This is an unprecedented time, a once in 100-year pandemic. A time for us to be level-headed, open-hearted, and focused on what we can do to protect ourselves, our families, our communities, and our country, and be kind to each other.
Source: Webinar "Health and Immunity: A Natural Perspective for a New Paradigm" by
Robert G. Silverman, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, MS, CCN, CNS, CSCS, CIISN, CKTP, CES, HKC, SASTM
It is best to act as if you have the infection and act to protect others!
This is also an opportunity to spend time with family, to take care of ourselves, to cook and cherish the people and things we love. The more we can face the threat to our health and to our economy with calm and kindness, the better able we will be to survive and thrive.
“Currently a lot of the care is focused on acute care, not on educating patients, protecting them, supporting them so that they never come to the hospital.”
Prof. Juliana Chan, director of the Hong Kong Institute of Diabetes and Obesity
We hope that the following information will help to bridge this gap.
- What is Covid-19?
- How High is the risk?
- Lifestyle & Nutrition
- Face Masks
- Take action
The WHO has produced this very easy to understand video which explains the basics.
Why Is It Called “Novel Coronavirus”?
The term “novel” means that we have never seen anything like this before. The rise and rapid spread of COVID-19 is still something we don’t know a lot about. The human population has no native immunity which means we are all susceptible.
While scientists, researchers, politicians, and the public try to learn more, we need to think about the ways that we can prevent it and what we can do to treat the possible spread of the virus throughout the world.
What I want to provide you with is the latest information, knowledge, news, and studies powering our discussion of COVID-19. That way you can know what to do, what to watch out for, and what matters when it comes to your health.
What are the symptoms?
Enter your text here...
How does the Covid-19 infect us?
This is a so-called RNA virus. Think it is just packed genetic information in a box. The genetic information enters one of our cells and hijacks these cells to multiply the virus. Once the cell has made the viruses, it dies and releases the newly made viruses into the body.
To make this happen, a certain enzyme is needed, a so called Polymerase. This enzyme seems to be very sensitive to zinc. The higher the zinc content in the cell, the less active this enzyme is and therefore the less infective the virus is for the cell, making less viruses.
A lack of Vitamin D and C makes us also more "attackable".
What is Incubation?
Incubation is the time in which the infection is active, but might not show symptoms. It is currently thought that the Covid-19 has an incubation time of up to 14 days.
The virus and remain infectious up to 2 days on surfaces [steel, plastic, cardboard]!
For this reason it is advised to self-isolate for at least 14 days and WASH YOUR HANDS whenever you touch something outside of your home!
Source: Immunabwehr Kongress 03,04,2020 (online, in German)
How long are affected people infectious?
How big is the problem?
COVID-19, the viral disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, is a global pandemic. Scientists estimate that 40% to 70% of our population will be affected.
Additionally, the mortality rate is much higher in people over 75 years old.
No doubt you will hear/see daily updates of the number of infected patients in your country. However, the number of true cases is likely a lot higher than the number of documented cases. This is due to [lack of] testing. If you don't test, you don't know.
The infection rate has died down over the summer but roared back in the fall It is easily transmissible and can survive on surfaces for up to 72 hours, some say longer. People are infectious and can transmit the virus from 2 days to 14 days after exposure.
Up to 80% of people infected have mild or no symptoms and up to 96% to 99% recover from the infection.
Are there any STUDIES to explain why people might be at higher risk?
It is always worth asking the WHY question. Why does the vast majority people have very little symptoms and others end up in hospital or even intensive care?
Someone under 65, not obese, and whose glucose control is good is unlikely to have as much increased risk.
Surely, there is not a single [simple] answer to this question and many different factors will contribute: Diet, nutrition, supplements, lifestyle, general immunity will all play a role.
A recent military study "Influenza vaccination and respiratory virus interference among Department of Defense personnel during the 2017–2018 influenza season" might shed some light on one of these factors.
The study showed that military personnel who received the flu vaccine had a 36 percent Increased Risk for coronavirus infection.
The flu vaccine is routinely given on the NHS to:
- adults 65 and over
- people with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
- pregnant women
- children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2019
- children in primary school
- frontline health or social care workers
But we should not forget that the "flu" is causing many deaths and having the flu vaccine might be the right choice for high-risk people.
Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show more than three-quarters of people who died from Covid-19 had at least one preexisting condition.
The most at risk are those with a chronic disease, those over 70 years old, health care workers, and those on immunosuppressive medicine (commonly used for autoimmune disease, cancer, and transplant rejections).
A Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology study mining 61 million medical records in the U.K. says 30% of Covid-19 deaths occurred in people with diabetes.
The risk of dying from Covid-19 was still almost three times higher for people with type 1 diabetes and almost twice as high for type 2, versus those without diabetes. Among people younger than 65 who died from the infection, about half had diabetes. Unless people with diabetes have their glucose under control,
Covid-19 poses much more danger to them than to other people because their bodies do not process glucose as well during illness, their immune response is weaker, and their circulation is impaired.
People with diabetes tend to live in a chronic inflammatory state, setting them up for a more severe inflammatory response to Covid-19 that can culminate in a life-threatening cytokine storm.
People with type 2 diabetes also have more ACE2 receptors in many tissues, including those lining blood vessels, opening many more doors to Covid-19 invasion. ACE2 is one receptor that the coronavirus’s spike protein uses to gain entry into cells.
“The organ systems that the virus targets are the same organ systems that are compromised in diabetic patients, so having both may have synergistic effects that push patients down a more severe disease trajectory,”
Prof. Janelle Ayres, Salk institute in La Jolla, California
Case reports from around the world even suggest, some people develop type 1 diabetes after their coronavirus infection clears.
“When we develop obesity, we have excess energy storage and the presence of that fat is inflammatory. And so once we get coronavirus infection, we are less able to mount an appropriate immune response because our immune system is already being set off in an inappropriate manner by the presence of obesity.”
Daniel Drucker, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute
Mt. Sinai Hospital, Toronto
Those with a chronic disease will face a greater threat. In some cases, they will be affected ten times more than the rest of the population, underscoring the need to protect this vulnerable group.
Source: Webinar "Health and Immunity: A Natural Perspective for a New Paradigm"
Robert G. Silverman, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, MS, CCN, CNS, CSCS, CIISN, CKTP, CES, HKC, SASTM
The John Hopkins University provides this very useful chart of the current reported cases of COVID-19. The numbers are - obviously - only as good as the testing performed in each country and real numbers are likely higher. .
Infection Fatality Rate
Many people get infected by Covid-19, but have no or little symptoms. What concerns is the number of people who do not survive the infection or have long-term health consequences.
A study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology (doi: 10.1007/s10654-020-00698-1) determined age-specific infection fatality rates (IFR) for COVID-19.
The researchers found an exponential relationship between age and IFR for COVID-19. The estimated age-specific IFR is very low for children and younger adults (e.g., 0.002% at age 10 and 0.01% at age 25) but increases progressively to 0.4% at age 55, 1.4% at age 65, 4.6% at age 75, and 15% at age 85.
Their results indicate that about 90% of the variation in population IFR across geographical locations reflects differences in the age composition of the population and the extent to which relatively vulnerable age groups were exposed to the virus.
The IFR varies significantly by country
It is interesting that the IFR varies significantly by country, which cannot be explained just by the age of the population (see above), but possibly by lifestyle choices.
Source: NPR 22.03.2020
There are currently no approved treatments other than supportive care with fluids, symptomatic care, and ventilators, if needed.
Although there’s no direct evidence that ibuprofen is harmful, some experts say not to use it to treat COVID-19 because it can make symptoms worse. This might be due to making the virus more sticky to the receptors and damaging the gut lining.
Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance
In October 2020, the FLCCC Alliance developed a prophylactic and early outpatient combination treatment protocol for COVID-19 called I-Mask+. It’s centered around Ivermectin, a well-known, FDA-approved anti-parasite drug that has been used successfully for more than four decades to treat onchocerciasis “river blindness” and other parasitic diseases. It is one of the safest drugs known.
This medication used for autoimmune disease. It is widely available as a generic medication, low in cost, and low in side effects. The recommended dose is 200 mg twice a day for 10 days.
This antiviral drug was developed for Ebola and is given only intravenously.
Convalescent plasma therapy
Antibodies from the blood of a recovered patient are extracted and given to those who are sick.
Cytokine blocking drugs (tocilizumab, sarilumab, etc.)
