For the countless people who send me friendly messages like “STOP CALLING THEM A F—ING VACCINE” with regard to Pfizer and Moderna mRNA Covid-19 vaccines, I have some bad news: these Covid-19 vaccines are “vaccines.”
These messages, no doubt, arise from a desire to hold onto dogmatic beliefs about vaccines in general by claiming that mRNA Covid-19 vaccines are not “vaccines.” That “real” vaccines are different. Better. The reality, however, is that these vaccines are as much “vaccines” as any other vaccine.
Let’s go through the commonly cited reasons for claiming that mRNA vaccines are not vaccines made by those wanting to hold onto their beliefs about other vaccines.
mRNA Vaccines do not prevent infection and transmission!
Many point to the fact that mRNA vaccines do not prevent infection and transmission to argue they are not vaccines.
If the fact that a vaccine cannot prevent infection and transmission precluded it from being a “vaccine,” then numerous “traditional” vaccines cannot be considered “vaccines.”
For example, the pertussis vaccine, often used as the benchmark vaccine to assess overall community uptake of vaccines, would no longer be considered a vaccine because it does not prevent infection and transmission.
If you didn’t already know this, don’t take my word for it. Here is a quote from a recent consensus paper from 16 scientists, considered the world’s leading pertussis “experts” (many of whom receive funding from pharma companies that sell pertussis vaccines), and the World Association of Infectious Disease:
(Note that aPV, acellular pertussis vaccine, is the exclusive pertussis vaccine used for decades in the United States and other developed countries.)
So, let’s read the bold portion above again: “aPV pertussis vaccines do not prevent colonization” and they “do not exert any herd immunity effect.” The paper even admits that the lack “of mucosal immune responses after aPV administration favor infection, persistent colonization, and transmission of the pathogen.”
If preventing infection and transmission is necessary to call a product a vaccine, then pertussis vaccine cannot be called a vaccine.
Diphtheria and tetanus vaccines, too, would no longer be vaccines. These toxoid vaccines only generate antibodies to a toxin sometimes released by these bacteria; they do not generate immunity to diphtheria or tetanus bacteria themselves. Hence, as explained in the American Journal of Diseases in Children, “Diphtheria toxoid helps prevent symptomatic disease but does not prevent the carrier state nor stop the spread of infection.” That is because vaccinated individuals can still become infected because they only have antibodies to the toxin sometimes released by these bacteria; they do not have antibodies to the bacteria themselves.
Even if the tetanus vaccine did generate immunity to the tetanus bacteria itself, which it doesn’t, it cannot prevent transmission and has nothing to do with so-called “community immunity” because, as explained by the CDC, tetanus “is not contagious from person-to-person.”
So, again, if preventing infection and transmission is necessary to call a product a vaccine, neither tetanus vaccine nor diphtheria vaccine are vaccines.
And hold tight for the final example. It may invoke severe cognitive dissonance for some. The polio vaccine. Most developed countries ceased using oral polio vaccine (OPV) decades ago because this vaccine could cause paralysis, and instead have exclusively used inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), which does not prevent infection and transmission.
This is because polio multiplies and spreads from fecal to oral contamination (meaning poop to mouth). Yet, IPV creates immunity in the blood (IgG antibodies), not the intestinal tract (IgA antibodies); hence, vaccinated individuals can still become infected and transmit polio. It creates antibodies intended to neutralize the polio virus in the bloodstream before it can reach the spinal column, but it doesn’t neutralize the virus from multiplying in the intestinal tract and shedding in the feces.
Sound untrue? Feel free to argue with the WHO and CDC about it, whose global polio eradication initiative explains:
“when a person immunized with IPV is infected with wild poliovirus, the virus can still multiply inside the intestines and be shed in the faeces, risking continued circulation” and that “as IPV does not stop transmission of the virus, OPV is used wherever a polio outbreak needs to be contained, even in countries which rely exclusively on IPV for their routine immunization programme.”
There you have it, from the horse’s mouth. So, again, if preventing infection and transmission is necessary to call a product a vaccine, then the polio vaccine used in developed countries — originally developed by Jonas Salk and the vaccine often used as the archetypal example of a “vaccine” — would also not be a vaccine.
Bottom line: if mRNA vaccines cannot be called “vaccines” because they do not prevent infection and transmission, then a large proportion of the current vaccines can no longer be called “vaccines,” including pertussis, tetanus, diphtheria, and polio vaccines.