Pfizer Launches Clinical Trial for Omicron Booster Awfully Late….What Gives?

As much fun as it is to lift up rocks and examine creepy crawlies, even then, sometimes less is more. So we’ll stick to the high points of the latest Pfizer vaccine anomaly, this one on the stop and go Omicron booster, and let readers, particularly readers with intel or at least knowledge of clinical trials and “normal” FDA approval processes, opine further.

Recall that one of the widely-touted reasons for being excited about the brave new world of mRNA vaccines was that new versions designed to target mutations could ostensively be developed in a week or two. Mind you, it was understood that it would still take time for them to be properly tested for efficacy and then subject to regulatory review/approval.

Recall further that despite the supposed miraculous tunabilty of mRNA vaccines, no one launched a Delta booster. We discussed this lapse in a December post:

One reason was that Delta overlapped with the older variants a bit before becoming dominant. Second is that the performance of the original vaccines didn’t fall as much in reducing risk of hospitalizations and death as it appears to when boosted for Omicron. Sadly the vaccines did do more to reduce contagion of the wild type virus than Delta, but that change doesn’t get much mention.

But as far as I can tell, the idea of developing a new vaccine targeting Delta wasn’t even seriously entertained. Our GM described an additional issue which I never saw mentioned in the press: the Delta variations were orthogonal to some other variants. So while the original vaccine was pretty effective against wild type and Delta and the “orthogonal” variants, one aimed at Delta would not do much to combat the orthogonal variants. So it made sense to stick with the original vaccine as a reasonable “good enough for all current seasons” compromise.

Recall additionally that when the obviously fast-moving and super-different Omicron burst onto the scene, experts who weren’t cognitively or financially captured were warning it would significantly or entirely evade the current vaccines. That concern was quickly confirmed by who fell to early outbreaks in Norway and Denmark. And then at the end of November, the great unwashed public was subjected to narrative conflict. As we wrote then:

After repeatedly claiming that a Biden Administration would “follow the science” on Covid, it now appears to be hoist on its petard of instead relying on least effort approaches combined with better propaganda, aka placing all its bets on vaccines.

These headlines illustrate the problem. The first is the lead in the Wall Street Journal; the second is from the Financial Times:

Recall finally that early in the Omicron march across the globe, Pfizer said it would have an Omicron booster read to roll by early March. But the Biden administration bizarrely went to war with that idea. Hoisting again from our late December post, Maybe No Omicron Boosters?:

Even though Pfizer and then other vaccine-makers said they could have a booster targeting Omicron out in three months or so, the Administration is talking down the possibility of one. That seems odd in that:

2 vaccine doses barely create a dent against Omicron, and previous infection, according to initial Imperial College data didn’t either (although some other studies suggest prior infection could blunt severity; the jury is still out on many important Omicron questions)

There is good evidence that a booster of the current vaccines reduces the odds of severe outcomes, but not to the same degree as against earlier variants. However, it’s not as clear even against the original variants whether a booster produces as long-lived immunity as the first shots did; it may be shorter, even before you get to how it behaves against Omicron. Israel is launching its fourth round of booster shots only five months after offering boosters to the highest-risk populations. In other words, given that some, perhaps many, members of the public won’t be happy about a more than twice a year vaccination regime, if one is to stay current, another reason to back an Omicron-specific booster is it might last longer against Omicron than the current vaccines, which were developed against the wild type virus….

it’s disconcerting to see what sure looks like official reducing of expectations regarding getting an Omicron booster around March, as Pfizer and now others have indicated. From Top regulator says need for Omicron vaccine depends on staying power of variant in STAT:

Whether Americans will need additional vaccines specifically tailored to the rapidly spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus may depend on how long it circulates in the United States, a top regulator told STAT in an interview Wednesday.

“If it turns out that Omicron is the new variant that actually things settle into, well then of course we will probably need an Omicron-specific vaccine,” said Peter Marks, the Food and Drug Administration’s top vaccine regulator. “On the other hand, if this is just a variant that’s passing through and we get [a new variant] in a month or two, we won’t need that.”

Marks added that Omicron is “a very, very fast-moving virus” that “could pass across this country within a matter of a few weeks,” and that he does not know for sure whether Omicron-specific jabs will be needed….

All three manufacturers with vaccines authorized in the United States — Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson — are currently readying Omicron-specific vaccines. Pfizer has said it could begin delivering its Omicron-specific vaccine by March, pending FDA approval.

