The following is an excerpt from Just The News.
A month before America's top infectious disease bureaucrat conceded that mRNA vaccines offer only short-lived protection against Covid-19, Anthony Fauci's researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) offered a possible explanation why.
These vaccines target Covid's spike protein, whereas natural immunity recognizes the whole of the virus, including the nucleocapsid protein that envelops the RNA core.
Among those infected during the "blinded phase" of Moderna's 30,000-adult vaccine trial, only 40% of those given the vaccine developed anti-nucleocapsid antibodies. The figure was more than twice as high (93%) for those given the placebo.
While higher viral loads were associated with higher likelihood of developing anti-nucleocapsid antibodies, "viral copies at the illness visit did not fully explain the large difference" between vaccine and placebo groups, according to the preprint study, which hasn't been peer-reviewed.
"[F]or any given viral copy number," the odds of developing those antibodies were 13.67 times higher for the unvaccinated. A placebo recipient with a mild infection had a 71% chance of developing those antibodies, compared to 15% for a vaccine recipient. The two only start to converge at the highest viral loads.
"While an increase in seroreversion cannot be ruled out, given the short time frame the more likely explanation is a vaccine-induced reduction in seroconversion," or development of antibodies, the researchers wrote. The study period ended in March 2021, before the Delta and Omicron variants developed.
"Some vaccine platforms give a very high degree of protection, but the durability isn't very long," Fauci told CNN last week. He doubts the short-lived immunity is "peculiar to coronavirus" as opposed to an inherent disadvantage in mRNA technology, which Fauci nonetheless called "a really great platform."
The comments echo Bill Gates' January criticism of the vaccines for their short-lived immunity and inability to prevent reinfection.
The next month, the Covid vaccine funder — dubbed a "superhero" by the National Institutes of Health — went so far as saying Omicron had "done a better job" of vaccinating the world with broad-spectrum immunity "than we have with vaccines." (Continued)
Link to read entire article here.
Read the preprint study below:
Anti-nucleocapsid antibodies following SARS-CoV-2 infection in the blinded phase of the mRNA-1273 Covid-19 vaccine efficacy clinical trial
Dean Follmann, Holly E. Janes, Olive D. Buhule, Honghong Zhou, Bethany Girard, Kristen Marks, Karen Kotloff, Michaël Desjardins, Lawrence Corey, Kathleen M. Neuzil, Jacqueline M. Miller, Hana M. El Sahly, Lindsey R. Badendoi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.04.18.22271936
This article is a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed [what does this mean?]. It reports new medical research that has yet to be evaluated and so should not be used to guide clinical practice. 2000604765
Importance The performance of immunoassays for determining past SARS-CoV-2 infection, which were developed in unvaccinated individuals, has not been assessed in vaccinated individuals.
Objective To evaluate anti-nucleocapsid antibody (anti-N Ab) seropositivity in mRNA-1273 vaccine efficacy trial participants after SARS-CoV-2 infection during the trial’s blinded phase.
Design Nested analysis in a Phase 3 randomized, placebo-controlled vaccine efficacy trial. Nasopharyngeal swabs for SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing were taken from all participants on Day 1 and Day 29 (vaccination days), and during symptom-prompted illness visits. Serum samples from Days 1, 29, 57, and the Participant Decision Visit (PDV, when participants were informed of treatment assignment, median day 149) were tested for anti-N Abs.
Setting Multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial at 99 sites in the US.
Participants Trial participants were ≥ 18 years old with no known history of SARS-CoV-2 infection and at appreciable risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or high risk of severe Covid-19. Nested sub-study consists of participants with SARS-CoV-2 infection during the blinded phase of the trial.
Intervention Two mRNA-1273 (Moderna) or Placebo injections, 28 days apart.
Main Outcome and Measure Detection of serum anti-N Abs by the Elecsys (Roche) immunoassay in samples taken at the PDV from participants with SARS-CoV-2 infection during the blinded phase. The hypothesis tested was that mRNA-1273 recipients have different anti-N Ab seroconversion and/or seroreversion profiles after SARS-CoV-2 infection, compared to placebo recipients. The hypothesis was formed during data collection; all main analyses were pre-specified before being conducted.
