Saturday, January 01, 2022

Pathology Reports Show Systemic Autoimmune Response from Covid-19 Vaccination

Recent pathology reports from Germany show that covid-19 vaccines can trigger self-destructive processes that lead to debilitating illness and death. The organ that is most often affected is the heart. Which makes covid-19 vaccines a new cause of heart disease. Since heart disease is the main subject of this website it is important that this new cause of disease is documented here.

In order to understand the significance of these pathology reports we have to first discuss the basics of how the covid-19 vaccines damage the body.

Covid-19 vaccination disease relates to the spike proteins. Spike proteins are found on the surface of SARS-CoV-2. These spike proteins allow the virus to penetrate host cells and cause infection.

The mRNA vaccines contain mRNA created in a laboratory. The mRNA tells the body’s cells to make spike proteins. Our bodies recognise these spike proteins as a threat and the immune system is activated.

The spike protein generated via the mRNA vaccines is described by the CDC as “harmless”. The theory, of course, is that the “harmless” spike protein stimulates the body so that it is better prepared to cope with the real virus. However, there are two fundamentally important flaws in this theory, and not enough people are talking about these flaws. In essence, the vaccines induce immunity in the wrong place and in the wrong way.

The vaccines invade the lymph nodes and the bloodstream and produce an immune response in those parts of the body. However, the virus itself enters the mucous membrane of the airways. This is the reason why the vaccines only protect against severe disease but do not prevent infection or the transmission of the virus. Only in severe covid-19 cases does the virus pass beyond the membrane of the airways and into the bloodstream - where it has the opportunity to encounter vaccine-induced immunity.

Confirmation of this can be found in a recent article published in Nature, the most respected science journal in the world:

“While the currently approved vaccines induce systemic immune responses, they probably do not evoke mucosal immunity in form of mucosal, secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) or tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM)”

Other discussions about the lack of mucosal immunity from the vaccines have also recently appeared on Science Daily from the University of Buffalo and Ohio State University.

"We think it is a serious omission to ignore the mucosal immune response to SARS-CoV-2, given its initial sites of infection," said Michael W. Russell, PhD, emeritus professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at University of Buffalo.

Although most people are aware that any protection offered by the covid-19 vaccines is temporary - only lasting four to six months, it is fair to assume that most people lining up for their third or fourth shot are unaware that the vaccine does not offer immunity at the site of infection.

The second flaw relates to the fact that once the vaccines enter the body they start a colossal civil war.

In the bloodstream, the mRNA gene goes to the inside wall of the blood vessels. The cells in the blood vessel wall then produce spike proteins. Within hours or days of being injected with the vaccine the immune system will scratch at the inside wall of the blood vessels in order to try to remove the cells that are now producing the spike proteins.

The gene from the mRNA vaccine also invades the lymph nodes and triggers a civil war between the cells that make the spike proteins and the lymphocytes whose job it is to kill cells that make those spike proteins.

After the first dose of the vaccine there will be varying degrees of damage caused by this civil war, but the second dose of the vaccine causes even more damage, since the second dose is likely to trigger an even bigger immune response. Something that is considered desirable by covid-19 vaccine proponents. This could explain why it is more common for people to experience greater adverse reactions after the second dose than the first dose. Something that is acknowledged by the CDC

However, it is important to be aware that this greater immune response takes the form of direct tissue damage. The scratching at the inside wall of the blood vessels becomes more intense since any cells that dare to make the spike protein will be attacked by the immune system.

Of course, if the person receiving the vaccine has a strong immune response, then the potential exists for greater damage to the inside wall of the blood vessels. This could explain why people below 60 years of age (who have stronger immune systems) are more likely to experience adverse effects from covid-19 vaccines.


Once the mRNA has escaped it can enter the cells of any of the internal organs such as the liver, the spleen and the heart. Once inside these organs the covid-19 vaccine gene will continue to make spike proteins. This will trigger the body’s killer lymphocytes to carpet bomb and destroy those tissues that have spike proteins. This is an auto-immune response. The body starts destroying its own internal organs in order to stop the propagation of the spike proteins.

At the same time, the supply of lymphocytes is eventually reduced because they themselves are fighting their own civil war within the lymph nodes - where the gene for the spike protein has also invaded. Eventually, there is an immune deficiency of lymphocytes. This could have implications for the prevention of tumors. Normally, the lymphocytes will keep the cancerous cells under control and prevent tumors, but if large quantities of lymphocytes are destroyed by the vaccine gene and the autoimmune response to the spike protein, then there will not be enough of them to prevent cancerous cells from propagating.

According to Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi (see footnote for credentials) this general immune deficiency could have longer-term implications for viruses such as herpes and shingles, which are always trying to take hold within the body but are normally suppressed by lymphocytes.

So, once the gene from the vaccine has escaped through the wall of the blood vessels it has the potential to cause system wide effects by triggering an autoimmune response in all of the organs of the body. The most definitive way to find out if this is actually happening is to perform an autopsy.

Professor Arne Burkhardt is a pathologist who has taught at the Universities of Hamburg, Berne and Tübingen (full credentials in the footnotes). Professor Burkhardt was able to conduct post-mortem examinations on 15 people who died after receiving covid-19 vaccinations.

The microscopic evaluation of the tissues showed an autoimmune attack on multiple organs. The most frequently affected organs were the heart (fourteen of fifteen cases) and the lung (thirteen of fifteen cases). Pathologic alterations were furthermore observed in the liver (two cases), thyroid gland ( two cases), salivary glands (two cases) and brain (two cases).

For example, the two images below show the microscopic evaluation of the small blood vessels of the heart. The endothelial cells that line the blood vessels have been heavily attacked and are inflamed.

Professor Arne Burkhardt in an interview said that in his forty years of experience he had not seen anything like these combinations of killer T lymphocytes throughout the body.

Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi and Professor Burkhardt have published an article summarising these findings on the Doctors for Covid Ethics website. They conclude:

“Histopathologic analysis show clear evidence of vaccine-induced autoimmune-like pathology in multiple organs. [This] must be expected to very frequently occur in all individuals, particularly following booster injections…

Beyond any doubt, injection of gene-based COVID-19 vaccines places lives under threat of illness and death. We note that both mRNA and vector-based vaccines are represented among these cases, as are all four major manufacturers.”