Huh? Unless you assume Omicron will be displaced by yet another variant, even those who were boosted will need a new shot in 5-6 months. And even assuming perfect compliance, 75% odds of not getting a serious infection falls to 42% if you play that game three times, as in go 15-18 months under an Omicron regime. While if an Omicron booster lowers the odds of serious infection by 90%, the risk of getting a bod case over the same time period with perfect compliance is 73%. And to the degree the risk reduction is higher than 90%, the better the long-term odds.

And you don’t have to go far into the article to see that our suspicion, that this messaging reflected an Administration preference, looks correct, particularly when contrasted with the fact that the vaccine-makers are moving ahead with Omicron products:

The Biden administration has signaled that it plans to fight the spread of Omicron through existing booster shots, which were not formulated specifically for Omicron. Early data suggest that the booster shots from Moderna and Pfizer significantly enhance protection against the Omicron variant…

Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical adviser of the Biden Covid-19 response, has expressed doubts about the need for Omicron-specific shots.

Even if you wonder about the wisdom of having to get repeatedly jabbed with Covid vaccines, the risk/return tradeoff is clearly better, all other things being equal, with a more effective vaccine. So if you are going to use mRNA vaccines to combat Omicron, that argues for a sure-to-be-more-potent Omicron booster against Omicron rather than a less ooomphy one designed to beat the wild type variant.

Back to the current post. The latest development is that Pfizer announced that it was starting clinical trials for its Omicron booster yesterday:

From the press release:

The study will have three cohorts examining different regimens of the current Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or an Omicron-based vaccine. The study will draw upon some participants from the companies’ Phase 3 COVID-19 booster study and is part of their ongoing efforts to address Omicron and determine the potential need for variant-based vaccines….

The study will evaluate up to 1,420 participants across the three cohorts:

  • Cohort #1 (n = 615): Received two doses of the current Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine 90-180 days prior to enrollment; in the study, participants will receive one or two doses of the Omicron-based vaccine
  • Cohort #2 (n = 600): Received three doses of the current Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine 90-180 days prior to enrollment; in the study, participants will receive one dose of the current Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or the Omicron-based vaccine
  • Cohort #3 (n=205): Vaccine-naïve participants will receive three doses of the Omicron-based vaccine

1420 participants? Across three cohorts? This is a joke, not a serious study. And the age group is 18 to 55, so it excludes those most in need of protection, the elderly

IM Doc commented:

Am I reading this correctly? The Omicron shot will actually be a brand new series of three more shots? They must be smoking something.

And GM:

This is bonkers.They are only now starting the trial.

We are indeed likely not getting an updated vaccine…

Bizarrely, Pfizer is still messaging that it will have a vaccine ready to go by March, when starting now with recruiting, getting participants jabbed, and compiling the data and writing up the results for an FDA submission for a mere single Omicron booster would take until the start of March at the very earliest. The FDA has to take at least a smidge of time for review.

And given the three cohorts, Pfizer presumably ought to wait for at least the results of one Omicron booster v. two, and better yet, a three shot regime. I’m not even guesstimating a timeline beyond pointing out the obvious “No way by early March.”

Oh, and let us not forget the other really big fly in the ointment: BA.2 is on the move, and it looks to be considerably more infectious than Omicron.

Yet Pfizer is clearly messaging its early March fantasy hard. The subhead of an Associated Press story, Pfizer opens study of COVID shots updated to match omicron, published yesterday: “The highly contagious omicron variant has darkened the world’s outlook on beating the virus, but new boosters could be ready by as early as March.”

I supposed one could surmise that Pfizer has shifted the goalposts on what “ready” means.

Our GM added:

This is all a charade.

If they had any real intention of stopping Omicron with vaccines, production would have been running 24/7 on November 30th the latest.

After all it’s a copy-paste operation for the RNA and then you need to make new labels for the tubes.

With no testing — you don’t have time for that, nor has it been done historically for flu pandemics.

So if you believe in the vaccines, as the Administration clearly does, what gives? Had they bought a ton of mRNA vaccine inventory, say for the VA, and didn’t want to toss it? Or were they so wedded to their storyline that they’d rather urge Americans to keep taking a highly-certain-to-be-only-marginally-effective booster than tell them they’d have to wait for better?

This is shaping up to be a case study of short seller David Einhorn’s favorite saying, “No matter how bad you think it is, it’s worse.” And here, we are looking at putting more nails in the coffin of our fading empire, just as the Spanish flu was arguably the death knell for the Ottoman Empire. Or you could just measure the damage in deaths, shortened lifespans, and impaired health for many.

