HomeHealth Care NewsCDC Revises Its Definition of "Vaccine" - Commentary

CDC Revises Its Definition of “Vaccine” – Commentary

By Joel Hirschhorn

CDC once was a federal agency that nearly everyone respected.  That no longer is the case.  Now there are many reasons why CDC should be widely disrespected.  Its latest debacle is how it changed the definition of vaccines.

Why would the government’s key public health agency change the definition of what a vaccine is in the midst of a pandemic?  After millions of Americans have taken the shot?  And millions more are being beaten into taking it for the first time and others to get booster shots.

Here is the key point.  Long after it became widely recognized by medical experts and informed citizens that COVID vaccines clearly did not fit the official CDC vaccine definition; CDC thought the answer was not to fix what was deficient with the COVID vaccines or stop their use by most people.  Their response was to change the vaccine definition to fit the so-called vaccines.

This was done so that vaccine mandates could keep getting pushed by the government.  Of course, the COVID “vaccines” should be referred to as gene therapy products, even better than calling them experimental vaccines.

To see how corrupt this action by CDC was, it is necessary to examine the details of the vaccine definition debacle.

Prior to September 1, 2021, here is how CDC defined vaccine:

A product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease.  Vaccines are usually administered through needle injections, but can also be administered by mouth or sprayed into the nose.

This definition had been used for years and it makes sense.  No expert or sensible citizen would find fault with it.  But did it honestly apply to the COVID vaccines?

Then this is what CDC concocted:

A preparation that is used to stimulate the body’s immune response against diseases.  Vaccines are usually administered through needle injections, but some can be administered by mouth or sprayed into the nose.

Here is what CDC also said:

Immunity: Protection from an infectious disease.  If you are immune to a disease, you can be exposed to it without becoming infected.

Think about that last sentence: You can be exposed to COVID without being infected, but we know that is not true for fully vaccinated people who still get infected.

This is the key language in the original definition:

“stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease.”

How rational to invoke the purpose of a vaccine to stimulate an immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease that protects the recipient from that disease.  Exactly what everyone for years thought was the correct way to think about a vaccine.  People want permanent protection from the COVID infection disease.

But now CDC has taken out the language referring to getting immunity for a specific disease and getting protection from that disease.

Now, COVID vaccines do not have to directly produce immunity.  No, now they only have to stimulate the body’s immune system.

You don’t get immunity because COVID vaccines do not directly produce immunity.  They do not directly kill the COVID virus.  Vaccinated people can still have high viral loads and also transmit the virus to others.  While some individuals may get some health benefits from COVID shots, they do not necessarily protect the entire population.  This is why mandates to get everyone the shots really do not make sense from a public health perspective, which Alexander has well substantiated.

Apparently, the only logical way to understand what CDC has done is to accept the truth belatedly seen by CDC that COVID vaccines do not, in fact, produce effective immunity for COVID infection and do not provide effective protection, once vaccinated, from that infection.

Much of the public surely does not yet know what CDC has acknowledged for the COVID vaccines.  Odds are that everyone who depends on mainstream media for good information about the pandemic has not been informed about what CDC has done and its implications.

The new vaccine definition, if publicly known, would reduce public confidence in current COVID vaccines.  You don’t have to be a medical expert to see how the new definition has been created to accommodate COVID shots.

In fact, these definition changes reflect what is now known about the limitations of the COVID vaccines.

Fully vaccinated people can still get COVID disease, referred to as breakthrough infections that, contrary to what the government says, can be very serious, often requiring hospitalization and sometimes causing death, as was the case for Colin Powell.  Such serious effects have been well discussed by Kampf.   Other times, breakthrough infections greatly disrupt lives, as recently described by Madrigal, a strong proponent of COVID shots.

Moreover, the COVID vaccines are now widely known from considerable clinical evidence to lose their effectiveness typically in about six months.  And even worse, they do not provide hardly any protection against variants like the delta variant.  Same disease but from a different virus in terms of its complex genetic makeup.  So, befitting the new CDC definition the COVID shots really do not have long-lasting effective immunity to the specific COVID infection caused by all variants.

Elsewhere on the CDC website is a glossary of many terms; here is what is especially relevant to the debate about COVID vaccines:

Attenuated vaccine: A vaccine in which a live microbe is weakened (attenuated) through chemical or physical processes in order to produce an immune response without causing the severe effects of the disease.  Attenuated vaccines currently licensed in the United States include measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, rotavirus, yellow fever, smallpox, and some formulations of influenza, and typhoid vaccines.

Most people would read this and find that it fits with what they think of as vaccines that have been routinely taken by most people, especially children.  Clearly, COVID vaccines do not fit this definition.  But seeing this established view of vaccines helps explain why so many people resist and reject the COVID shots.  They are so fundamentally different than long accepted and used vaccines.

The following glossary definition is especially relevant:

Active immunity: The production of antibodies against a specific disease by the immune system.  Active immunity can be acquired in two ways, either by contracting the disease or through vaccination.  Active immunity is usually permanent, meaning an individual is protected from the disease for the duration of their life.

This CDC definition of active immunity recognizes that you can get it by contracting the disease versus through vaccination.  In other words, it recognizes what today is commonly called natural immunity achieved by once being infected by the COVID virus.  And that such immunity is likely permanent and better than vaccine immunity, as recent clinical studies substantiate.  But it also infers that active immunity obtained through vaccination is also permanent, which clearly is not the case for COVID shots, as evidenced by breakthrough infections.

To sum up, a close look at what CDC has done lately reinforces the thinking of millions of people who have reservations and concerns about getting COVID genetic therapy shots that pose myriad adverse impacts and sometimes death.  There is a rational basis for thinking that the limited benefits of those shots do not adequately offset their risks.  This is true for the vast majority of healthy people, especially children, who have an extremely low risk from COVID infection for serious illness, hospitalization, or death.

How interesting it would be, in the context of informed consent, if people were shown the original and new vaccine definitions as a means to stimulate productive discussion with medical providers of COVID shots.


Joel S. Hirschhorn, Ph.D. is the author of Pandemic Blunder who worked on health issues for decades as a full professor at the Univerity of Wisconsin and a senior official at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the National Governors Association. A version of this article was published on the Pandemic Blunder Newsletter on November 11, 2021. Reprinted with permission






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