Results We analyzed data from 1,789 participants (1,298 placebo recipients and 491 vaccine recipients) with SARS-CoV-2 infection during the blinded phase (through March 2021). Among participants with PCR-confirmed Covid-19 illness, seroconversion to anti-N Abs at a median follow up of 53 days post diagnosis occurred in 21/52 (40%) of the mRNA-1273 vaccine recipients vs. 605/648 (93%) of the placebo recipients (p < 0.001). Higher SARS-CoV-2 viral copies at diagnosis was associated with a higher likelihood of anti-N Ab seropositivity (odds ratio 1.90 per 1-log increase; 95% confidence interval 1.59, 2.28).
Conclusions and Relevance As a marker of recent infection, anti-N Abs may have lower sensitivity in mRNA-1273-vaccinated persons who become infected. Vaccination status should be considered when interpreting seroprevalence and seropositivity data based solely on anti-N Ab testing
Question Does prior mRNA-1273 vaccination influence anti-nucleocapsid antibody seroconversion and/or seroreversion after SARS-CoV-2 infection?
Findings Among participants in the mRNA-1273 vaccine efficacy trial with PCR-confirmed Covid-19, anti-nucleocapsid antibody seroconversion at the time of study unblinding (median 53 days post diagnosis and 149 days post enrollment) occurred in 40% of the mRNA-1273 vaccine recipients vs. 93% of the placebo recipients, a significant difference. Higher SARS-CoV-2 viral copy number upon diagnosis was associated with a greater chance of anti-nucleocapsid antibody seropositivity (odds ratio 1.90 per 1-log increase; 95% confidence interval 1.59, 2.28). All infections analyzed occurred prior to the circulation of delta and omicron viral variants.
Meaning Conclusions about the prevalence and incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in vaccinated persons based on anti-nucleocapsid antibody assays need to be weighed in the context of these results.
Competing Interest Statement
All authors have completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form at www.icmje.org/coi_disclosure.pdf. H.E.J. declares support in the form of grants (paid to her institution) from the National Institutes of Health for the submitted work and within the past 36 months, as well as support from a scientific writer/technical editor (independently contracted with her institution) for the submitted work and within the past 36 months. H.Z. is an employee of Moderna Inc. (sponsor of the mRNA-1273-P301 study) and owns Moderna stocks/stock options. B.G. is an employee of Moderna Therapeutics. K.M. declares support from Gilead Sciences, paid to her institution, within the past 36 months for the conduct of phase 3 remdesivir studies for COVID-19 treatment. K.K. declares support in the form of grants (paid to her institution) from the National Institutes of Health within the past 36 months for the conduct of a trial of Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine. L.C. declares support in the form of grants (paid to his institution) from the National Institutes of Health for the submitted work. K.M.N. declares support to her institution (but no salary support) for her role as an investigator on the Phase 1 trial of the Pfizer Covid-19 mRNA vaccine, and also declares salary support from the NIH for her role in co-leading the Coronavirus Prevention Network, which included work on multiple Phase 3 efficacy studies, including the study of the mRNA-1273 vaccine. K.M.N. also serves on a DSMB for a phase-1, open-label, ascending dose evaluation of a live, recombinant Newcastle disease virus expressing the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 (NDV-HXP-S) sponsored by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is on the Board of Directors for the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, and is a member of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE). J.M.M. is an employee of Moderna and has stock options/grants in Moderna. H.M.E.S. declares support (in the form of grants paid to her institution) from the National Institutes of Health for the submitted work. L.R.B. declares support (in the form of grants paid to his institution) from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH/NIAID) for the conduct of this study as well as grants (paid to his institution) within the last 36 months from NIH/NIAID, Gates Foundation, the Ragon Institute, and Wellcome Trust, outside the submitted work. L.R.B. is involved in HIV, other pathogens, and COVID vaccine clinical trials conducted in collaboration with the NIH, HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), COVID Vaccine Prevention Network (CoVPN), International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), Crucell/Janssen, Moderna, Military HIV Research Program (MHRP), Gates Foundation, and the Ragon Institute. All other authors declare no support from any organization for the submitted work, no financial relationships with any organizations that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous 3 years, and no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.
This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases through grants UM1AI068635 (to H.E.J.), UM1AI068614 (to L.C.), 3UM1Al148575-01S2 (to H.M.E.S.), and UM1AI069412 (to L.R.B.). The mRNA-1273-P301 study is sponsored by Moderna, Inc. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
Paper in collection COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 preprints from medRxiv and bioRxiv Copyright The copyright holder for this preprint is the author/funder, who has granted medRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. This article is a US Government work. It is not subject to copyright under 17 USC 105 and is also made available for use under a CC0 license.
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