Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Unvaccinated Wins the US Open

When in early 2022, Australia barred Novak Djokovic from competing in the country’s major tennis tournament, and forced him into quarantine while he awaited a judge’s final decision, many of us were appalled.

He was favored to win but the government would not allow him to compete on grounds that he had refused the COVID vaccine. No one seriously believed that he was a health threat to anyone. He was barred for being politically noncompliant.

Tragically, most Australians cheered as he was deported from the country.

Americans had watched this country lock down for the virus in ways that went beyond what we saw in the United States. Population resistance was very low. It was a sad sight to see. Americans often think of Australia as a kind of sister country but in those months, we became profoundly aware of what it means not to have a Bill of Rights but instead be ruled by an administrative state controlled by a medical cartel.

The sense that something was wrong there but not here did not last long. The United States too barred him. This was a shock to many Americans because we did not really believe that the U.S. government was capable of such absurdity. This happened in August of 2022, a time when vaccine mandates were being repealed around the country. Even so, the world’s greatest tennis player who was expected to win in the U.S. wasn’t even allowed to compete.

Most players very likely knew that they didn’t need the vaccine and that it came with unnecessary health risks. Indeed, vaccine specialists knew this from day one, but the mandates came anyway. For a time, even large cities like New York and Boston were under strict rules of vaccine segregation. The unvaccinated were not allowed into restaurants, bars, theaters, and libraries.

For people in sports, and for many of us who want to travel and live a normal life, this posed a terrible dilemma. Perhaps it seemed like giving in and getting the shot was worth it. Why give up one’s hopes and dreams over such a small issue? Why not just relent and get on with one’s life?

Novak had a different view. He knew he was under infinitesimal risk from COVID and likely far more from the shot itself, which did not stop infection or transmission anyway. And look at all the deaths among athletes! So he made the hardest choice that very few in his class of achievement made. He refused. And he refused repeatedly. His choice likely cost him several titles. He never wavered in his view. His refusal also casts a pall over the victories of those achieved in his absence.

Novak explained in several interviews that it was a simple matter of principle. He took care of his health. He was in charge of his own body. That was more important than anything else. He would not give up this principle, no matter what, even if it cost him his career. This was not about politics. It was about personal autonomy and control. His decision was remarkable for the time because the pressure to go along was so great.

But it was more than that. We had by then lived through two years in which most governments all over the world had forced all their citizens into a weird science experiment. They had us forcibly separated. They closed businesses. When churches, schools, and businesses were allowed to open, it was with Plexiglas everywhere, forced separation, sanitizer dispensers every ten feet, and universal masking.

No rational person could possibly believe that all these outrageous antics would really control the virus, and they did not. But people went along anyway because they kept accepting the deal: if you comply, you can have your rights and freedoms back.

Novak was among the most high-profile athletes in the world who simply said no. He faced quarantine, bans, and brutal public and media attacks. He never once wavered from his position. Indeed, his refusal likely contributed to a great extent in the eventual unraveling of the regime of forced vaccines. After all, we are supposed to have sports competitions that reward the best players, not just the best players that comply with mandatory shot injections as pushed by a government-backed medical cartel.

Eventually the mandates faded and finally went away. By then Novak had lost two years in several high-profile venues and he was getting older. For him to come back to the United States and win the U.S. Open, as the oldest player to do so, was an astonishing and thrilling victory. Even if he had not won, his bravery would have been an inspiration. That he actually won back what was his had a massive element of ironic delight.

And get this: the vaccine company Moderna itself was a major sponsor of the U.S. Open. Throughout the tournament, the company had festooned its ads everywhere. Viewers were forced to see them, knowing full well that this company likely had some hand in lobbying governments to ban players who had not consumed its product. This is the worst form of crony capitalism or fascist corporatism that one can imagine, right here on full display.

Already teed up as a final sponsored ad was Moderna’s “Shot of the Day” plug. The company was forced to make that “Shot of the Day” the winning stroke of a player who absolutely refused to accept the shot, even at the pain of being excluded by the tournament itself. There was so much bitter irony to that and it was not lost on viewers.

In the end, the shot mandates were not really about good health or public well-being. We know that now. Most everyone does. They were about political compliance and corporate profits at the expense of freedom and public health. The grim truth is that most people went along because it was too much trouble to resist. Most people accepted the deal: take meds you don’t need in exchange for which you can stay out of trouble.

It has been inspiring and thrilling to see one great hero stand up and say no, even when doing so cost him his dream. This is because he has a moral principle that he considers to be even higher than his career goal. What an awesome and rare thing in our highly politicized times.


Nasal Sprays – A Novel Approach to COVID-19 Vaccination

Researchers at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) are working to develop a new COVID-19 vaccine that can be administered through a nasal spray. This vaccine will be easier to administer compared to the others which are given intravenously. TrialSite has been following the development of similar nasal vaccines in Israel and Bahrain.

The hope for global mass vaccination has not been achieved due to several limitations of using intramuscular vaccines. These include the requirement of having available healthcare professionals, unequal vaccine distribution, and lack of proper cold chain supply.

