Sep 20 2022 06:15 a.m
By Bernhard Loyen
Finding a value-free, informative and critically balanced piece of information on the efficiency and effects of adapted COVID-19 vaccines in the public service media is still considered the exception.
This is how the viewers of the current issue of the 3sat-Science Magazine NANO a second place entry titled: “What does the omicron booster do?“. Main focus of the ZDF-Production was a plastic cleanup in Norway. In relation to the currently heated discussions in society, this decision is irritating 3sat-Editorial staff.
The controversial perceptions of necessity and benefit, especially from politics and science, would have justified the vaccine contribution as the show’s lead. The content makes up for it by giving viewers surprisingly unexpected, easy-to-understand details about the so-called bivalent vaccines recently approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
At the beginning, the moderator emphasized that the Federal Council would have “waved through” the changes to the Infection Protection Act – “despite contradictions”. The introduction summarized the problems of the past two years:
“Politics means compromises, achieving infection control for a society is complicated and both the virus and the vaccines are changing.”
In contrast to most European neighbors, Germany would “prepare for the next corona wave”. Carsten Watzl, Secretary General of the German Society for Immunology, spoke. He estimates that “the majority of the population is well protected, even against the omicron variants”. Current studies, carried out in a “representative cross-section of the population”, provided clear figures. Watzl literally:
“How many people already have antibodies against this virus, either through vaccination or infection? And you can see that in the adult population we’re already over 95 percent, which means we have a very high level of immunity.”
Due to the resulting very small immunity gap, society “actually no longer needs to be afraid,” says the immunologist. Of the 3sat-Contribution noted that looking at the press releases of the past few months, “no satisfactory answers have been given” as to whether and who would actually need a fourth vaccination at the moment:
“The opinions of experts, institutions and politicians are too different.”
The article quoted the criticism of the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, Andreas Gassen, towards Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach. This demanded in July a second booster also for younger people. Gassen said:
“We know from Israeli studies that a second booster does not make sense in younger, healthy people.”
This was followed by a quote from the head of the Standing Vaccination Commission, Thomas Mertens, also based on the current communication from Karl Lauterbach:
“I think it’s bad to make medical recommendations under the motto ‘a lot helps a lot’.”
The fourth, more critical voice came from the immunologist and director of the German Rheumatism Research Center Berlin, Prof. Thomas Radbruch. His scientific focus is on the protective effects of vaccinations. This was followed by statements by Prof. Radbruch, which will probably still be unknown to those who only find out about public law contributions and which could at least make them think.
The original goal of vaccinations is “to strive for a certain protection against infection”. Referring to the discussion about triple and possible follow-up vaccinations, the immunologist explains:
“For this, the immune system has to react first; and if it is vaccinated too often, it no longer reacts at all. That means protection against infection is no longer guaranteed.”
The protection against severe courses is retained, but “the protection against infection probably decreases from vaccination to vaccination,” added the 3sat-Editorial staff. Furthermore it said:
“According to an Israeli study, the protection after the third vaccination was still 80 percent. With the fourth vaccination it was still 30 percent. The immune system is dulled.”
Prof. Radbruch explained that the immune system would lose its “flexibility” in trying to “memorize what these vaccinations actually look like”. A bad prerequisite “for future variants” and thus for those people who have already been vaccinated against COVID-19 at least three times.
“Neutralization tests” carried out on the two new Omikron active ingredients from the manufacturers BioNTech and Moderna have clearly shown that “only the sub-variants BA4 and BA5 were efficiently combated”. And further:
“With BA1, the level of antibodies produced was around three times lower.”
However, these facts would not correspond to the information and communication strategy of the two manufacturers. Prof. Radbruch assumes that “the adapted vaccine is not much better than the old vaccine”. In his opinion, only those potential recipients who “did not react optimally to the first three vaccinations, but reacted at all” could benefit.
The article pointed out that the approval of the bivalent vaccines by the EMA would “however again represent an emergency approval after quick and small studies” in order to ask, unusual for public media, “Is that enough?”
Immunologist Watzl explained that the manufacturer simply did not have any data on the “percent effectiveness”. Findings could therefore only be created and analyzed “in the application”. The same applies to a lack of experience with side effects. Watzl literally:
“And also side effects. I can’t see any rare side effects in such (existing) studies, ie this data is completely missing, even now.”
From a purely scientific point of view, every citizen must therefore be tested for their immune status under epidemiological considerations and aspects, according to the approach of the article. A matter of course from pre-Corona times. The reality is demonstrably different. An immensely important and absolutely necessary meaningful status is not addressed by demanding politicians and the majority of the supporting media. A fourth or fifth vaccination is strongly recommended or required for this.
It can therefore only be described as negligent that the Federal Minister of Health, who has overall responsibility, dictated in a Twitter post with around 1 million followers that the data and comparative studies were not available: “Better BA.5 vaccination as BA.5 infection. The transmitter BR24 added At the beginning of September on Lauterbach’s daring perception:
“A letter from Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) to the service providers of the vaccination campaign, such as medical practices and vaccination centers, also states that, according to study data, the new vaccines are clearly (sic!) better than the first-generation vaccines against the currently dominant BA.5 variant.”
How does Lauterbach want to know that? Finally, Watzl again informed the viewers that due to the new phenomenon of regular vaccinations against a virus type, urgently needed knowledge about the meaning of “vaccination intervals” would not be available even in the third Corona year:
“Then we don’t know yet, maybe the third vaccination will last for several years.”
According to US researchers, 3sat-Contribution meanwhile found that certain cell types of the human organism (plasma and nurse cells), which are decisive in the natural body reaction to virus infections, exist more in “those who have recovered than in those who have been vaccinated”, to sum up: “A lot is still not understood”. . Prof. Radbruch also summarizes soberly:
“We still don’t understand what the difference is between mucosal immunity and protection from serious disease. Nor do we understand why people respond so differently to the exact same vaccine or virus.”
The aggressive pharmaceutical industry is primarily concerned with profits and winning batches, not with the well-being of the people. Shrinking sales markets are the only side effect causing frowns and panic in the BioNTech and Moderna houses.
What ultimately drives a now manic-looking Federal Minister of Health, Karl Lauterbach, will only become clear once the post-corona period has been dealt with politically.
Tim Röhn, Chief Reporter Welt, wrote in critical self-reflection on September 14 on Twitter:
“German politics was almost always wrong when it came to Corona – with schools, with lockdowns, with their frightening communication, with promises about vaccinations. The circle closes with the completely absurd FFP2 obligation. We journalists should have been skeptical from the start. “
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