At the end of this post I will add periodic updates on the case trend in Israel so that we can determine whether Bossche’s claims are likely true or false.
Geert Vanden Bossche, a vaccine expert with 3o years experience, thinks our vaccination policy has a high probability of causing the virus to mutate into variants that cause more serious illness, and that people who have been vaccinated will spread the virus rather than protecting those that have not been vaccinated, and that the immune systems of vaccinated people will be less effective at fighting future variants of the virus.
Bossche believes we are on the cusp of creating a global catastrophe and is asking the WHO to change course, and is calling on other scientists to engage in scientific review and debate of the risks.
Thanks to Nehemiah @ OFW for bringing Bossche to my attention.
I posted some of this material in the comments section of the last post, but after further review and thought, I decided it’s important enough to warrant its own post.
My initial reaction was to dismiss Bossche as yet another wack job / conspiracist / anti-vaxxer / pandemic denier. After reviewing Bossche’s credentials and thinking carefully about what he’s saying I concluded his concerns are worthy of consideration and may prove to be serious.
His message is a little difficult to understand because the topic is inherently complex, is not intuitive without some understanding of biology, and he speaks fast with an accent.
My objective of this post was to make it easier to understand Bossche’s key points, and to make all of his source information easily accessible.
In case any readers are wondering why I am distrustful of the authorities, it is because the biggest issue by far that we face, the danger of which far exceeds the virus, is human overshoot, the symptoms of which are climate change, non-renewable resource depletion, unsustainable debt, habitat destruction, and species extinction, which is completely ignored by our leaders, and the policies they have chosen are making much worse the future suffering that will be experienced when it is no longer possible to deny human overshoot. If our leaders don’t have a clue about the important issues, why would we trust them on lesser issues?
Here are the key points I think Bossche is making.
Note: If I have made any errors in summarizing Bossche I will promptly correct them when informed.
- What is the big picture background?
- We are conducting an unprecedented global experiment by broadly administering a vaccine in the middle of a pandemic, while having an imperfect understanding of pandemic science.
- For example, we do not understand why pandemics usually have 3 waves before dying out. Or why pandemics often first attack old people and then shift to younger people in subsequent waves.
- Given our imperfect understanding, our priority should be to do no harm.
- Experts today are so specialized that very few have an integrated big picture view.
- Our culture today is fixated on technology as being the solution to all of our problems.
- Do our officials and experts have any bad intentions?
- The vaccines were developed by brilliant people in professional companies, have been properly tested for safety, and achieve the objective of preventing people from becoming sick when exposed to the virus.
- Why have officials chosen a plan for mass vaccinations?
- Their top priority is to prevent the medical system from crashing in the short term due to an overload of sick people. They are not thinking about the long term.
- I would add, which Bossche did not mention, that governments are anxious to restart their economies because they know the system is fragile and susceptible to a deflationary crash, and because current emergency deficit spending is not sustainable.
- What are the characteristics of the vaccines we’re using?
- The vaccines prevent someone from becoming sick when exposed to the virus for which the vaccine was designed.
- The vaccines do not kill the virus. A vaccinated person can spread the virus without showing any symptoms.
- Bossche claims that the immune system of a vaccinated person will be less able to fight variants of the virus for which the vaccine is ineffective. In other words, an unvaccinated person may stand a better chance against future virus variants.
- A vaccine is not like a drug that is eventually expelled by your body. A vaccine permanently reprograms your immune system software. Because of this, the precautionary principle is critical.
- What are the problems with the current vaccination plan?
- Mass vaccinations, in the middle of a pandemic, which do not kill the virus, and which keep the recipient healthy and thus less prone to spread the virus, will apply strong selection pressure to the virus for mutations that both evade the vaccine AND make people sicker.
- If more deadly variants of the virus emerge we will not be able to outrace them with new vaccines. In other words, if we inadvertently create a more deadly variant, we have no exit plan.
- Why did Bossche become alarmed, and why is he speaking up so late in the game?
- Bossche’s studies of pandemic history suggest it is very unusual for more virulent strains to emerge late in a pandemic. When more virulent strains were reported in late 2020 he became concerned and suspected that our lock-down policies may have encouraged the virus to mutate. Then he thought about the implications of broadly vaccinating both healthy and unhealthy people and decided to pull the fire alarm.
- What should we have done?
- Protected vulnerable people with some combination of isolation and vaccinations.
- Allowed the virus to spread and build natural immunity in the healthy portion of the population.
- Encouraged lifestyles for healthy immune systems.
- How will we know if Bossche is right?
- In countries with aggressive vaccination programs (Israel, UK, US) we should see an initial decline in cases, followed in a few weeks or few months by new variants and a rise in cases.
- Here is the COVID data for Israel which we can monitor to help decide if Bossche is right or wrong:
- What are the main arguments against Bossche’s concerns?