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  1. Nikkikat

    I got the first shot of J&j vaccine. I will not be taking anymore vaccine. These people have done nothing but lie. They have not demonstrated any ability to provide testing or a decent mask. The lock downs did nothing but make people poor. We are on our own. If they had any competency at all, Fauci should have been fired along with Walensky, another liar. These people have clearly done nothing but screw up. I will continue to stay home and avoid all activities, wear a mask and hope to stay safe. No more untested vaccines. Why would anyone trust these people about anything at this point.

    1. haywood

      Don’t trust US Health Authorities. And certainly don’t trust pharmaceutical companies. But I’d trust the very real experience of three billion people who took these vaccines and have overwhelmingly positive results and much much lower odds of getting seriously ill.

      And the “lockdown” (insofar as America had any real lockdown at all) actually made people richer. The poor got a lot less poor, albeit temporarily, through a massively expanded and streamlined welfare / stimulus program and the rich got mind bogglingly richer.

    2. david anthony

      There’s a difference between the politicians and scientist politicians, and actual scientists. Recommend you listen to the actual scientists and block out anyone that has anything to do with the government.

    3. Art_DogCT

      Likewise, I waited until the J&J version was available in my area, so only had that one injection. Meanwhile, thanks to the remarkable well of information that is NC – staff, guest writers, commentariat (with particular gratitude for the Covid Brain Trust) – I’ve decided I won’t be ‘boosted’ for a while. Fortunately I am able to go back to last year’s practice without much issue (never relaxed precautions much anyway, retired, ~adequate income, able to isolate easily [save for certain psychological impacts], small town – few shops crowded when I have to go personally, etc).

      The emerging data on T-cell disruptions, whether from repeated infection or vaccination or both, frankly scares the FriendlyFamilyBlog out of me. In my CT town we reached a 27% positivity rate with Omicron maybe a month ago, and Town meetings went back online. Statewide today’s rate is supposedly 11%. At-home tests have begun to be distributed around here, and I am confident that most results are not being reported to any public health agency. Yet Town Hall personnel expect to be back to in-person meetings within the next four weeks (supposedly after we’ve been below 10% positivity for a bit). How can we possibly know? I serve on my town’s Zoning Board of Appeals, so I will have a choice to make when/if there’s another return to in-person meetings.

      On top of all the above, I doubt that BA.2 is on anyone’s radar. I feel very much like I did in January, 2020, when I had a very bad feeling about this emerging virus in Wuhan, in a world where no place is more than a day’s travel away (assuming you can pay the ferryman).

  2. Basil Pesto

    And here, we are looking at putting more nails in the coffin of our fading empire

    Ohohoho, not so fast! Wait until you hear the good/bad news from Zeke Immanuel and Mike Osterholm (NYT oped with worthy twitter commentary). The latter especially has gone down a bit in my estimation with this. The oped is a farrago of nonsense: “China has to end its disease containment strategy, or it runs the risk of suffering the dire consequences of a failed disease containment strategy”. I mean, who is this article actually for? And would it have been written and published in the NYT if a Republican were still in charge and cocking things up this badly? People have lost their minds.

    1. Basil Pesto

      As I’ve said before, there is quite the cognitive dissonance of going from two decades of being told “China is a superpower of growing strength and prosperity that threatens American/Western hegemony” to the chucking-the-toys-out-of-the-pram petulance of “NOOO we’re not fucking up the pandemic response, YOU’RE fucking up the pandemic response!!! >:O”

    2. Samuel Conner

      Oh nooooo! China’s containment strategy is not failing as badly as ours!

      Taking a long view, forgetting about nations and focusing on the future of the species, one hopes that at least some of the larger countries in the world will not abandon ‘zero COVID’. There needs to be a functional work force, not incapacitated by long COVID, somewhere to produce the infrastructure of a decarbonized world.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      Honestly, sometimes I think Covid is really a neurological disease slowly eating away at the brain cells of supposedly smart people. There are many legitimate takes on China’s containment strategy, but this notion that they are saving themselves up for a huge epidemic that will be worse than they’d have had in the first place if they just let it rip is just profoundly stupid.