They can reduce the inflammatory storm that leads to death. Cytokines are inflammatory messenger molecules that can spin out of control with COVID-19.
In Cuba, they have developed a drug that can calm down an out of control inflammatory response. More data is needed but seems promising.
High dose intravenous vitamin C
In Wuhan doctors have been using high dose intravenous vitamin C for those who are sick and for those in the hospital. Nearly all patients with symptoms received 50-100 mg/kg/day for mild symptoms and 100-200 mg/kg/day for severe forms.
Most people who are hospitalized due to COVID-19, seem to experience breathing challenges. N-Acetyl Cysteine, is a mucolytic agent — which means that it can break down and thin mucus, allowing us to clear up congestion. It may also benefit other respiratory-related conditions. Additionally, it can support glutathione levels, which can block the replication of some viruses.
Take 1 capsule daily with a meal
A study examined several medicinal plant-derived compounds that maybe used to inhibit the COVID-19 infection pathway.
Kampherol was found to be the best amongst the tested medical plant compounds. Quercetin, luteolin-7-glucoside, demethoxycurcumin, naringenin, apigenin-7-glucoside, oleuropein, curcumin, catechin, and epicatechin-gallate were the most recommended compounds found in medicinal plants that may act as potential inhibitors of COVID-19 Mpro. However, further research is necessary to investigate the potential uses of the medicinal plants containing these compounds
Quercetin is found in many fruits and vegetables, with apples and onions contributing most to the typical UK diet. Each 500mg tablet provides significantly more quercetin than 1 kilo of apples. Quercetin is probably the most researched bioflavonoid as it is recognised as being more active in the body than most others.
COVID-19: The Quintessential Example of a Planetary Lifestyle Disease
Read this fascinating article written by
Jeffrey Bland, PhD, known to many as the “father of Functional Medicine”.
Extensive Physical Distancing
In order to get ill, you need to have the infectious organism AND you have to be receptive. So, the first step is to AVOID CONTACT WITH THE ORGANISM, IN THIS CASE COVID-19. This is best done - and now practised in more and more countries - via Extensive Physical Distancing.
Engage in real-time communication with loved ones. Those that are both with you in isolation and in your immediate network. Pick up the phone, call your mom, your sister, your cousin, anyone.
Don’t shake hands. Keep a 6-foot radius from others (unless they are healthy, uninfected people who live in your home). Cancel vacations, business trips. Restaurants, bars, schools, yoga classes, fitness clubs and more are shutting down. Work from home if you can.
Extensive Physical Distancing is the most effective way to reduce the spreading of the virus.
Self-quarantine means avoiding contact with other people as much as possible by staying at home or in your hotel.
You can still go outside for walks, runs or cycles on your own. But you should not spend time in close contact with other people.
Strengthen your Immune System
* SMASH fish: Salmon, Mackerel, Anchovies, Sardines, Hering
* EVOO: Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Let Food Be Your Medicine! Proper food = proper immunity
Avoid Gluten, Processed Foods, and Sugar.
- It has never been a better time to be[come] gluten free: No one food trigger!
- 300 kcal sugar decreases immune system by 50% for 2 hours!
- No dairy - makes mucous, one of the 3 top food triggers
It is a great time to check for food sensitivities!
Eat a whole foods, nutrient-dense diet. Our immune system relies on nutrient-dense whole foods to function well. Death from infections in the developing world is often not due to the infection itself but the body’s inability to fight it because of nutrient deficiencies.
“Nutrients play a vital role in the defense against infectious diseases and the regulation of inflammation.
Vitamin D deficiency was shown in 76% of patients and selenium deficiency in 42% of patients with COVID-19.
Among 12 patients with respiratory distress, 11 (91.7%) had one or more nutrient deficiency.”
We can all improve the quality of our diet. This is a great opportunity to cut sugar and starch which suppress the immune system.
Cut out sugar and refined starches. Now has never been a better time for a sugar and junk food detox. Studies have shown that refined sugars can suppress your immune system for hours after ingesting. Limiting starch and sugar will help your immune system function better and your overall health improves.
Ensure adequate protein intake. Protein is critical for immune function and protein malnutrition is a big risk factor for death from infections. Eat approximately 1 gram/kg or about half your body weight in grams of protein a day, Plant-based proteins (legumes, nuts/seeds) are adequate if consumed in enough quantity. Try tofu and tempeh from non-GMO soy for the highest protein concentrations.