We do not know how many people have died or been seriously injured as a result of taking the covid-19 vaccines. Some reports have suggested that less than 1% of vaccine adverse effects are actually reported.

It seems obvious though that coercing people to take third and fourth booster shots is a terrible idea. If an individual person survived two shots of a covid-19 vaccine without inducing autoimmune organ damage, can they survive a third shot or a fourth? It is important to note that most of the people in this pathology report who died after vaccination, died at home or in the car. Presumably unaware of the damage that was taking place inside their body?

And how many shots does it take before the person’s immune system is compromised in general and the person becomes susceptible in the longer-term to other viruses and cancer?

Scientists in Israel who are members of the government's advisory panel raised this alarm recently, as the government seems intent on pushing for a fourth booster shot. These scientists warned that the plan could backfire, because too many shots might cause a sort of immune system fatigue, compromising the body’s ability to fight the coronavirus. According to the New York Times and Japan Times.

During the last two years many countries have seen the enforcement of a number of illogical rules. The authorities have been intent on trying to enforce further lockdowns and vaccine shots. The lockdowns ravage economies and the shots ravage our bodies.

Not to mention the fact that there has been a much safer and more effective option available all along - early treatment. As discussed in my previous article.

It might be difficult for some of us to accept that our governments and health authorities could get things so wrong (either by design or through incompetence), however, I think we have to keep in mind that these are the same authorities that spent tens of billions of dollars lowering peoples’ cholesterol levels even though people live longer and healthier with higher cholesterol and advises people with type 2 diabetes to eat more grain based foods that disrupt blood glucose levels. Not to mention the numerous drug scandals such as Vioxx that killed more Americans than the Vietnam War, and the opioid scandal that has so far killed more than 400,000 people in the United States alone.


A Brand New Study Suggests The Omicron Variant Will Mean the End of Covid as We Know It

The Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 has spread across the world like wildfire. But the mutant Covid-19 virus, although highly transmissible, has not brought with it the high death counts of previous waves, such as the Delta variant.

Instead, the effects of Omicron have been described as “generally mild,” and comparable to the Common Cold. Even an initial reported single case of a Texas man having died from the Omicron variant has been thrown into question.

One of the mysteries of the Omicron variant is why the reaction appears to be so consistently mild, regardless of vaccination status. There has been a lot of questioning about whether prior infection to Delta and wild variants has provided some antibody response to Omicron, which can cause infections even in those who have been vaccinated and “boosted.”

The Africa Health Research Institute has undertaken an innovative study to look into whether there is any transferrability of natural immunity between the Omicron and Delta variants. The lead author in the pre-print study submitted for publication, Alex Sigal, spearheaded a team of over thirty researchers revealed the promising preliminary results.




Friday, December 31, 2021

Catching Omicron strain may protect against Delta and usher in endemic phase of Covid, study suggests

Academics took blood samples from people struck down with the ultra-infectious variant and measured their antibody levels. They then looked at how well the virus-fighting proteins reacted to both Omicron and Delta.

Lab tests, conducted two weeks after patients joined the study, showed antibody levels spiked 14-fold in response to Omicron.

But there was also a 4.4-fold increase against Delta, according to the findings which took the researchers by surprise.

Other studies delving into the topic of cross-variant immunity showed antibodies made in response to Delta reacted poorly to Omicron.

Professor Alex Sigal, a virologist at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa who led the research, said it suggested Omicron could usher in the endemic phase of the pandemic. He said: 'The increase in neutralising immunity against Omicron was expected, that is the virus these individuals were infected with.

'However, we also saw that the same people — especially those who were vaccinated — developed enhanced immunity to the Delta variant.'

Professor Alex Sigal, a virologist at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, found in research that infections with the super-variant also boost protection against Delta.

He said: 'If, as it currently looks like from the South African experience, Omicron is less pathogenic, then this will help push Delta out as it should decrease the likelihood that someone infected with Omicron will get re-infected with Delta.

'If that's true, then the disruption Covid has caused in our lives may become less.'

Professor Nathan Grubaugh, a virologist from Yale University, told the New York Times that the results matched observations on the ground.

He said: 'We are seeing Omicron exponentially rise while Delta cases are falling.

'This suggests to me that Omicron is outcompeting Delta for susceptible individuals, leaving them less susceptible to Delta in the aftermath and driving down Delta cases.'

UK data shows that Delta cases fell 24 per cent over the fortnight to December 18, the latest available, while Omicron infection skyrocketed.

It comes amid the roll out of boosters in the country, which bolster protection against the variant.

Professor Sigal added: 'If, as it currently looks like from the South African experience, Omicron is less pathogenic, then this will help push Delta out.'

He said this was because it should 'decrease the likelihood someone infected with Omicron will get re-infected with Delta'.

'If that is true, then the disruption Covid has caused in our lives may become less,' Professor Sigal continued.

An ever-growing body of evidence shows Omicron is milder than its rivals, and less likely to put people who catch it in hospital.

The variant is already dominant in Britain, and has caused cases to hit record levels.

It has also driven a surge in infections in the US, which has seen infections top 500,000 a day — also a record high.

In the new research, Professor Sigal and colleagues analysed blood from 13 patients who had recovered from Omicron. Six were unvaccinated.

And the majority of the volunteers had been hospitalised during their battle with the virus.

Their blood samples were then tested in laboratory experiments against live versions of both the Omicron and Delta variants.

The paper was published as a preprint on MedRxiv, and is yet to be peer-reviewed by other scientists.

But Professor Nathan Grubaugh, a virologist from Yale University, told the New York Times that the results matched observations on the ground.

He said: 'We are seeing Omicron exponentially rise while Delta cases are falling.

'This suggests to me that Omicron is outcompeting Delta for susceptible individuals, leaving them less susceptible to Delta in the aftermath and driving down Delta cases.'

Scientists did not confirm whether the individuals had previously been infected with Delta, which could have skewed the results.

But this is likely to have been the case because of South Africa's mammoth waves of infection.

Previous research has suggested that people who had previously been infected with Covid were less likely to catch other variants of the virus.


CDC admits that its PCR test for Covid is not fit for purpose

07/21/2021: Lab Alert: Changes to CDC RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 Testing

CDC's Laboratory Outreach Communication System (LOCS)

Audience: Individuals Performing COVID-19 Testing

Level: Laboratory Alert

After December 31, 2021, CDC will withdraw the request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel, the assay first introduced in February 2020 for detection of SARS-CoV-2 only. CDC is providing this advance notice for clinical laboratories to have adequate time to select and implement one of the many FDA-authorized alternatives.