      There are far too many cases of this of formerly quite sensible scientists and commentators completely falling off into the deep end of stupidity or worse. A few days ago I made the mistake at looking at some of the comments aimed at Anthony J. Leonardi, even from people like Zeynep Tufecki, who has joined the ‘hey, its all over bar the shouting’ crew. Its really nasty stuff. I thought Russiagate was a peculiar idiocy that only applied to the pretty stupid US foreign policy establishment, but it seems this sort of mental virus (I’m sure many a PhD in the future will be written on all the cognitive biases at play) is spreading everywhere. Its awful.

      1. albrt

        A friend who caught Covid in December says the brain fog is real. He plays online chess, and had not much else to do during recovery. He said his score dropped significantly. This strikes me as a pretty good objective measure.

        The good news is that his chess score is slowly recovering.

        1. Beth

          Agree. She is a “techno-sociologist” telling a T cell immunologist to STFU about, well, his research. Because it doesn’t promote the agreed upon narrative of progress.

      2. david anthony

        Anthony Leonardi has been one of the few people to get this all right so far. And his outlook is gloomy. Of course they attack him, because they’ve been wrong.

    4. Lambert Strether

      > China has to end its disease containment strategy

      The United States is extremely lucky that China has not considered the United States’ decision to make itself and its Anglosphere poodles a permanent source of infection — since that is what “Let ‘er rip” means in practice — an act of war. Because isn’t that what it is?

  3. tegnost

    For pfizer,window dressing to maintain their elevated stock price.
    who can figure what the biden crew has in mind about anything…

    1. urblintz

      The crew has no answers in mind and Biden has no mind left.

      His was tiny before the dementia and now it’s mostly empty, except for its malign, mean-spirited and criminal essence, on display for over 40 years

  4. Samuel Conner

    Perhaps US public health authorities could be pressured to adopt a posture of “no new regulatory approval for new mRNA vaccines until all patient level data on adverse outcomes from the first vaccine trials are made public..

    IIRC Pharma wanted to seal this data for decades.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      That’s already been largely solved by a FOIA suit which is vastly accelerating the data release. But per your concern, releasing adverse effects data should be front of the queue.

      1. Objective Ace

        What does “vastly” mean? I believe they were ordered to have the data within a year, but I have a feeling there will somehow be delays along the way. I’m not expecting anything for 3-5 years. Enough time for Fuaci and everyone at the helm to retire and slink out of the public spotlight

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Pfizer and the FDA are seeking a delay to start until May. The judge sounded extremely unsympathetic. He might have to give them a little more time but I doubt he’ll fully grant their request.

    2. QuicksilverMessenger

      What about the Corbevax? Is there any flexibility in adjusting for variants with that technology? Will this ever be available in the States?

      1. beth

        And Covaxin, which has been produced by the Serum Institute in India (they produce most generics today), and has been tested in the 2-18 year group with no worrisome signals. Its a protein subunit vax like Novavax so will be more acceptable to mRNA skeptics. But its hung up in the FDA EUA process. And Fauci has declared on CNN that we won’t get it because we don’t need it because we already have the best vaccines, the envy of the whole world. Being able to vaccinate age 2 and above would decrease a lot of transmission.

  5. Arizona Slim

    A friend works in a grocery store with a pharmacy. Last week, my friend told me that it had been several days since the pharmacy had given a booster shot to anyone.

    That’s just one data point from here in Tucson, so read into it what you will.

    I’ve also heard — on Jimmy Dore’s YouTube livestreams — that only 30% of the vaccinated people have gotten a booster shot.

    Methinks that the booster treadmill isn’t working as well as expected.

    1. Eudora Welty

      I work directly with patients in health care. I got the first 2 shots, but am holding off on the booster until it is mandated. Administration keeps hinting – as late as 2 weeks ago – that boosters could also be required at my institution. As compliant as I have been so far, I am waiting until it is required, and hopefully that doesn’t come to pass. I revealed as much to my family at the holidays, and I was surprised to see everyone urging me to get the booster.

  6. Lemmy Caution

    The timeline for Pfizer’s study is hilariously short.

    March is about five weeks away.

    So in order to have an actual vaccine ready in March, Pfizer needs to wrap up this study — which is just beginning now from the sound of it — in a matter of weeks, send the data to the FDA, receive their EUA, ramp up production, and begin distribution.

    Aside from the many other crazy aspects of this new “vaccine,” the timing alone highlights how completely upended the typical vaccine development process has become.

    Moderna is also starting trials now for an Omicron-specific vaccine.

    They say they hope to have data available by March, although they leave themselves wiggle room.

    Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel says:
    “We are hoping in the March timeframe to be able to have data to share with regulators to figure out next steps.”

  7. Ignacio

    We are being hummm, ‘naturally vaccinated’ (translate into infected). And it seems the standard immune response against omicron is very much like a jab boost:

    We found that the breakthrough infection rapidly recruited potent cross-reactive broad neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) against current VOCs, including Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron, from unmeasurable IC50 values to mean 1:2929 at around 9-12 days, which were higher than the mean peak IC50 values of BioNTech-vaccinees Similar results were also obtained in the second vaccine-breakthrough case of Omicron infection (with n = 2 on this).

    They conclude:

    “our findings also implicate that the development of Omicron-targeted vaccines is urgent and beneficial to fight all current SARS-CoV-2 VOCs.”

    Yet, it is already to late and it was going to be too late anyway given how omicron spreads.

      1. jefemt

        The Abstract was really difficult to parse- and I mean no disrespect: I SUCK at writing clear concise declaratory sentences.

        I was struck by a few things- small number of cases, and the backdrop that my independent 34 year old nephew, unvaccinated, who travels all over the US for work, hotelling, etc, contracted some variant over holidays and is really struggling to recuperate. I ponder / dread long covid.

        I keep a weather eye on him – I too am unvaxxed due to strong initial warnings for those with allergies to medical dyes to NOT get any of the three main US-available vax’s— and I travel for work and work in public buildings as well.
        I do strive to sleep in my van (river not de rigueur) and cook/ eat my own food car-camped.
        Not huge fun December-March along the 45th North


        2017-2022 have brought two central thoughts to the fore for me:
        -Are you good with Change?
        -Are you good with Mortality of self, loved ones, and others?

        For me? Not so good…. and so naively ungrateful for the pre 2020 plenty in my life..

      2. redleg

        The focus is on neutralizing antibodies and omits TCells, which is a flaw as both fight infection.

        But this brings up a bigger flaw in the Pfizer “study”, as they don’t account for prior infections in their three groups. Prior Covid infections don’t provide lasting immunity, however they do provide enough that it should impact vaccine studies like the one Pfiser is conducting in at least some way that must be accounted for.

  8. William Hunter Duncan

    I assume this is all just “see, we are working very hard to save you!” propaganda, betting on the idea that by March Omicron will either be done, or displaced by another “variant of concern”? So in other words, doing nothing really?

    I got the first two Phizer shots in May and June, and frankly I almost wish I hadn’t. I won’t be getting a booster. There are a lot of reasons why. Like another commenter pointed out, Phizer sitting on the trial data the FDA has already seen, saying it is too complicated to show to the public, is so mind-boggling unbelievable, these people truly think themselves untouchable! Why would anyone who was not at great risk or a true believer take a booster knowing that? And don’t even get me started on molnupiravir and remdisivir. If I wrote all this in a novel the reader would know it was intentional to keep the pandemic going indefinitely, and a steady getting rid of dead weight was half the point, getting stupendously rich the other.

    1. T_Reg

      I see it a little bit differently. I think they were planning to jump in as Omicron cases were rapidly plunging. Then they’d say “Look at how great our vaccine is!”. Instead, the rates are already on the downhill side of that exceedingly steep surge. March will probably be far too late. I think all we’re seeing now is damage control gaslighting.

  9. LAS

    This trial looks under-powered. It also (probably rightly) calls attention — with its defined cohorts — to the complication/confounding issue of variable histories of vaccine exposure in our population, which is more wide than they have cohorts to span. It will be harder to generalize about the efficacy of the new omicron vaccine. I expect there will be a lot of discussion when the results are reported and likely something less than consensus.

    1. Objective Ace

      Good point about variable histories. None of these 3 cohorts appear to be controlling for whether the individual has had covid or not. I guess the assumption is all 3 groups were equally likely to have gotten Covid.. seems like a dubious assumption given why we were told to get vaccinated in the first place

  10. Tutti

    How is it possible to “draw upon some participants from the companies’ Phase 3 COVID-19 booster study” ?

    Are they going to spoil the current study to make a different one?

  11. Jeff

    I’m a simpleton with 3 simple questions:

    How does the vaccine booster for Omicron variant compare to immunity developed as a result of contracting Omicron? How does the booster compare to immunity developed as a result of being exposed to Omicron but not getting sick from it?

