Infectious disease expert explains why he thinks vaccines increase the chance of young people getting COVID
JEANNE SMITS for LIFESITE NEWS
Professor Didier Raoult suggests that enhancing antibodies could explain infections after COVID jabs.
Professor Didier Raoult, founder and director of the IHU (Institut hospitalo-universitaire Méditerranée Infection) of Marseille, France, suggested that COVID infections closely following the COVID jab could be due to enhancing antibodies, such as those that were observed during the development of dengue and other vaccines.
Raoult quoted various studies, including one by the IHU showing a flare-up of COVID infections in the three weeks after vaccination representing about 35 percent of all post-vaccinal infections, and then another flare-up three to four months later after immunity wanes.
The reason for this situation could be that it could take a lesser exposure to the virus in the weeks after the jab in order to develop a COVID infection than in other situations.
Raoult, who is one of the world’s most published specialists of infectious diseases, has been at loggerheads with the French government since the beginning of the COVID crisis, having said as early as February 2020 that early treatment with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin (and later, zinc) would drastically reduce the number of deaths associated with the diseases.
In his latest video-talk on the YouTube channel of the IHU, Raoult questioned the efficacy of the COVID vaccines, be they mRNA shots or traditional vaccines, presenting graphs that show that vaccination campaigns have never and nowhere held the epidemic in check.
He also underscored that the Omicron variant is not catered for by current vaccines that were developed for “other viruses.”
Omicron, he also said, is less lethal than the previous variants that caused “waves” of infection. In previous talks, Raoult made clear that these are not recurring waves of the same virus but successive epidemics of different mutated viruses.
Raoult compared the current variant with viruses responsible for the common cold: These can also kill, he said, when they infect the very frail or the very elderly. This is “unlike COVID, since we test all people including the asymptomatic nowadays,” he remarked.
The situation in France shows an unprecedented peak of “cases” with more than 322,000 “positives” on January 5th. Deaths remain relatively much lower than in the spring of 2021 and from November 2020 to April 2021. Is this thanks to the “vaccine” or to the fact that the new variants are less and less lethal?
Raoult has faced a series of disciplinary measures because of his outspokenness. In a recent procedure initiated by the “Ordre des Médecins,” the official regulatory body of medical doctors in France that can revoke licenses, he was “blamed” for having made public communications about hydroxychloroquine but not for having used it to treat COVID patients, stating that he had not infringed the code of public health in prescribing the drug or exposed his patients to “unjustified risks.”
He has also been able to remain at the head of the IHU despite attempts to force him to step down. Raoult may have chosen to exert caution regarding his public statements, but his New Year’s Day tweets were vigorous:
“Happy New Year to all of you including my friends and supporters of the IHU. Do not doubt, reason, our ally, will eventually triumph. I’m rested, in great shape, we will not lie down, I’m not afraid and I’m with you to face both the surprises of nature and the mistakes of those who are supposed to manage the crises. Good luck! For me, I do recoil from anything or anyone.”
One of Raoult’s maternal grandmothers was a descendant of a general in the army of the Vendée, the Catholic and royalist uprising against the French Revolution, Henri de la Rochejaquelein. It was in homage to this heritage that he led to the motto of the young general being engraved on the façade of the IHU: “if I advance, follow me; if I die, avenge me; if I recoil, kill me.”
Below is a near-complete transcript and translation by LifeSite of Raoult’s video-talk. It contains images of the charts mentioned during the talk. It concludes with words of caution about the current situation and the “temptation to impose, as with religions, as with the political religions of the beginning of the 20th century, a unique point of view, in the certainty of being right.”
The Omicron variant, as we see in many countries of the world, is taking over all the others and showing higher peaks than what we have had so far… For example, yesterday at the IHU there were more positive cases than we have had since the beginning of the epidemic.
It is extremely frequent and extremely common, and it is developing in a very considerable way, but in forms that are very benign compared to what we have seen before. Besides, just as I imagined, in the course of 2021 we had the end of the epidemic of what we called Marseille 4, which is the one that was born in France, and which was the most deadly of all that we have had, the most dangerous of all. Then we had the UK, which was later called Alpha, which was already less deadly, and then the Delta which was even less deadly, and now the Omicron which is even less deadly. So, as with many viruses that become mostly human-to-human transmission viruses, we have the impression that they are becoming more and more contagious, firstly because there are many healthy carriers, who are invisible, and secondly because it reaches children, which was not the case before: On the other hand, it is not very dangerous, there are fewer hospitalizations, fewer cases of intensive care, fewer deaths: out of nearly 2,000 cases now, there has been only one death, a very elderly person who had actually received three injections of the vaccine.