Add garlic, onions, ginger, and lots of spices (oregano, turmeric, rosemary) to your meals! Add these to your soups and vegetable dishes, as well as bean dips and sauces. Garlic and onions offer wide spectrum antimicrobial properties.
Garlic is a plant has been used as a flavor, and anti-microbial and anti-diarrheal agent. Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is a coronavirus. A study from 2016 found that garlic extract had inhibitory effects on IBV.
Need some inspiration how to use garlic? Check out THIS WEBSITE
Eat multiple servings of colorful fruits and vegetables high in vitamins C, A, and phytonutrients that support the immune system. Choose more leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower), peppers, sweet potatoes, and squashes. Aim for 2 servings of fruits and 8 or more servings of vegetables! A serving is half a cup.
Eat fermented foods to support your microbiome and immunity. Eat sauerkraut, kimchi, natto, miso, tempeh, unsweetened yogurt, kefir. They also keep well.
Drink plenty of fluids, especially warmer fluids. Consuming adequate fluids supports all your bodies’ functions including the immune system. Make soups and broths (from scratch with fresh vegetables is always best) and have them throughout the week. Drink herbal teas like ginger and turmeric tea. Keep a bottle of filtered water with you at all times. Avoid concentrated fruit juices and sweetened beverages, as the sugar content is harmful for the immune system.
Get sufficient sleep!
We all know sleep restores and heals the body. Without adequate sleep, optimal immune function is next to impossible! Get in a better rhythm and head to bed earlier. Aim for seven to eight hours a night. Incorporating various relaxation and breathing techniques throughout the day to help with stress and allowing the mind to rest is also very helpful!
Get regular exercise. Mild to moderate exercise (for approximately 30-45 minutes) helps boost the immune system. Avoid overexertion such as training for endurance events when you are feeling run down. This will lower your immune defenses. If you are able to exercise outside in less populated areas, great. If not find workouts and yoga classes online. Try the 7-minute workout (see link above).
Practice meditation and yoga.
The data are clear. Increased levels of stress increase susceptibility to viral infections. In one study volunteers had cold viruses injected into their nasal passages. Only the ones who scored high on the stress questionnaire succumbed. Now is the time to learn meditation, double down on your practice, do yoga, take hot baths, do deep breathing, practice home massage with your loved ones.
Start a garden
If you live in an area with a lawn or some access to land, grow some of your own food.
If you haven't got a garden,here is a simple way to make your own one.
It has been studied that high temperatures and especially moist heat with water vapor can deactivate viruses effectively. Even at a temperature of 55-70 ° C (moist heat), the virus can be countered within a few minutes and thus there is a loss of infectivity via the destruction of the virus outer layer.
A study from 2016 found that the effect of short-term heat shock, e.g. sauna therapy as a stressful condition,could induce the expression of heat shock proteins that function as molecular chaperones to protect cells against multiple stresses, increasing the survival rate of influenza-infected mice.
Take any single use or fabric face mask, spray it lightly with colloidal silver just before you need to wear it, allow to air dry after spraying -- and voila! – you’ll be able to enjoy the infection-fighting protection of silver in your face mask without exorbitant cost.
You probably read articles that face masks can potentially increase your risk of getting ill. When they become moist they provide a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
There is a simple, inexpensive solution that should reduce your risk: Spray your masks with colloidal silver.
"Nanosilver coated particulate respirators with excellent antimicrobial activities can provide real-time protection to people in regions with severe air pollution against air-borne pathogens."
Environ. Sci. Technol. 2016, 50, 13, 7144–7151 | Publication Date:June 21, 2016
Supplements are an essential part of your defence strategy!
This is a link of the recommended supplements from the Institute of Functional Medicine. Just starting with a multivitamin, vitamin D3, vitamin C, zinc and fish oil is a great start.
Source: Webinar "Health and Immunity: A Natural Perspective for a New Paradigm"
Robert G. Silverman, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, MS, CCN, CNS, CSCS, CIISN, CKTP, CES, HKC, SASTM
Due to restrictions, we cannot deliver Lamberts supplements to Estonia. You might be able to source the supplements via their Estonian distributor, but the prices are considerably higher!
