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Vaccines - Phase Two


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I've been reading a bit this week about the concerns and reasons for the decreased performance of the mRNA vaccines in face of the Delta variant. One of the items is that those vaccines (along with AZ, J&J, and Sinovac but with no corroborating numbers yet) have a major issue in that only one of SARS-CoV-2's twenty-eight proteins (the notorious spike protein) is used. So, any small evolutionary modification of that one protein leads to a drop in performance of the vaccine. We're purposefully selecting for viruses that evolve in that direction.

So, where would one get exposure to the other 27 proteins the virus uses? Sinopharm.

Right now, Sinopharm is the only approved killed-virus vaccine available. At about 50% (the same as the flu vaccine, more or less) its overall efficacy is not anywhere near the big players, but it does have the unique benefit of exposing your immune system to the whole package. Tests so far indicate that the best protection is provided by a combination of a previous infection and a prime vaccine. Maybe this is a way to simulate the combo without the pesky side effects of actually getting COVID.

Down the road another add-on is being tested which is the nasal vaccine. This prevents the virus from ever gaining a foothold so that infection and transmission never even happen.

So, Phase Two: A broader front in the offing? Two shots and a snort?

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