You must know that with the coronaviruses that already exist, the cases of coronaviruses that are said to be endemic, that are there all the time with us, there are parts in the world, especially in Africa where there are 5 percent to 8 percent of the people that are carriers and that have nothing at all. The Omicron variant is similar to what we have in France on the one hand with endemic coronaviruses and on the other hand with rhinoviruses, that is to say agents of the common cold – and among coronaviruses there are agents of the common cold – and these are not totally harmless in people who are otherwise fragile, elderly subjects… For example, with rhinoviruses – we published this with Philippe Colson – among those diagnosed at the IHU there was between 1 and 2 percent mortality. This is not entirely zero; obviously those who came with a rhinovirus to the hospital were the most severe cases, since people who were totally asymptomatic [didn’t come], unlike COVID, since we test all people including the asymptomatic nowadays. More than two thirds of people who come to the IHU to be tested are asymptomatic. We find a significant proportion of asymptomatic positives. This means that little by little this virus is being domesticated.
What you have to keep in mind is that these are not exactly the same viruses. The Omicron is not the Delta, it is not the Alpha, it is not the Marseille 4, which explains why a certain number of studies, and in particular the vaccine studies, are obsolete because they report protection against viruses that are no longer there and have been replaced by other viruses.
We have to keep in mind that SARS 2 or the covid-19 coronavirus is not an object. It is a virus for which there is a quantity of mutations and variants, and generally these variants die out; in any case it is what we see when they have accumulated a certain number of mutations, the variant in question disappears except if there is a branch of this variant which regains vitality and which starts to develop again.
Concerning vaccination, how effective is it against omicron?
There are two publications – I know that there are fact-checkers who will get very excited about this, I love it – on the vaccine protection for Omicron, in Eurosurveillance: one in Norway on a few cases but in a population that was fully vaccinated at 96 percent, and one in Denmark on 785 cases with a fully vaccinated status of 76 percent, and including boosters in 7 percent of the cases. Among these there were 34 who had had a previous infection, i.e. 4 percent, by another variant of the virus. So we can see, and this is a situation which is very comparable to ours, only one of these cases went into intensive care, and there were no deaths. In our country, it seems that the rate of vaccination among those for whom we have sufficient data is around 50 percent, so rather less vaccinated than what we see in Denmark or Norway, but of course this proportion of the vaccinated must be related to the general population of vaccinated people, and personally I do not know what it is among the people we test since it is something that we have not yet calculated.
What we find very interesting, and which confirms a first work we did and which is being published with my friend Pierre-Édouard Fournier, and which shows a probably significant underestimation of the number of post-vaccination infections, is that a very, very large part of the cases of infection after vaccination occurs in the two or three weeks just after the vaccine. For example, for Omicron, these post-vaccine infections represent about 35 percent [of total post-vaccine infections], and I think it’s very typical. For once the New England [Journal of Medicine] let a paper like that through, usually they don’t let them through, it was a Stanford paper that had shown that they had the same thing that we see here: in the first three weeks there’s 35 percent of the infection cases and that’s probably underestimated, because as they tell people, don’t worry if you get something within a week of the vaccinations, that’s the vaccine, in reality a lot of people get coronavirus infections right after the vaccine.
I’m going to try to outline the assumptions we have to account for that.
Afterwards there are fewer infections, and then they come back.
The same thing has been caricaturally published in the New England [NEJM] by the people who monitor health care workers in California, where they saw a flare-up of infections in the first 15 days, and then a second flare-up of infections that comes 3 to 4 months later.
My hypothesis is that it’s more likely that younger people have immediate infections and it’s more likely that older people have waning immunity. The reason that we think we have for this explanation is probably accounted for by enhancing antibodies, something that had been postulated since November 2020. That is, as we’ve seen in other situations, it’s been very, very, very well investigated for dengue, and it’s also been suggested for the respiratory syncytia virus: after vaccination or after infection you get a more severe infection, or as I’m thinking here, you get an infection with a lesser exposure. What we call the inoculum, the number of microbes or viruses needed to give the infection is lower if there are facilitating antibodies than if there are not.