An All Rounder Multivitamin
This is the foundation for any health support regimen. It’s a good way to cover the basic vitamins and minerals your body needs for day-to-day functions. If you aren’t on a good multivitamin you should get and stay on one. Look for a high-quality, broad-spectrum multivitamin and mineral.
In the early literature, vitamin C deficiency was associated with pneumonia. A total of 148 animal studies indicated that vitamin C may alleviate or prevent infections caused by bacteria and viruses. Three controlled trials found that vitamin C prevented pneumonia. Two controlled trials found a treatment benefit of vitamin C for pneumonia patients. Two controlled trials found a statistically significant dose–response, for the duration of common cold symptoms, with up to 6–8 g/day of vitamin C. [Find the study from 2017 HERE]
We recommend 500-2000 mg per day with meals and snacks.
Omega-3 fatty acids
People's viral infections typically start and settle in the respiratory tract, where B cells (and T cells) form the first line of defense.
Results from a study from 2017 suggest that omega-3 DHA enhances a key aspect of immune function, in unique, previously unknown ways (Guesdon W et al. 2017). In this study, 0.5g EPA and 2.0g DHA per day showed enhancements in B cell responses, including higher production of immune-system messenger molecules.
Recommended intake: 3 capsules daily of Pure Fish Oil 1100 mg.
We recommend to start with 3000-5000 IU per day for an adult.
Adequate vitamin D status is critical for optimal immune function and this cannot be achieved without supplementation during the winter months. Studies have shown that people with vitamin D deficiency are 11 times more likely to get a cold or flu, while supplementing with vitamin D can reduce colds and flu by 42%.
The possible interactions between viral infections and vitamin D appear to be more complex than previously thought. Vitamin D, seems to induce a transient antiviral state by regulating the immune system. Cell culture experiments support the thesis that vitamin D has direct antiviral effects particularly against enveloped viruses.
It is best to get your levels of 25-OH vitamin D checked for accurate dosing. Many need 5,000 IU or more of vitamin D3 a day in the winter. Start with 2,000 IU for adults, 1,000 IU for children.
For this intervention to be effective, it should be done continuously, before the respiratory tract infection starts.
High-Dose Cholecalciferol Booster Therapy is Associated with a Reduced Risk of Mortality in Patients with COVID-19: A Cross-Sectional Multi-Centre Observational Study
A poor Vitamin D Receptor [VDR] restricts Vitamin D from getting in the cells. It appears that 30% of the population has a poor VDR. Vitamin D Receptor activation can be increased by any of: Resveratrol, Omega-3, Magnesium, Zinc, Quercetin, Curcumin, intense exercise, and Ginger.
WeI recommend taking up to 30 mg per day.for 2 weeks, then 15 mg per day. Too much Zinc can deplete your body of copper.
Zinc is an essential trace element that is crucial for growth, development, and the maintenance of immune function. Its influence reaches all organs and cell types and hundreds of key enzymes.
Seafood—especially oysters—red meat, and pumpkin seeds are the best food sources.
Zinc deficiency is strikingly common, affecting up to a quarter of the population in developing countries, but also affecting distinct populations in the developed world as a result of lifestyle, age, and disease-mediated factors.
Consequently, zinc status is a critical factor that can influence antiviral immunity, particularly as zinc-deficient populations are often most at risk of acquiring viral infections. An abundance of evidence has accumulated over the past 50 y to demonstrate the antiviral activity of zinc against a variety of viruses, and via numerous mechanisms.
The NIH notes that children and the elderly with zinc deficiency have been shown to be more vulnerable to pneumonia and other infections. The agency reports zinc allows the body to produce and activate T-cells (t-lymphocytes), which are some of the white blood cells that respond to infections.
A study from 2010 established that "Zinc Inhibits Coronavirus Activity and Block the Replication of These Viruses in Cell Culture". Importantly, the amount of ionic zinc present at the site of infection (oral and nasal mucosa) is highly correlated to the study outcome.and is dependent on the zinc formulation. At a physiological pH and 37°C, zinc gluconate for example, releases high amounts of ionic zinc, whereas zinc aspartate releases none. One study showed that zinc citrate is as well-absorbed as zinc gluconate but has a less bitter, more appealing taste.
Probiotics and Saccharomyces Boulardii
A healthy gut flora supports a healthy gut, a major barrier against pathogens and integral to the immune system. Look for brands that offer several species of good bacteria and contain at least 5-10 billion organisms per capsule. Lactobacillus plantarum and spore forms of Bacillus are the best for immunity.