Nasal COVID-19 vaccines could be a viable alternative to the existing ones. Dr. Peter Wright, an infectious disease specialist and international healthcare provider, is leading the research team at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) and Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine to develop a nasal vaccine. The team is collaborating with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Exothera, a contract development and manufacturing organization based in Belgium, for this endeavor.

How do nasal vaccines work?

The mucous membrane, termed mucosa, is the body’s first line of defense against infectious particles after they enter the mouth or nose. The mucosal immune system works at two starting points, the gut (digestive system) and the nasopharynx (near the back of the nose).

The nasal vaccine activates the immune system at these two points with the help of specialized cells. This defense system then starts synthesizing antibodies to kill the viruses or neutralize them.

When SARS-CoV-2 enters through the nose, the virus’s spike proteins attach to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors present on the mucosal lining. These foreign particles are later killed by the immune system activated by the nasal vaccine.

Why this vaccine is unique

The COVID-19 nasal vaccine being developed in the U.S. is an adenovirus type 4-based vaccine. Adenovirus vectors (AdV) are DNA virus vehicles used for vaccine delivery. Adenovirus vectors are considered efficient as they can induce both innate (the body’s first line of defense against foreign particles) and adaptive (introducing antigens as a strategy to induce an immune response) responses in the body.

The AstraZeneca vaccine (ChAdOx1) uses a virus vector, but the mode of administration is intramuscular. The Dartmouth vaccine under development is in the form of a nasal spray, making it the first-ever adenovirus-based vaccine for COVID-19 in the U.S. These vectors are relatively easy to produce compared to other vectors and show high gene expression, thus facilitating large-scale vaccine production.

The in-vivo testing of the adenovirus type 4-based COVID-19 nasal vaccine has shown promising results in hamsters. The human trials will begin in 2024. These clinical trials are planned to take place in the USA and Africa. If successful, the vaccine will be available within one to two years.

Global expansion of COVID-19 nasal vaccine trials

Two nasal vaccines, Convidecia Air from CanSino Biologics in China, and iNCOVACC from Bharat Biotech in India, have received approval in their respective countries. Both of these companies use adenovirus vectors in their recombinant vaccines. Many other nasal vaccines are undergoing clinical trials.

The University of Oxford, in partnership with AstraZeneca, developed a COVID-19 vaccine named ChAdOx1, which was previously given intramuscularly. However, the researchers are working to turn it into a nasal spray and have announced the first clinical trials.

Mount Sinai researchers who used Newcastle disease virus (NDV) as a vector have completed phase 1 and 2 clinical trials of their nasal vaccine in Brazil, Thailand, Vietnam, and Mexico and have started the clinical trial phase 1 in the USA. CoviLiv, a live attenuated nasal vaccine developed by Codagenix company based in the USA, has also started its phase 1 clinical trials.

TrialSite previously reported on the clinical trials of nitric oxide nasal spray (NONS) manufactured by Canada-based company, SaNOtize to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Advantages of COVID-19 nasal vaccine

Adenovirus vector-based COVID-19 vaccines induce strong immune responses and have a low risk of causing virus mutations because they do not integrate into the host genome.

The existing COVID-19 vaccines are administered

intramuscularly and are designed to induce a systemic immune response without developing mucosal protection. As a result, the protections offered by these vaccines may not be enough to combat the replication and shedding of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the upper respiratory tract. Therefore, there is still a risk of vaccinated individuals transmitting the virus as they can still be infected through the nasal route.

Nasal vaccines, on the other hand, can effectively generate mucosal immunity in addition to a systemic immune response thus eliminating the risk of viral infection and transmission post-vaccination.

It is estimated that 25% of adults and 66.7% of children fear needles. 10% of these individuals may postpone COVID-19 vaccination due to their fears. Nasal vaccines provide an alternative for such people. It is less expensive and easier to administer compared to other intramuscular vaccines due to its non-invasiveness.

Another advantage is that these vaccines do not require cold storage because adenovirus vectors are thermostable, making them easier to store and deliver to different parts of the world.

Drawbacks of COVID-19 nasal vaccines

The whole-pathogen-based nasal vaccine is associated with some safety concerns, including the probability of the pathogen reverting to its replicating form.

Some nasal vaccines contain attenuated or weakened viruses. These viruses are designed to replicate inside the body to trigger an immune response without causing disease in healthy individuals. Therefore, these may not be administered to children, elderly people, and immunocompromised patients.

Vaccines administered through the nose become diluted due to the presence of mucous in the nasal cavity. Thus, higher doses are required as compared to vaccines administered via injections.

Additionally, nasal vaccines are associated with the probability of retrograde transport through the olfactory nerves present in the nose, to the brain. This has been reported in association with live attenuated adenoviruses.


Intranasally delivered vaccines show promise in preventing reinfection and transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus through the development of mucosal immune response.

While these vaccines demonstrate some advantages over those delivered via the intermuscular route, they are also associated with several concerns, some of them serious. These challenges should be considered by researchers in the course of developing these vaccines.

TrialSite will continue to monitor the progression of the various clinical trials involved in the development of various nasal vaccines.


Also see my other blogs. Main ones below:

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com (TONGUE-TIED)

https://immigwatch.blogspot.com (IMMIGRATION WATCH)

https://awesternheart.blogspot.com (THE PSYCHOLOGIST)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


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