With microbes or viruses, it is not yes or no: with just one you don’t get sick, but according to the terrain, according to the situation maybe you’ll need one hundred viruses, one thousand viruses or 10,000 viruses to be sick. We are unequal when faced with this situation. That’s why, since microbiology exists, in experimental models we call the lethal dose “50 per 100”, that is to say, how much it takes to kill half of the animals we test, mice in general. This means that it’s not enough to inject one microbe to kill it: the mouse doesn’t see it if you inject one microbe, you need a certain number of them, that’s the inoculum. So it’s the level of exposure that explains the transmissibility. In children, for example, we know that when children cough and have the flu, they cough up much more virus than adults – I am talking about the flu here, I am not talking about coronavirus for which I do not know. In the case of influenza, children are more contagious because they cough up more virus.
This is probably, or at least could be, explained by this, and therefore it is possible, it is a hypothesis that we are looking at, that people who have very early infections after the vaccine are young people who have a very good immunity, and in immunity there are several phases: the almost immediate immunity where the antibodies are rather of IgM or IgA type which disappear after 2 months, 3 months, or decrease very strongly, and thus those decrease, and then the neutralizing antibodies, that is to say those which prevent the multiplication, prevail over the enhancing antibodies, and we have this window, and then we have a decrease of the entire immune response, which means that it’s at this moment, if we have to give a booster, that we should give it.
This is the current data, but it should include the fact that Omicron is much less sensitive to the vaccine which was prepared for other viruses, this is not a surprise, and I have been saying it for a long time.
And for the vaccines in general, what proof of effectiveness do we have?
It’s complicated. We are trying to verify this here, but we have to look at the data to see what is happening between European, Euro-American and Russian vaccines, DNA and mRNA vaccines, versus traditional vaccines, i.e. Chinese vaccines and some Indian vaccines. I always have here on my screen the situation by Johns-Hopkins, and we cannot say that we see (…) that the epidemic is being checked by the vaccine. There are virtually no cases of epidemic control using DNA or RNA vaccine. Zero. It’s just not true. Maybe because of the variants, maybe because there’s an outbreak of infections right after vaccination. And so there’s some thinking to be done but in any case, as regards the epidemic, vaccination does not contain the epidemic. But you see in any case in France and in a certain number of other countries, there are more cases but there are fewer deaths proportionally. So it’s true and many studies confirm this, that mortality is decreased in vaccinated people compared to non-vaccinated people. It’s not absolute, but there is a certain efficiency for people who are sensitive to this and who risk dying with this disease. This effectiveness is not total, but relative. We don’t know yet what it is in relation to omicron, we shall see. But in any case in the previous variants there was a relative protection against death and ending up in intensive care which was established in several places, and we found the same thing. I think it’s real.
Now the question that arises from these data, when we have these two data, that is to say: there are more and more cases, it doesn’t control the epidemic, but there are fewer deaths, we are led to think: what do we do with this vaccine? There is a wonderful work that has just been put online by (John) Ioannidis – I don’t always agree with him but he is extremely intelligent, he is the most quoted of all the epidemiologists in the world – he shows two things, which is that the rich countries have managed this epidemic rather less well than the others. They have more deaths, and that’s significant. It’s interesting to see that in countries that have an average level of wealth, the mortality is frankly lower, it’s about 0.2 to 0.3 percent, than in countries that are wealthy where the average is 3 percent. So there is something really important that is happening and that we can see on these charts that came from World in Data. If you look at the number of cases, without even looking at the mortality, you have here the rich countries and there the whole world, and there the poor countries (the number of cases explodes in rich countries). And that’s where the vaccination coverage is the highest in the world. In all these countries, if you add up the total vaccination coverage, you have more than 80 percent in all these rich countries. We must not forget that we have now injected more than 9 billion doses of vaccine in the world, more than one on average per human being, and most of them in the very rich countries. Still, the infection is not contained, and why are there more deaths? One of the reasons why there are more deaths, it’s not the only one, is that we have been providing much less primary care in the rich countries where it seems that the doctor has been taken out of the management of the disease, this is something that I have argued against and that has caused me a lot of trouble. It is the doctors who should take care of the patients, this cannot be managed with a computer with people who make models or mathematics, it requires care.
Secondly, we have an elderly population and we know very well that in the population in France in 2020 where we have the whole data, half of the people who died were in EHPADs (nursing homes): the target is the elderly. Ioannidis took all the analyses that are available in the whole world: mortality in the 0- to 19-year-old group is 0.0013 percent, and of course it increases with age, and beyond the age of 85 it is absolutely considerable. It is well known that it is from the age of 60, perhaps from 50 for those who are really very worried, that the vaccination will have an effect. Of course, there will always be exceptional cases because there are genetic anomalies; unfortunately, there was a child who died in Marseille, this exists because we are different individuals, our susceptibility is different and we do not always know the reasons for this susceptibility. But it represents something very small, which needs to be compared; the effects of the vaccine should be compared to the protection of the vaccine, it’s an individual benefit risk that we can calculate now, based on what we know of the mortality associated with an age group of a given variant and the mortality or serious accidents, in particular cardiac accidents which are most frequent in young subjects, to know if we really help people individually by vaccinating them or not. But at the collective level, we must be clear, there is no evidence that the epidemic is currently controlled by vaccines. We must not believe what the press says, the press tells the truth of the day: if the epidemic decreases it is thanks to the vaccine and if it increases it is not its fault, or because it is necessary to make a second or a third or a fourth injection. We cannot keep on playing like that.