Viral infections can lead to "leaky gut". The well-studied probiotic yeast S. boulardii plays a crucial role in the preservation and/or restoration of intestinal barrier function - being effective in the prevention and treatment of gut disorders. Another study confirms that probiotics "are a rational adjunctive options for the treatment of various viral diseases."
Secretory IgA is known as the respiratory and GI tracts’ first line of defense. It can prevent the adhesion of viruses and other pathogens from our respiratory and gut lining. Numerous studies have shown improved outcomes in various infections, as well as cancers and gut issues.
People with Hashimoto’s tend to have low secretory IgA (SIgA). This could be partially genetic (if you’re a non-secretor like I am), or due to infections you may have, or lifestyle factors (like stress and sleep deprivation).
S. Boulardii can help to boost Secretory IgA.
Echinacea is known as both antiviral and preventive. In addition, it has been shown as effective against the avian virus.
We know that it works through immune modulation and not simple immune stimulation. It is also known to be safe and effective for long-term use.
There is concern that Echinacea should not be used for children under the age of 12 - but these studies are not very strong.
In our experience, not all echinacea products work. We recommend this product.
Beta Glucan Complex
Research has shown that these compounds up-regulate the function of the innate immune system. This part of your immune system is the first line of defense against viruses and bacteria. It helps your white blood cells bind to and kill viruses and bacteria.
Note: Patients with autoimmune diseases should not take this.
What you should do
Based on advice gathered from previous coronavirus outbreaks, the WHO offers general guidance about how to prevent Wuhan virus infection:
The virus stays 12 hours alive on shoes. Keep your shoes outside!
.You can find further practical information HERE
The WHO is working in collaboration with scientists, business, and global health organizations through the ACT Accelerator to speed up the pandemic response. When a safe and effective vaccine is found, COVAX (led by WHO, GAVI and CEPI) will facilitate the equitable access and distribution of these vaccines to protect people in all countries. People most at risk will be prioritized.
Researchers are currently testing 64 vaccines in clinical trials on humans, and 20 have reached the final stages of testing. At least 85 preclinical vaccines are under active investigation in animals.
|Pfizer-BioNTech||mRNA||2,3||Approved in Canada, other countries.|
Emergency use in U.S., other countries.
|Moderna||mRNA||3||Approved in Canada.|
Emergency use in U.S., Israel.
|Gamaleya||Adenovirus||3||Early use in Russia.|
Emergency use in Belarus, Argentina.
|Oxford-AstraZeneca||Adenovirus||2,3||Emergency use in Britain, India, Argentina.|
Vaccines promise prevention in a shot (or two), but clinical trials will have to answer questions about how well they work in people with diabetes, given differences in immune function. There is some evidence in the scientific literature that flu vaccination is not quite as effective in older people with diabetes, or in people of any age with poorly controlled diabetes.
Some people are concerned about the safety of vaccines in general, whilst others are suspicious of the novelty and rapid turn-around time of COVID vaccines in particular.
What safety data are there?
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have undergone all three clinical trials and not found any serious side effects from their vaccines.
For the Pfizer vaccine, 195 people were recruited in the USA-based Phase I trial and 456 were included in the Germany-based Phase II trial. In both trials, nobody who received the vaccine had any serious side effects. Pfizer's Phase III trial has been published in a peer-reviewed journal and included over 40,000 volunteers in 152 sites worldwide.
In this trial, volunteers were divided into two groups. One group was given two placebo jabs 21 days apart, and one group the actual vaccine jabs. This means that in the end 18,566 people received the full 2 doses of the vaccine.
For 14 weeks after the second jab all 18,366 volunteers were assessed for side effects, both by surveys and taking blood samples. After the second jab, only 0.8 percent of them got a fever. More common symptoms were soreness at the injection site and sometimes sore muscles and headaches.
Professor Rick Kennedy from the Mayo Clinic explains that "the vast majority of the side effects seen were expected and are a direct result of the immune response to the vaccine. Side effects are similar to what has been seen with most other licensed vaccines and ore occurring at similar rates and with similar levels of severity (mostly mild and moderate)." No one in the study had a severe reaction to the vaccine.