    Lastly, why is CA attempting to mandate through legislative action that all kids get vaccinated to attend school (public or private), with a justification that is partially based on misinformation that the vaccinated don’t spread Covid? The fear mongering in this state is grotesque.

    When you shut down questioning, when you lie about what the vaccine does, when you downplay/ignore/lie about the risks of the vaccine, when you ignore Covid exposure immunity, when you push mandates while ignoring data… people stop believing you.

    1. david anthony

      As far as California’s argument, vaccine mandates are the norm for schools. And the vaccine does cut down spread but certainly not eliminate it. Reducing the amount of spread helps, so hence a mandate.

      That being said, the way to fight this in schools is quality masking, social distancing and improving ventilation. Most of which is not being done in California schools. We yell at our board to do these things all the time and they never do anything.

      1. jeff

        “And the vaccine does cut down spread”

        No it does not. It never did.

        Agreed with the rest of your sentiments.

          1. Brian Beijer

            I may be wrong, but I believe someone on NC recently post a link to a journal article that shows that the Omicron viral loads for those who are vaccinated are equivilant to the unvaccinated. It is my understanding that if you have the same viral load, then you are equally as contagious. I know that Dr. Campbell posted a video recently where he discusses another research article showing that there were no differences in Omicron viral loads between unvaccinated children and vaccinated children. I don’t think your information is current.

  12. David Anthony

    This only makes sense if they are going seeking herd immunity through infection, which isn’t possible. But that’s the only way what Biden is doing makes sense. They tried vaccines but Americans didn’t go for it, so now they will infect the rest and expect the pandemic to be over. They assume once that happens, we can move on. Instead they will create an underclass of people with long term health conditions and cognitive issues. And, of course, continued reinfection via new variants. We are truly being led by complete morons.

  13. LawnDart

    Received today, 1-26-22:

    Appointments for a booster of the COVID-19 vaccine are now available at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center for eligible Veterans.

    Call 888-569-5282 to schedule, come as a walk-in to Jesse Brown VA (Damen Campus) M-F 8am-3pm, OR reply with a DATE & TIME you’re available from Jan 26 to Feb 25

    If you’re not interested in getting a booster, reply PASS.

    If you’ve already received a booster, reply VAX.

  14. whatmeworry

    the delay allows the trial to be carried out when cases are declining…it appears that the efficacy is higher under those circumstances

  15. whatmeworry

    Mind you this is a trial to show Ab levels only. Hence the small numbers. Despite Pfizer telling us they can NOT show correlation of Ab levels to actual outcomes.

  16. Noone from Nowheresville

    The short national media clip they showed on local news tonight emphasized a Pan Corona (not Covid specific) shot, which Fauci said could take years to develop.

    Outside of that what was highlighted in the clip to me was that the worst was behind us and soon we’d be back to regular life. Sorry, can’t remember if the word normal was mentioned.

    An Omicron vaccine wasn’t mentioned in the short clip I saw. It might have been mentioned in the longer talk / question & answer session that clip came from.

  17. Dwight

    I happened to pass the Novavax factory in Maryland the other day. Made me wonder again why it hasn’t been approved. Assuming their technique works, seems like a precise dose of antigen, and people averse to the idea of “gene therapy” (rightly or not) might be more comfortable with moth doing the antigen production in a test tube, rather than their own cells being programmed to do it.

    1. Basil Pesto

      Novavax was actually approved for use by the Australian TGA a couple of weeks ago. Not sure what the situation is in the US.

  18. VietnamVet

    It is clear by now that they (who must not be identified such as the owner of the Washington Post) do not know what they are doing (i.e. cashing out of Amazon and going for a rocket ride). If they think they do know what they are doing, they are not telling us. But instead they are relying on messaging to cover it up.

    The primary corporate/state message today is that “mRNA vaccines save lives” is contradicted by the reported insurance data that indicates the deaths of middle age workers in Indiana last year increased by 40%. Confirmed deaths this week of the fourth surge surpasses the highest peaks of the first and third surges. Privatized US Healthcare is collapsing.

    My guess is that the Omicron mRNA vaccine is a last throw of the dice to milk the last bit of revenue before “Jackpot”. Omicron was identified on Nov. 24th in South Africa. In two months it became the predominate variant here in the USA. The B.1 variant is even more contagious.


    The Omicron variant is distinct from all of the other variant mutations. The vaccine going into testing probably will effective enough for the B.1 Omicron variant to get another Experimental Use Approval for the fifth Spring Surge.

    They simply cannot, will not, do public health.

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