Visit the FDA website for a list of authorized COVID-19 diagnostic methods. For a summary of the performance of FDA-authorized molecular methods with an FDA reference panel, visit this page.

In preparation for this change, CDC recommends clinical laboratories and testing sites that have been using the CDC 2019-nCoV RT-PCR assay select and begin their transition to another FDA-authorized COVID-19 test. CDC encourages laboratories to consider adoption of a multiplexed method that can facilitate detection and differentiation of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses. Such assays can facilitate continued testing for both influenza and SARS-CoV-2 and can save both time and resources as we head into influenza season. Laboratories and testing sites should validate and verify their selected assay within their facility before beginning clinical testing.


How long is Omicron’s incubation period? How it differs from Delta and other Covid variants

One thing that has become clear over the last few weeks is how the Omicron variant differs from the original Covid strain.

While the World Health Organisation estimated that symptoms took anywhere between two days to two weeks to materialise in cases of people infected with the first coronavirus strain, the Omicron variant is thought to incubate much faster, closer to three to five days.

“Recent analysis from the UK Health Security Agency suggests that the window between infection and infectiousness may be shorter for the Omicron variant than the Delta variant,” UK health secretary Sajid Javid told MPs.

That would explain why it has spread so swiftly and successfully, as the shortness of its incubation period gives sufferers a shorter window between suspecting they have contracted the virus and experiencing a flare-up, making it less likely a positive test result will be recorded in time to warn others, enter isolation and prevent the contagion being passed on.

A shorter incubation period “makes a virus much, much, much harder to control,” Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, warned The Atlantic this week.

Another aspect of Omicron that makes it potentially harder to detect than other strains is that its symptoms differ somewhat from the three primary indicators we have learned to be on the lookout for: coughs, fever and any loss of sense of taste or smell.

Early warning signs for the new variant, by contrast, include a scratchy throat, lower back pain, a runny or blocked nose, a headache, muscle pains and fatigue, sneezing and night sweats.

The current evidence from Omicron cases analysed in Britain is that patients will recover within five days to a week on average, although some of the symptoms like coughing and fatigue may linger for longer.

Shortness of breath has also been reported in more severe cases, which has been seen to last for as long as 13 days after.

Covid sufferers are, typically, thought to be infectious to others from around two days before their first symptoms start to materialise and for around 10 days after.




Thursday, December 30, 2021

Vaccination offers little protection against Omicron

Recent reports from the CDC target 43 new COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant. Of these 43 documented infections, 34 of these patients were fully vaccinated. From the vaccinated count, 14 also had their recommended booster shot.

Of the remaining nine people who tested COVID-19 positive with Omicron, eight were documented as unvaccinated. One person’s status was unknown. That means nearly 8 out of 10 of the newest positive Omicron triggered COVID-19 cases are in vaccinated patients.

There is even more interesting data coming from these 43 cases. Virtually every patient reported mild symptoms. The symptoms ranged from a cough, some fatigue, to congestion or a runny nose. A single vaccinated patient was hospitalized for two days.

None of the Omicron COVID-19 infections have died. This is another perfect example of a government-funded program that’s not working. However, these power hungry buffoons won’t acknowledge it’s not working. Why do they continue to insist on something that’s failing?

Why are medical bureaucrats still pushing COVID as a pandemic of the unvaccinated when the data prove they are lying? Furthermore, why isn’t natural immunity being studied intently? How many of the latest positive COVID-19 infections have had a previous variant and recovered?

This information will prove critical. Since there is zero indication of a breakthrough infection happening in patients with natural immunity, that speaks volumes about the push for mandatory vaccinations. It’s nothing but a push for compliance.

Studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine clearly show vaccine immunity wanes after a few months. Moreover, similar studies, research also conducted in Israel, have indicated naturally acquired COVID-19 immunity could last in some people for years.

If it weren’t, we’d be stressing how to spur natural immunity all over the world.


Omicron infecting the vaccinated - WHO

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is spreading faster than the Delta variant and is causing infections in people already vaccinated or who have recovered from the COVID-19 disease, the head of the World Health Organisation says.

"There is now consistent evidence that Omicron is spreading significantly faster than the Delta variant," WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news briefing for Geneva-based journalists, held at its new headquarters building.

"And it is more likely people vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 could be infected or re-infected," Tedros said.

WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said that the variant was successfully evading some immune responses, meaning that the booster programmes being rolled out in many countries ought to be targeted towards people with weaker immune systems.

Omicron appears to be better at evading antibodies generated by some COVID-19 vaccines but there are other forms of immunity that may prevent infection and disease, WHO officials said.

"We do not believe that all vaccines will become completely ineffective," Swaminathan said.

WHO expert Abdi Mahamud added: "Although we are seeing a reduction in the neutralisation antibodies, almost all data shows T-cells remain intact, that is what we really require."

While the antibody defences from some courses have been undermined, there been hope that T-cells, the second pillar of an immune response, can prevent severe disease by attacking infected human cells.

Swaminathan, referring to a treatment for people with the disease, said: "Of course there is a challenge, many of the monoclonals will not work with Omicron." She gave no details.

But the WHO team also offered some hope to a world facing the new wave that 2022 would be the year that the pandemic, which already killed more than 5.6 million people worldwide, would end - with the development of second and third generation vaccines, further development of antimicrobial treatments and other innovations.

"(We) hope to consign this disease of a relatively mild disease that is easily prevented, that is easily treated ...and that able to cope easily with this disease into the future," Mike Ryan, the WHO's top emergency expert, told the briefing.

"If we can keep virus transmission to minimum, then can bring pandemic to end."


EU approves Novavax vaccine

The European Union has approved its fifth Covid-19 vaccine, stepping up its battle against the Omicron virus variant as the WHO called for greater efforts to ensure the pandemic ends next year.

Novavax’s Covid vaccine was given the go-ahead by the European Commission after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended it for use on Monday.

“We welcome today’s European Commission decision reflecting the first authorisation of a protein-based Covid-19 vaccine for the people of the EU,” said the company’s CEO Stanley C. Erck.