An important factor is that this Phase III study included people from diverse backgrounds: 49 percent were female and 37 percent were black, African-American or Hispanic. On top of this, the study included people who may be at a higher risk level: 35 percent of participants were obese, 21 percent had at least one coexisting condition and the median age of the volunteers was 52.
The Moderna vaccine similarly included 120 people in their Phase I trial and 600 people in their Phase II trial. Although not all the data from the Phase III are available for the public yet (the approving agencies are given access), it included 30,000 people of diverse demographics and has not seen any severe side effects.
All of the above information is freely available for anyone to read. On top of this, the regulatory agencies that approved these two vaccines had access to much more data that cover not only the clinical trials but lab and animal studies. This information is often more than 10,000 pages long and is carefully examined by the FDA, MHRA and EMA.
Could there be risks with the Coronavirus Vaccine?
Some researchers are concerned about a potential drawback of a coronavirus vaccine due to a peculiar trojan horse mechanism known as Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE).
For a vaccine to work, our immune system needs to be stimulated to produce a neutralizing antibody, as opposed to a non-neutralizing antibody. A neutralizing antibody is one that can recognize and bind to some region (‘epitope’) of the virus, and that subsequently results in the virus either not entering or replicating in your cells.
A non-neutralizing antibody is one that can bind to the virus, but for some reason, the antibody fails to neutralize the infectivity of the virus. This can occur, for example, if the antibody doesn’t bind tightly enough to the virus, or the percentage of the surface area of the virus covered by the antibody is too low, or the concentration of the antibody is not high enough. There is some type of generic binding of the antibody to the virus, but it fails to neutralize the virus.
If a person harbors a non-neutralizing antibody to a virus, a subsequent infection by the virus can cause that person to elicit a more severe reaction to the virus due to the presence of the non-neutralizing antibody. This is called Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE), and is a common problem with Dengue Virus, Ebola Virus, HIV, RSV, and the family of coronaviruses.
This problem of ADE is a major reason why many previous vaccine trials for other coronaviruses failed. Major safety concerns were observed in animal models. If ADE occurs in an individual, their response to the virus can be worse than their response if they had never developed an antibody in the first place.
A neutralizing antibody can subsequently transition to non-neutralizing antibody when encountering a different strain of the virus.
The presence of the non-neutralizing antibody now directs the virus to infect cells of your immune system, and these viruses are then able to replicate in these cells and wreak havoc on your immune response.
This can cause a hyperinflammatory response, a cytokine storm, and a generally dysregulation of the immune system that allows the virus to cause more damage to our lungs and other organs of our body.
What this means is that you can be given a vaccine, which causes your immune system to produce an antibody to the vaccine, and then when your body is actually challenged with the real pathogen, the infection is much worse than if you had not been vaccinated.
There are many studies (in the reference section below) that demonstrate that ADE is a persistent problem with coronaviruses in general, and in particular, with SARS-related viruses.
A major trigger for ADE is viral mutation and Coronaviruses tend to mutate frequently.
“ADE “is a genuine concern,” says virologist Kevin Gilligan, a senior consultant with Biologics Consulting, who advises thorough safety studies. “Because if the gun is jumped, and a vaccine is widely distributed that is disease enhancing, that would be worse than actually not doing any vaccination at all.”” *)
Garber K. Coronavirus vaccine developers wary of errant antibodies. Nature Biotechnology. 2020 Jun 5.
Wan, Yushun, et al. “Molecular mechanism for antibody-dependent enhancement of coronavirus entry.” Journal of virology 94.5 (2020)
Yang, Zhi-yong, et al. “Evasion of antibody neutralization in emerging severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102.3 (2005): 797-801.
Ulrich, Henning, Micheli M. Pillat, and Attila Tárnok. “Dengue Fever, COVID‐19 (SARS‐CoV‐2), and Antibody‐Dependent Enhancement (ADE): A Perspective.” Cytometry Part A (2020).
Wang, Sheng-Fan, et al. “Antibody-dependent SARS coronavirus infection is mediated by antibodies against spike proteins.” Biochemical and biophysical research communications 451.2 (2014): 208-214.
Tseng C Te, Sbrana E, Iwata-Yoshikawa N, Newman PC, Garron T, Atmar RL, et al. Immunization with SARS coronavirus vaccines leads to pulmonary immunopathology on challenge with the SARS virus. PLoS ONE. (2012) 7:35421.
