries.
Here, we are already being warned of the need for universal “booster” shots at six-month intervals for the foreseeable future. The obvious broader point that in favor of individual vaccine choice is that repeated vaccinations, each with a small risk, can add up to a big risk.
Arms Race with the Virus
The most important reason why a universal vaccination strategy is imprudent tracks to the collective risk associated with how the virus responds when replicating in vaccinated individuals.
Here, basic virology and evolutionary genetics tell us the goal of any virus is to infect and replicate in as many people as possible. A virus can’t efficiently spread if, like with Ebola, it quickly kills its hosts.
The clear historical tendency for viruses crossing over from one species to another is to evolve in a way that makes them both more infectious and less pathogenic over time. However, a universal vaccination policy deployed in the middle of a pandemic can turn this process into a dangerous vaccine arms race.
The Vaccine Arms Race
The more people you vaccinate, the greater the number of vaccine-resistant mutations you are likely to get, the less durable the vaccines will become, the more powerful vaccines will have to be, and the more risk individuals will be exposed to.
Science tells us that today’s vaccines, which use novel gene therapy technologies, generate powerful antigens that direct the immune system to attack specific components of the virus. Thus, when the virus infects a person with a “leaky” vaccination, the viral progeny will be selected to escape or resist the effects of the vaccine.
If the entire population has been trained to have the same basic immune response via a universal vaccination strategy, then once such a viral mutation develops, it will rapidly spread through the entire population—whether vaccinated or not.
A Better Strategy
A far more optimal strategy is to vaccinate only the most vulnerable. This will limit the number of vaccine-resistant mutations and thereby slow, if not halt, the vaccine arms race.
Fortunately, those most vulnerable represent a relatively small number and have already achieved high levels of vaccine acceptance. They include senior citizens, for whom the risk of serious disease or death increases exponentially with age, and those with significant comorbidities such as obesity, lung disease, and heart disease.
For much of the rest of the population, there’s nothing to fear but fear of the virus itself. This is particularly true if we have lawful outpatient access to a growing arsenal of scientifically proven prophylactics and therapeutics.
Possible Vaccine Alternatives
There has been much controversy over two possible alternative treatments for COVID-19, ivermectin, and hydroxychloroquine. Yet, with the emergence of a growing body of scientific evidence, we can be assured these two medicines are safe and effective in the prophylaxis and early treatment when administered under a physician’s supervision. Numerous other useful treatments range from famotidine/celecoxib, fluvoxamine, and apixaban to various anti-inflammatory steroids, Vitamin D, and zinc.
The broader goal when administering these agents is to moderate symptoms and take death off the table, particularly for the unvaccinated. Unlike vaccines, these agents are generally not dependent on specific viral properties or mutations, but instead, mitigate or treat the inflammatory symptoms of the disease itself. (Pfizer is now actively marketing its own antiviral therapeutic—tacit admission Pfizer’s own vaccine is incapable of eradicating the virus.)
We are not “anti-vax.” One of us (Dr. Malone) invented the core mRNA technology being used by Pfizer and Moderna to produce their vaccines and has spent his entire professional career developing and advancing novel vaccine technologies, vaccines, and other medical countermeasures. The other (Dr. Navarro) played a key role at the Trump White House in jumpstarting Operation Warp Speed and ensuring timely delivery of the vaccines.
We are simply saying that just because you have a big vaccine hammer, it is not necessarily wise to use it for every nail. The American people deserve better than a universal vaccination strategy under the flag of bad science and enforced through authoritarian measures.
Robert W. Malone (@RWMaloneMD/Twitter) is the discoverer of in-vitro RNA transfection, and the inventor of mRNA vaccines. Peter K. Navarro (@RealPNavarro/Twitter) was a member of the Trump Administration. A version of this article appeared in The Washington Times on August 5, 2021, and the Independent Institute. Reprinted with permission.