Called Nuvaxovid, it is the fifth vaccine authorised in the EU after Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca/Oxford, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.

Nuvaxovid uses a more conventional technology than those used for the other vaccines already in use — it is similar to the technology used in the decades-old hepatitis B and pertussis vaccines — and does not need to be stored at ultra-low temperatures.

The so-called protein “subunit” vaccine contains purified fragments of the pathogen which then trigger an immune response.

The jab is given as two injections three weeks apart.

Results from clinical trials released in June showed 90.4 per cent efficacy against the disease, and 100 per cent efficacy against severe to moderate cases.

The company said it is “evaluating its vaccine against the Omicron variant” and working on a version specific to it.


Florida surgeon general says Biden admin 'actively preventing' monoclonal antibody treatments

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo accused the Biden administration of "actively preventing the effective distribution of monoclonal antibody treatments" in the United States, according to a Tuesday letter addressed to Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra.

The Biden administration recently paused shipments of COVID-19 antibody treatments manufactured by major drug companies Regeneron and Eli Lilly amid claims that such treatments are not effective against the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The federal government continues to supply Sotrovimab, a monoclonal antibody from the company Glaxosmithkline, which reportedly does work against omicron.

Ladapo concluded his letter by referencing comments Biden made Monday that there wasn’t a solution by the federal government to end the nearly two-year-old pandemic.

"There is no federal solution. This gets solved at the state level," Biden said at the time in response to Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson warning the president against letting "federal solutions stand in the way of state solutions."

The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

Ladapo, whom DeSantis appointed in September after the former surgeon general resigned, has also made headlines for opposing measures such as school mask mandates.

In September, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hammered the Biden administration for overhauling the distribution of monoclonal antibodies in a way that will severely hamper the treatment's availability in several Republican-controlled states.

The Department of Health and Human Services alarmed authorities in several southern, red states — where the antibodies are widely used — after announcing that the agency would be changing how the COVID-19 treatment is distributed.


FAA Vaccine Policy Violates Its Own Rules, Attorneys and Doctors Say

The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is breaking its own rule that states pilots should not fly after having taken medications that have been approved for less than a year, according to a group of attorneys, doctors, and other experts; including a pilot who says his career ended due to adverse reactions from a vaccine.

Airlines, which are government contractors, are affected by President Joe Biden’s order from September that states all employees of those companies have to be vaccinated against the CCP virus.

The group of attorneys and doctors wrote a letter directed at the FAA, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Justice, as well as several airlines, demanding that they medically flag all vaccinated pilots and have them re-examined for blood clotting problems as well as their cardiac health.

“The Federal Aviation Agency is charged with ensuring the safety of the flying public. Instead, as we speak the FAA, as well as the commercial airline companies, are acting in contravention of their own federal aviation regulations and associated guidance which tells medical examiners to NOT issue medical certifications to pilots using non-FDA approved products,” human rights attorney and primary author of the letter, Leigh Dundas, told The Epoch Times via email.

“The title of the section I’m talking about literally says ‘Do Not Issue—Do Not Fly’ and then instructs medical examiners to ‘not issue’ medical certifications to pilots using products that the FDA ‘approved less than 12 months ago.’ … The pilots are flying with products which are not even recently approved—in violation of the above wording—they are flying with injections in their bodies which were NEVER approved by the FDA at all (as no COVID vaccine which is commercially available in the U.S. has received FDA approval),” Dundas said.

Amid widespread confusion about the availability of the FDA-approved Pfizer vaccine, The Epoch Times did an investigation in October and discovered that the approved Comirnaty version of the vaccine was still not commercially available in the United States. Pfizer says it’s the same vaccine that originally received emergency use authorization.

Another one of the signers is Cody Flint, whose career as a pilot ended after voluntarily taking the jab and experiencing adverse effects. He is a father of two with no underlying conditions.

The 34-year-old agricultural pilot doesn’t remember how he landed after nearly blacking out in mid-flight.

He was flying his aircraft when tunnel vision started to kick in and a headache he had developed after getting the jab worsened.

About two hours after having taken off, he decided to pull up the plane to go back and felt an “extreme burst of pressure” in his ears, then immediately “nearly blacked out, [and felt] dizzy, disoriented, nauseous, and [was] shaking uncontrollably,” Flint told The Epoch Times.

As a commercial pilot, Flint was concerned when he first saw FAA’s 48-hour no-fly rule after a COVID-19 vaccination.

The FAA has stated that pilots and air traffic controllers may receive the COVID-19 vaccine, with appropriate precautions.

“I find it hard to comprehend how the FAA justified moving the goalposts of safety from one full year of post-marketing safety review to only two days. The dangers associated with a pilot experiencing a severe adverse reaction from an mRNA-type Covid vaccine while at the controls of an airplane can be horrifying and deadly to say the least.

“As a pilot that experienced a tragic and career-ending adverse reaction to the Pfizer COVID vaccine while actively flying an airplane, I feel I can honestly and creditably speak out about the dangers associated with pilots returning to flight duties too early following COVID mRNA type vaccination,” he added.

Another signer, Dr. Pete Constantine Chambers, D.O. has been practicing medicine for 25 years, 16 of which he served as a Flight Surgeon attached to Special Operations.

“Unfortunately, several of my soldiers have experienced hospitalizations for serious diagnoses to include brain hemorrhages, myocarditis, anaphylaxis, pulmonary emboli, and vertigo. These were all post-vaccination.




Wednesday, December 29, 2021

UK: Absurd new Covid rules that prove the Left just love to boss everyone else around

Like many, I am delighted that the Government has decided not to impose further Covid restrictions — at least until next year.

This welcome late Christmas present not only means that people in England can enjoy New Year's Eve, it also means that many restaurants, pubs, theatres and shops will now be saved from closure.

But not everyone shares my relief. Instead, arguing furiously for ever-tougher restrictions — even in the face of the demonstrably milder threat from the Omicron variant — are Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon and her Welsh counterpart Mark Drakeford.

They continue to display breathtaking political opportunism and a shocking refusal to prioritise people's livelihoods. Meanwhile, their allies indulge in endless handwringing, fury, virtue-signalling and political point-scoring. I've had enough of it all.

As a former Labour MP who was a member of the party for 34 years, it pains me to say this, but parts of the Left love bossing everyone else around.