- Some scientists do not think there is evidence for immune escape variants as Bossche predicts.
- What does Bossche think individuals should do?
- Promote a strong immune system with good diet, exercise, sleep, and some light exposure to the virus to train the immune system.
- If you are young and/or healthy, delay being vaccinated until there is scientific consensus on Bossche’s concerns.
- What do I think an individual should do?
- Stay healthy as Bossche suggests, also take Vitamin D.
- Have some Ivermectin on hand for self-treatment if required.
- Prepare for the possibility in a few months of a more serious pandemic in which we might choose a self-imposed lockdown without access to grocery stores for some period of time.
WTF does this have to do with Denial?
I’m thinking that if the experts and authorities continue to ignore Bossche we will have another superb example of the human tendency to deny unpleasant realities as explained by Varki’s MORT theory.
Of course you can’t beat our collective denial of human overshoot, but this could be a close second if it unfolds as Bossche predicts.
Here are Bossche’s credentials from Linkedin:
Profile: Experienced management professional; expert in vaccine R&D and early vaccine dvpt,; proficiency in program and grant management; used to working in a heavily interconnected environment (in private and nonprofit sector) while managing the needs of numerous stakeholders. Proven track record of success in designing and developing vaccines, managing dynamic, high-performing consortia, developing efficient processes to deliver impact, offering expert scientific-technical advice on complex immunisation projects, leading vaccine R&D work as CSO. Proficiency in program management, team leadership, patent writing, laboratory research, immunology, epidemiology, microbiology, vaccine technologies, preclinical vaccine dvpt. Substantial experience in strategic budgeting, CMC- and IP-related matters, incl. patent infringement and litigations. Over 2 decades of professional experience working in Europe and the US in managing implementation of immune interventions to address unmet medical needs. Highly familiar with major challenges in Global Health (as previously engaged with B. & M. Gates Foundation and GAVI).
Here is a March 1 keynote given by Bossche at the Vaccines Summit Ohio 2021 titled “Why should current Covid-19 vaccines not be used for mass vaccination during a pandemic”.
Here are the slides from the March 1 keynote:
Here is the March 6 post of his open letter:
Here is the full text of his open letter published on March 6:
Here is an excellent March 8 interview with Bossche:
Here is another March 6 interview, which I did not enjoy as much as the above interview:
Here is Bossche’s March 11 appeal to the WHO to change course:
Here is a March 12 statement from Bossche distancing himself from the crazies who are misrepresenting his concerns.
Here is a March 12 detailed rebuttal to Bossche’s claims which I skimmed but don’t understand. If anyone does understand this, please translate for us.
March 14 addition…
Here is another presentation by Canadian researcher Byram Bridle that supports Bossche’s claims.
- Historically it usually takes 10 years to develop a vaccine. The previous shortest record was 4 years.
- There is a lack of peer reviewed data to assess the current vaccines.
- Those that are being vaccinated now are participating in what was previously called a phase 3 trial during which they monitor the safety of the vaccines.
- There have been historic examples of new vaccines where the short term safety profile was good but long term problems emerged after 2 years of use.
- There is good reason to believe that the efficacy data being reported may prove to be optimistic.
- Some countries (like Israel) are changing the protocol for administering the vaccines from what was tested and approved. That’s a apparently a big high risk no-no in this industry.
- A total of 8 pregnant woman have been vaccinated, 4 of which aborted shortly thereafter.
- The type of vaccines we have chosen, and the method we are using to roll out them out, is maximizing the probability that vaccine immune variants will emerge. He thinks it’s only a matter of time.
- People who have been vaccinated will do less well against vaccine immune variants than people who have not been vaccinated.
- Bridle predicts that in the end we will be forced to adopt the strategy that we should have adopted from the start which is to build natural herd immunity.
- He’s cautiously optimistic that there may already be considerable herd immunity in countries like Canada that have not been locked down all the time and because the PPE we have been using is ineffective against the virus.
- He personally will not take the vaccine because he has a low risk profile and prefers the broader protection of natural immunity. He thinks people with high risk profiles should consider taking the vaccine.
- He predicts historians will document this period as the greatest mismanaged crisis of all time.
March 17 addition…
Here is a rebuttal to Bossche’s claims. I did not appreciate that ZDoggMD spent more time attacking Bossche’s character and making fun of his accent than he did discussing Bossche’s claims, of which he only addressed 2 of the 4 key points made by Bossche, and provided just as little hard data as Bossche did.
I don’t know who’s right. I’m going watch the Israel data over the coming weeks to decide.
March 20 update.
Israel cases are still trending down with 56% of population vaccinated.
March 31 update.
Israel cases still trending down with 57% of population vaccinated. No evidence yet that Bossche is right.
April 9 update.
Israel cases have leveled off with 58% of population vaccinated. No evidence yet that Bossche is right.