And by the way, in an interesting way, I would like to remind you of the WHO statements: clearly now the WHO says that there will be no control of this epidemic by vaccination, first; and second: vaccination in children is not justified. I am not alone in saying this, this is what the WHO says. I think we have to be reasonable…
At the moment, people probably lack religion, but the vaccine has become a religion, it is that violent: there are militants, priests, there are people who say that those who don’t take the vaccine are murderers, one has the impression that it is a war of religion that has sprung up. Instead, we should look at whether things work or not and we have the right to change our minds. The same happened with hydroxychloroquine: a study has just been published on French hospital practitioners, more than 400, asking them if they had used hydroxychloroquine in covid. One out of two of them said yes, and in particular those who had already used it for other indications. From one day to the next after the Lancetgate that came out on a Friday, the minister said that as of Saturday, it should be stopped, from that day on, no one prescribed it. And yet we know that it was a fake.
This provides a reflection regarding our society: you can manipulate the whole world with something of which you know it’s fake. It’s incredible. It is unheard of. There is not a spy in the world who would have hoped to do a thing like that – how is it possible? And in this case, you have the president of the scientific council, who is also the president of the ethics council, who advises the president of the scientific council, who is the same one who advises the ministers, which is a conflict of interest and competencies that has now become typical of this country, who tells him that there is no problem, you can vaccinate children. And this is the same guy that I know well, who has done 5 papers on hydroxychloroquine, 5 international publications, who had never noticed with several hundred cases that there had ever been the slightest of cardiac accidents.
The difference is not between me and the others, it resides in this enthusiasm: reality does not matter anymore. It is a conviction, something that has been developed philosophically, including by the former chairman of the Scientific Council of Sciences Po [an elite college that forms future politicians and top administrators], who said that between reality and the goal, it is the goal that must dominate over reality. This is what he taught all the people at Sciences Po. So data is less important than what you are concerned with. It’s extraordinary, it’s one of the most quoted papers in the world. Every time you say something, or you notice something, or you really talk about science, it’s not about your convictions – I don’t have many convictions, I don’t make money either way, I don’t care, what I care about is that we learn something and that it’s useful, now and in the future. So it’s knowledge versus belief. Belief is one thing: it is not the field in which I work. I have my beliefs, but I don’t share them with you, any more than I share my political opinions with you.
We find ourselves in a somewhat strange situation, which already existed during the Second World War, in which it is the people of the extreme left and the nationalists who fight for freedom. Marx said: history repeats itself the first time like a drama, the second time like a farce. I have a feeling that we are seeing this. We see the extremes of today fighting for freedom and those who were liberals are fighting for compulsion. It goes back to the same story Voltaire told when he talked about the English and balance. When you look at the vaccine on the Public Health England website, it starts by saying that it’s not part of England’s mores to make vaccinations mandatory, so there are no mandatory vaccinations in England.
So it’s not science, it’s a world view that people have to obey because “I know it’s good for you.” And we have to be careful about that because we know where it leads. When you believe that you know what is good for people, in spite of the evidence, when you are no longer able to distinguish between the facts and your own opinions, then you are in a dangerous business. And so you have to be careful, it goes with this idea that you have to censor what you see, every time someone starts reporting data that doesn’t go entirely in the direction of the official mainstream, you have to censor yourself, whether it’s by one means or another, and honestly what we’ve been going through with the IHU lately, it’s an attempt at censorship, it’s to prevent me from doing what I’m doing, reporting data, trying to prevent me from reporting it.
For the moment I am still here and I think that we have to be very, very careful: this crisis is revealing temptations that we have already seen in the past, to impose, as with religions, as with the political religions of the beginning of the 20th century, a unique point of view, in the certainty of being right. Nobody is completely right: there is no transcendent and absolute truth in the field of science, and in the field of knowledge, knowledge changes, evolves, and we must adapt to the evolution of this knowledge. This leads us to think that indeed, when we are faced with a new disease, to predict what it is going to become, is witchcraft.
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