Restricting personal freedom is the itch the Left loves to scratch whenever it can. Lockdowns and the baffling array of contradictory rules and guidelines have provided the perfect pretext for this.

Yes, the state has a role to play in life. But there is a vast and widening gulf between sensible citizens with jobs, businesses and responsibilities, who willingly accept restrictions while longing for the day when they are lifted — and those who constantly demand further curbs, howling with self-righteous fury and predicting disaster when they are loosened.

In England, these Leftist doom-mongers, including Corbynista Labour MPs, party activists and a ragbag of socialists, vent their spleen online and in some cases in the broadcast media. But in Scotland and Wales, Sturgeon and Drakeford's Left-wing governments (respectively SNP and Labour) actually wield the power to act on their urges.

So despite the encouraging data on Omicron, they have once again been trying to make political capital by upending people's lives more disruptively than Westminster, bringing in draconian new restrictions and decimating livelihoods.

In Scotland, large public events have been cancelled, one-metre social distancing has been imposed in pubs, restaurants, gyms, theatres and museums, and table service is now mandated anywhere alcohol is served. Nightclubs are closed and the New Year's party is effectively cancelled.

I live in Glasgow South, in the constituency I represented for Labour. The streets around me are gloomy and empty as they have been for so much of the past two years. Restaurant and business-owners are facing a second bleak midwinter.

This is not because Scotland's Covid cases are higher than in England — in fact, they are lower — but because of Sturgeon's relentless virtue-signalling which plays a huge role in all her decisions.

With impeccable political cynicism, she always insists on imposing tougher Covid restrictions than the Prime Minister is prepared to inflict.

During much of the pandemic, her press conferences were scheduled slightly before Boris Johnson's, making it seem as if she was acting against Covid with greater urgency. Now, in contrast, she is on the back foot as the Prime Minister appears to have been vindicated by his own policy decisions.

Wales's Labour government, under Drakeford, is similarly cynical. The latest rules in Wales are truly absurd. In a policy decision reminiscent of a Monty Python sketch, Welsh people are currently permitted to go to the pub — but can be fined £60 for going to work.

Like most of the hard Left, Drakeford — a self-professed acolyte of Jeremy Corbyn — is an instinctive authoritarian who clearly enjoys wielding the power to restrict ordinary people's freedoms.

So why does the Left have this sinister authoritarian urge? Part of the answer rests in how they see the role of the state.

Most on the Left believe the state should play an extensive role in people's lives. Many are also convinced it should own and run key industries and services — and take a lot of your income in taxes to do so.

Traditional liberals, in contrast, believe that the state should step back wherever possible and allow people to live their lives as much as possible without intrusion.


Covid has crystallised this distinction. The role of the individual has been shrunk, the role of the state expanded.

But history offers ample proof of why this is a dangerous move — and the trend takes no account of individual agency.

As John Bell, regius professor of medicine at Oxford University, noted this week, the English have in fact been 'pretty responsible' in their response to the spread of the Omicron variant, regardless of the lack of restrictions.

Yet on social media in particular, prominent Left-wing voices are furious at the Government's 'recklessness'.

And what precisely sparks this rage? It is the belief that they are better people, that they care more, and if you don't subscribe to their view then you are just some 'evil Tory'.

Famously, Harold Wilson once said: 'The Labour Party is a moral crusade or it is nothing.' But that was a dangerously simplistic judgment.

Labour, like any serious political party, should leave the crusading to the Middle Ages and instead dedicate itself to taking practical steps to improve people's lives.

But many on the Left believe in this dangerously messianic vision, and that they are thus better people than those on the centre-right.

The pandemic has given them the perfect outlet to demonstrate this goodness. Their alleged 'fears' about the impact of loosening restrictions or their noisily expressed anger about people not wearing masks both work to bolster their self-importance.


Anyone who fails to demand tougher rules is, in contrast, heartless and uncaring. And because the arguments against further lockdowns and restrictions often rest on the grievous effects on the economy, Labour claims that the Tories only care about profits and money.

But who suffers when businesses collapse and jobs are lost? Ordinary workers. The Labour Party too often forgets this because its power base is in the public sector — funded, of course, by the taxpayer's ever-expanding largesse.

Aside from the heroic NHS staff, many public sector employees have worked at home on full pay for much of Covid. It's hardly surprising that so many of them are in favour of further lockdowns.

The Labour Party seems to have forgotten that the public accounts are not some bottomless resource. Instead, when the economy declines, so do the tax revenues that keep public services going.

The Left must learn to abandon the ludicrous idea that people can't be trusted to make their own judgments about how to live their lives.

Two years into this pandemic, Sturgeon and Drakeford should be giving their citizens the facts and figures, and then trusting them to behave sensibly. It is now time British people were allowed to think for themselves.


FDA approves first pill to treat COVID after Pfizer's oral medication reduced hospitalizations by 88%

U.S. health regulators on Wednesday authorized the first pill against COVID-19, a Pfizer drug that Americans will be able to take at home to head off the worst effects of the virus.

The Food and Drug Administration issued emergency authorization for Pfizer's Paxlovid, a pill that is available by prescription only and should be initiated as soon as possible after diagnosis of COVID-19 and within five days of symptom onset.

The long-awaited milestone comes as U.S. cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all rising and health officials warn of a tsunami of new infections from the Omicron variant that could overwhelm hospitals.

'Today's authorization introduces the first treatment for COVID-19 that is in the form of a pill that is taken orally — a major step forward in the fight against this global pandemic,' said Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research in a statement.

'This authorization provides a new tool to combat COVID-19 at a crucial time in the pandemic as new variants emerge and promises to make antiviral treatment more accessible to patients who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19.'

The drug, Paxlovid, is a faster, cheaper way to treat early COVID-19 infections, though initial supplies will be extremely limited. All of the previously authorized drugs against the disease require an IV or an injection.

An antiviral pill from Merck also is expected to soon win authorization. But Pfizer's drug is all but certain to be the preferred option because of its mild side effects and superior effectiveness, including a nearly 90 percent reduction in hospitalizations and deaths among patients most likely to get severe disease.

'The efficacy is high, the side effects are low and it's oral. It checks all the boxes,' said Dr. Gregory Poland of the Mayo Clinic. 'You´re looking at a 90 percent decreased risk of hospitalization and death in a high-risk group - that´s stunning.'

The Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer's drug for adults and children ages 12 and older with a positive COVID-19 test and early symptoms who face the highest risks of hospitalization.

That includes older people and those with conditions like obesity and heart disease. Children eligible for the drug must weigh at least 88 pounds.

The pills from both Pfizer and Merck are expected to be effective against omicron because they don´t target the spike protein where most of the variant´s worrisome mutations reside.

Pfizer currently has 180,000 treatment courses available worldwide, with roughly 60,000 to 70,000 allocated to the U.S. Federal health officials are expected to ration early shipments to the hardest hit parts of the country. Pfizer said the small supply is due to the manufacturing time - currently about nine months. The company says it can halve production time next year.

The U.S. government has agreed to purchase enough Paxlovid to treat 10 million people. Pfizer says it's on track to produce 80 million courses globally next year, under contracts with the U.K., Australia and other nations.

Health experts agree that vaccination remains the best way to protect against COVID-19. But with roughly 40 million American adults still unvaccinated, effective drugs will be critical to blunting the current and future waves of infection.

The U.S. is now reporting more than 140,000 new infections daily and federal officials warn that the omicron variant could send case counts soaring. Omicron has already whipped across the country to become the dominant strain, federal officials confirmed earlier this week.

Against that backdrop, experts warn that Paxlovid's initial impact could be limited.

For more than a year, biotech-engineered antibody drugs have been the go-to treatments for COVID-19. But they are expensive, hard to produce and require an injection or infusion, typically given at a hospital or clinic. Also, laboratory testing suggests the two leading antibody drugs used in the U.S. aren't effective against Omicron.

Pfizer´s pill comes with its own challenges.

Patients will need a positive COVID-19 test to get a prescription. And Paxlovid has only proven effective if given within five days of symptoms appearing. With testing supplies stretched, experts worry it may be unrealistic for patients to self-diagnose, get tested, see a physician and pick up a prescription within that narrow window.

'If you go outside that window of time I fully expect the effectiveness of this drug is going to fall,' said Andrew Pekosz, a Johns Hopkins University virologist.

The FDA based its decision on company results from a 2,250-patient trial that showed the pill cut hospitalizations and deaths by 89 percent when given to people with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 within three days of symptoms.

Less than 1 percent of patients taking the drug were hospitalized and none died at the end of the 30-day study period, compared with 6.5 percent of patients hospitalized in the group getting a dummy pill, which included nine deaths.

Pfizer´s drug is part of a decades-old family of antiviral drugs known as protease inhibitors, which revolutionized the treatment of HIV and hepatitis C. The drugs block a key enzyme which viruses need to multiply in the human body.

The U.S. will pay about $500 for each course of Pfizer's treatment, which consists of three pills taken twice a day for five days. Two of the pills are Paxlovid and the third is a different antiviral that helps boost levels of the main drug in the body.




Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Decisive use of AstraZeneca vaccine may have spared UK from Omicron crisis hitting Europe

Immunity for AstraZenica "can last for life in some cases.”

Britain’s relatively low recent death toll from Covid compared to Europe may be a result of earlier use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab to vaccinate the most vulnerable, according to the nation’s former vaccine tsar.

Dr Clive Dix, former chairman of the Vaccine Task Force, told The Telegraph that he believed the AstraZeneca jabs offered more robust, long-term protection against severe disease and death than RNA-based alternatives made by Pfizer and Moderna.

Britain’s Covid death rate has been relatively flat for several months, and there has not been a noticeable surge in Covid deaths due to omicron.

However, many European countries have recently seen steadily increasing death rates and have more Covid deaths on a like-for-like basis than the UK.

Figures from Our World in Data, a website run by the University of Oxford, shows the UK has 1.7 daily deaths from Covid per million people. In comparison, the EU as a whole has almost four.

“If you look across Europe, with the rise in cases, there's also a corresponding lagged rise in deaths, but not in the UK, and we have to understand that,” said Dr Dix.

“I personally believe that's because most of our vulnerable people were given the AstraZeneca vaccine,” Dr Dix said.

The key, he says, is that although the RNA jabs produce a more obvious and rapid jump in antibody levels in lab tests, other vaccines may be better at priming another part of the immune system: cellular immunity.

Cellular immunity includes various forms of T cells, including those that destroy infected cells, and also memory cells, ensuring a person can fight off an infection several years after they are first exposed to it. They are slower to react than antibodies and do not prevent infection, but do halt the pathogen in its tracks, making it harder for the virus to cause damage.

“We’ve seen early data that the Oxford jab produces a very durable cellular response and if you’ve got a durable cellular immunity response then they can last for a long time. It can last for life in some cases.” he said.

The only notable difference, he said, between the UK and Europe’s vaccine rollout was the approach to the AstraZeneca jab.

While Britain used its ample stock to rapidly inoculate the oldest and most vulnerable people, officials on the continent besmirched the vaccine’s reputation and dragged their heels on its approval, opting instead to wait for the Pfizer vaccine.

MRNA vaccines like those made by Pfizer are based solely on the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, and produce highly specific antibodies. But AstraZeneca, and other jabs like those made by Novavax and Valneva, used a more well-rounded approach, said Dr Dix.

“We know that with adenoviral vector vaccines and adjuvanted proteins you get a much broader cellular response and I think we need to look at all that data across all the vaccines,” said Dr Dix.

He added that there was “nothing wrong” with using Pfizer or Moderna as a booster, but alternative vaccines may be a better alternative in the long-term.

Lab results 'don't always translate to the real world'
The decision to move away from giving a primary dose with AstraZeneca and to only use Pfizer or Moderna for boosters was based on various data, including a major study that showed Pfizer and Moderna to be the most effective. But how these lab results translate into real-world effectiveness remains to be seen.

“I think we're getting a little bit ahead of ourselves by just measuring antibodies and neutralising antibody responses in the lab as that doesn't follow through for serious disease and death,” said Dr Dix.

“If you look at all the data, there isn't a great correlation between neutralising antibody lab results and protection from severe illness and death, they don't seem to correlate.

“And that's almost certainly because the cellular immune response is the important thing to stopping serious illness and death.”

The lab-based studies had also thus far failed to suitably measure T cell levels over time, something Dr Dix says needs to be urgently addressed if we are to establish the best jabs for annual boosters, which he thinks will be needed for the over-50s and the vulnerable, much like they are for flu.