Tetro, Jason A. “Is COVID-19 receiving ADE from other coronaviruses?.” Microbes and infection 22.2 (2020): 72-73
Hohdatsu, Tsutomu, et al. “Antibody-dependent enhancement of feline infectious peritonitis virus infection in feline alveolar macrophages and human monocyte cell line U937 by serum of cats experimentally or naturally infected with feline coronavirus.” Journal of veterinary medical science 60.1 (1998): 49-55.
Leung, Hiu-lan, Nancy. Mechanism of antibody-dependent enhancement in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection (Thesis). The University of Hong Kong Libraries.
Yip, M. S., et al. “Antibody-dependent enhancement of SARS coronavirus infection and its role in the pathogenesis of SARS.” Hong Kong Med J 22.3 Suppl 4 (2016): 25-31.
Yip, Ming Shum, et al. “Antibody-dependent infection of human macrophages by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus.” Virology journal 11.1 (2014): 1-11.
Corapi, WAYNE V., C. W. Olsen, and FREDRIC W. Scott. “Monoclonal antibody analysis of neutralization and antibody-dependent enhancement of feline infectious peritonitis virus.” Journal of virology 66.11 (1992): 6695-6705.
Takano, Tomomi, et al. “Antibody-dependent enhancement of serotype II feline enteric coronavirus infection in primary feline monocytes.” Archives of virology 162.11 (2017): 3339-3345.
Yip, Ming S., et al. “Investigation of Antibody-Dependent Enhancement (ADE) of SARS coronavirus infection and its role in pathogenesis of SARS.” BMC Proceedings. Vol. 5. No. S1. BioMed Central, 2011.
Fierz, Walter, and Brigitte Walz. “Antibody dependent enhancement due to original antigenic sin and the development of SARS.” Frontiers in immunology 11 (2020).
Ricke, Darrell, and Robert W. Malone. “Medical countermeasures analysis of 2019-nCoV and vaccine risks for antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE).” Available at SSRN 3546070 (2020).
Jaume, Martial, et al. “Anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus spike antibodies trigger infection of human immune cells via a pH-and cysteine protease-independent FcγR pathway.” Journal of virology 85.20 (2011): 10582-10597.
Peron, Jean Pierre Schatzmann, and Helder Nakaya. “Susceptibility of the Elderly to SARS-CoV-2 Infection: ACE-2 Overexpression, Shedding, and Antibody-dependent Enhancement (ADE).” Clinics 75 (2020).
Yong, Chean Yeah, et al. “Recent advances in the vaccine development against Middle East respiratory syndrome-coronavirus.” Frontiers in microbiology 10 (2019): 1781.
Wang, Qidi, et al. “Immunodominant SARS coronavirus epitopes in humans elicited both enhancing and neutralizing effects on infection in non-human primates.” ACS infectious diseases 2.5 (2016): 361-376.
Olsen, CHRISTOPHER W., et al. “Monoclonal antibodies to the spike protein of feline infectious peritonitis virus mediate antibody-dependent enhancement of infection of feline macrophages.” Journal of virology 66.2 (1992): 956-965.
Hotez, Peter J., Maria Elena Bottazzi, and David B. Corry. “The potential role of TH17 immune responses in coronavirus immunopathology and vaccine-induced immune enhancement.” (2020).
Morens DM. Antibody-dependent enhancement of infection and the pathogenesis of viral disease. Clin Infect Dis. (1994) 19:500–12
Liu L, Wei Q, Lin Q, Fang J, Wang H, Kwok H, Tang H, Nishiura K, Peng J, Tan Z, et al. Anti‐spike IgG causes severe acute lung injury by skewing macrophage responses during acute SARS‐CoV infection. JCI Insight.2019;4(4):e123158.
de Alwis R, Chen S, Gan ES, Ooi EE. Impact of immune enhancement on Covid‐19 polyclonal hyperimmune globulin therapy and vaccine development. E BioMedicine 2020;55:102768.
Please note: the strategies above are meant to be combined with any of the other common sense and personalized recommendations you may get from your healthcare providers or local public health authorities,
This article is not intended to provide medical advice and any changes should be done in consultation with your healthcare provider.
We hope that this information helps you to
Stay Safe and Healthy!