“[The T cell analysis method used in most studies] just tells you that there are some T cells in the blood that do recognise antigens in the virus.

“It doesn't tell you very much about the quantity or the quality of the responses and it doesn't differentiate between the different T cell classes very easily.

“I do think we've lost the battle with transmission. There's no vaccine that is going to change that. I think we should focus on the cellular immune response, and it may just get us out of the woods.”


UK: Covid hospital admissions are down more than 50% on this time last year despite record-breaking surge in case numbers - giving new hope Omicron is a less severe disease

The number of people in hospital with Covid in England is less than half the same time last year – despite cases being three times higher, official figures show.

In a further sign that the Omicron variant appears to result in less severe disease, there were 8,474 patients in hospital with Covid yesterday compared with 19,277 on the same day last year.

It represents a day-on-day increase of nearly 1,000 and is the highest since March 5. But health bosses say there have been no reports of large numbers of patients requiring ventilators like during last winter’s peak.

The most up-to-date figures reveal there were 842 Covid patients in intensive care on ventilators – the lowest level in two months.

Covid case numbers – which were updated for the first time since Christmas Eve – reveal 98,515 people in England tested positive yesterday.

This is nearly four times higher than the 25,619 people who tested positive on the same day last year and is a considerable decrease on the 113,628 cases reported in England on Christmas Day.

It is also lower than the 103,558 cases reported on Boxing Day. The promising figures highlight the vaccine’s protective effects against severe illness, as well as the mounting evidence that Omicron is a milder strain.

A further 143 people in England died after testing positive for Covid yesterday – down 42 per cent on the 246 people who were reported to have died the same day last year.

And yesterday’s figure could be skewed by a recording lag, which saw no fatalities registered on Christmas Day and just three on Boxing Day.

Meanwhile data for London – which No10 has been watching closely – reveals there were 364 Covid hospital admissions across the capital on Christmas Day.

While this was a rise on the 278 hospitalisations reported on Christmas Eve, it is still lower than the 400 admissions per day thought to be the Government’s trigger point for imposing new restrictions.

Last night, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said there had been 45,307 additional confirmed cases of the Omicron variant reported across the UK.

This brings the total confirmed cases of the variant in the UK to 159,932, but does not include any new information for Scotland and Northern Ireland which have not reported data since December 23.

The number of deaths in England of people with the Omicron variant has risen to 39, while hospital admissions for people with confirmed or suspected Omicron rose to 407.


Why you might hear Omicron before you feel it as first symptom revealed

Omicron symptoms are coming on faster than Delta, it appears.

There are a few telltale signs that you might have the mutant strain – but you may be able hear the first symptom before you feel ill.

If people are commenting on the fact that your voice sounds croaky, and you haven’t been shouting and singing, it might be time to take a lateral flow, The Sun reports.

You might even notice that you sound a little huskier and deeper than usual.

This could be because you are experiencing a scratchy throat – one of the first symptoms of Omicron, according to experts.

Doctors have said patients don’t seem to be suffering with sore throats, as Delta sometimes presents with, but scratchy throats.

During a briefing last week, Chief executive of Discovery Health, South Africa’s largest private health insurer, Ryan Roach, said it was the most common symptom Omicron patients experience.

This is usually followed by nasal congestion, he said, with other common symptoms including a dry cough and pain in the lower back.

A string of hugely positive studies show Omicron IS milder than other strains, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta.

A booster shot is the best protection against Omicron, with early data suggesting it pushes efficacy back up to 75 per cent.

Dr Jenny Harries, UKHSA Chief Executive said: “Once again, we urge everyone who is able to get a booster jab to come forward and do so. It is the best defence we have against this highly transmissible new variant.”

Both lower back pain and a scratchy throat haven’t been reported as symptoms with other variants.

Going by reports from cases in the UK, South Africa and US, these are the most common early warning signs of Omicron:

•Runny nose/congestion




•Night sweats

•Body aches

While the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) states a new persistent cough, a high temperature and a loss of taste and smell are signs of Covid, many patients have also experienced a sore throat.

The ZOE Covid Symptom Study app has shown that a sore throat is among the most frequently reported symptoms, in both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

Tim Spector, the leading researcher on the study, presented a YouTube video in which he asked viewers to report exactly how their sore throat feels.

He said: “We are getting a messages that the sore throat people are getting with Covid is a bit unusual, it’s not like they’ve seen it before.

“Maybe in a different place, or it feels differently.

“We might be doing some more research on that to see if we can distinguish these Covid type symptoms from the ones of a normal cold virus.”

Some experts say if you feel unwell, regardless of the symptoms, it is worth getting tested.

If you have a positive (rapid) test, the NHS says “get a PCR test to confirm your result as soon as possible”.

But some experts are saying that at the moment, even if your (rapid test) is negative, it’s worth isolating if you have symptoms.




Sunday, December 26, 2021

Prediction Omicron will soon be ‘pretty much gone’ in nation where it was discovered

Experts predict Omicron will have fizzled out in South Africa, where it was initially discovered, within weeks in a huge boost to morale for the rest of the world.

Infections have spiralled in the past week and admissions failed to reach expected levels, as hospitals “never reached capacity”, The Sun reports.

A string of hugely positive studies show Omicron is milder than other strains, with the first official UK report revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta.

Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said.

South African scientists are confident the Omicron outbreak there is receding and may last a total of just a couple of months.

There was a sudden steep rise in cases from close to zero in mid-November to an average of 10,000 daily cases early in December, after the variant was first detected there.

That then fell sharply to around 5000 per day on average.

Francois Venter, a medical professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, predicted that at the current rate of decline, Omicron would “be pretty much gone” from all of South Africa by the end of January, The Times reports.

Professor Salim Abdool Karim, who leads the country’s pandemic response, said he expected “almost every other (country) to follow the same trajectory”.

He told The Washington Post: “If previous variants caused waves shaped like Kilimanjaro, Omicron’s is more like we were scaling the north face of Everest.”

But John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control, said to “be careful not to extrapolate what we are seeing in South Africa across the continent, or across the world”.

Dr Waasila Jassat, of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), said: “We saw a very rapid rise in cases and an early peak — and the indications are that since then we’ve had a remarkable drop.”

NICD’s latest report shows that cases up to December 18 have dropped nationally by 20.8 per cent in one week.

In the Gauteng Province, which was the epicentre of the variant, cases have significantly come down by almost half (46 per cent), with drops of between six and 40 per cent in other provinces.

NICD’s Michelle Groome told a news briefing: “Really we feel that this has persisted for over a week and that we are past the peak in Gauteng.” But she cautioned there could be lower cases because people are less likely to come forward for testing during the holiday period.

The nation has been at “alert level one” of a five-tier lockdown strategy since October, with mask mandates, a curfew from midnight to 4am, and ban on indoor gatherings of more than 750 people.

The data suggest Omicron peaked within one month of first being detected, with the impact on healthcare being less severe than previous waves.

While hospital admission have risen, they have so far remained far below the levels seen during previous waves of the pandemic.

Deaths were also and people with Omicron stay in hospital for shorter periods – suggesting, again, milder disease – Dr Jassat said


Copenhagen: Early benchmarks from Denmark on infections and hospitalisations are providing grounds for guarded optimism that highly vaccinated countries might be able to weather the omicron wave

The developments, coupled with Denmark’s speedy rollout of booster shots, have raised hopes the country can avoid the dire surge for which it has been bracing.

“It’s too early to relax, but it’s encouraging that we are not following the worst-case scenario,” said Tyra Grove Krause, the chief epidemiologist at Denmark’s State Serum Institute.

Denmark’s detailed nationwide program for coronavirus testing and analysis gives its scientists a trove of real-time data about the pandemic. Because of that – and because it was one of the first countries outside of Africa to witness Omicron’s explosive potential – it has turned into a European bellwether for what to expect with the omicron variant.

And over the last week, the country has fared better than it was expecting. After surging to record-breaking levels, the number of daily cases has stabilised. Officials recorded 12,500 cases on Thursday, compared to 11,000 late last week.

More important, hospitalisations have come in – so far – on the very low end of what was projected. A week ago, Denmark’s government science institute was said daily new coronavirus hospital admissions could range between 120 and 250 patients by Christmas Eve. In recent days, daily admissions have hung around 125. “That is quite promising,” Grove Krause said.

The early signals from Denmark do not provide any direct measure on the severity of the variant, one of the key questions in this phase of the pandemic. But they track with other emerging data and studies from Britain and South Africa that suggest omicron is less likely to lead to hospitalisation than the Delta variant.

Scientists caution that there are still many uncertainties, and that even if Omicron is less likely to cause hospitalisation, its increased transmissibility means countless sicknesses and disruptions. The virus could also spread so widely that it nonetheless leads to an influx at hospitals.

Concerns remain about the health system in Denmark, Grove Krause said, because Omicron infections are still disproportionately concentrated among the young. For now, Grove Krause said, temporary school closures and social precautions have helped slow the spread – but the country could still see a spike after holiday gatherings that bring together the young and old.

Even as cases have slowed, there are other signs of Omicron’s potential to cause chaos. Over the last two weeks, the number of cases among healthcare workers has more than doubled. A weekly government monitoring report said there had also been two Omicron outbreaks in nursing homes.

Since Omicron emerged in November, scientists have been racing to understand the implications and make sense of a variant that is moving far more quickly than its predecessors.

A few data points emerged this week, with one Scottish study suggesting the risk of hospitalisation was almost 60 per cent less with Omicron than delta. Another analysis, conducted by Imperial College London, said people with Omicron cases were 20 per cent less likely to go the hospital, and 40 per cent less likely to be hospitalised overnight. And South Africa, epicentre of the first apparent outbreak, has seen much lower hospitalisation rates than in other waves.

Even if that level of protection dips over time, boosters “can help us through the next months,” Grove Krause said


Two Common Over-the-Counter Compounds Reduce COVID-19 Virus Replication by 99% in Early Testing

A pair of over-the-counter compounds has been found in preliminary tests to inhibit the virus that causes COVID-19, University of Florida Health researchers have found.

The combination includes diphenhydramine, an antihistamine used for allergy symptoms. When paired with lactoferrin, a protein found in cow and human milk, the compounds were found to hinder the SARS-CoV-2 virus during tests in monkey cells and human lung cells.

The findings by David A. Ostrov, Ph.D., an immunologist and associate professor in the UF College of Medicine’s department of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine and his colleagues, are published in the journal Pathogens.

“We found out why certain drugs are active against the virus that causes COVID-19. Then, we found an antiviral combination that can be effective, economical, and has a long history of safety,” Ostrov said.

Due to his earlier research with colleagues at UF, Ostrov already knew diphenhydramine was potentially effective against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The latest discovery has its roots in a routine meeting of scientists with the Global Virus Network’s COVID-19 task force. One researcher presented unpublished data on federally approved compounds that inhibit SARS-CoV-2 activity, including lactoferrin.

Like diphenhydramine, lactoferrin is available without a prescription. Ostrov thought about pairing it with diphenhydramine and ran with the idea. In lab tests on human and monkey cells, the combination was particularly potent: Individually, the two compounds each inhibited SARS-CoV-2 virus replication by about 30%. Together, they reduced virus replication by 99%.

The findings, Ostrov said, are a first step in developing a formulation that could be used to accelerate COVID-19 recovery. It also raises the prospect of further study through an academic-corporate partnership for human clinical trials focused on COVID-19 prevention. Additional research into the compounds’ effectiveness for COVID-19 prevention is already underway in mouse models.

To establish their findings, the research team focused on proteins expressed in human cells known as sigma receptors. In COVID-19 cases, the virus “hijacks” stress-response machinery, including sigma receptors, in order to replicate in the body. Interfering with that signaling appears to be the key to inhibiting the virus’s potency. “We now know the detailed mechanism of how certain drugs inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection,” Ostrov said.

Data from the experiments show that a highly specific sigma receptor binding drug candidate (with pain relieving properties), and formulated combinations of over-the-counter products (such as diphenhydramine and lactoferrin) have the potential to inhibit virus infection and decrease recovery time from COVID-19, the researchers concluded.

While the findings are encouraging, Ostrov cautions against self-medicating with either diphenhydramine or lactoferrin as a COVID-19 prevention or treatment. The type of lactoferrin used in the research differs slightly from the type that is commonly available to consumers, he noted. Lactoferrin is commonly used as a supplement to treat stomach and intestinal ulcers, among other uses.