According to a study that examined how informed consent is given to COVID-19 vaccine trial participants, disclosure forms fail to inform volunteers that the vaccine might make them susceptible to more severe disease if they’re exposed to the virus.
The study,1 “Informed Consent Disclosure to Vaccine Trial Subjects of Risk of COVID-19 Vaccine Worsening Clinical Disease,” published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, October 28, 2020, points out that “COVID-19 vaccines designed to elicit neutralizing antibodies may sensitize vaccine recipients to more severe disease than if they were not vaccinated.”
“Vaccines for SARS, MERS and RSV have never been approved, and the data generated in the development and testing of these vaccines suggest a serious mechanistic concern: that vaccines designed empirically using the traditional approach (consisting of the unmodified or minimally modified coronavirus viral spike to elicit neutralizing antibodies), be they composed of protein, viral vector, DNA or RNA and irrespective of delivery method, may worsen COVID-19 disease via antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE),” the paper states.
“This risk is sufficiently obscured in clinical trial protocols and consent forms for ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trials that adequate patient comprehension of this risk is unlikely to occur, obviating truly informed consent by subjects in these trials.
The specific and significant COVID-19 risk of ADE should have been and should be prominently and independently disclosed to research subjects currently in vaccine trials, as well as those being recruited for the trials and future patients after vaccine approval, in order to meet the medical ethics standard of patient comprehension for informed consent.”
What Is Antibody-Dependent Enhancement?
As noted by the authors of that International Journal of Clinical Practice paper, previous coronavirus vaccine efforts — for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) — have revealed a serious concern: The vaccines have a tendency to trigger antibody-dependent enhancement.
What exactly does that mean? In a nutshell, it means that rather than enhance your immunity against the infection, the vaccine actually enhances the virus’ ability to enter and infect your cells, resulting in more severe disease than had you not been vaccinated.2
This is the exact opposite of what a vaccine is supposed to do, and a significant problem that has been pointed out from the very beginning of this push for a COVID-19 vaccine. The 2003 review paper “Antibody-Dependent Enhancement of Virus Infection and Disease” explains it this way:3
“In general, virus-specific antibodies are considered antiviral and play an important role in the control of virus infections in a number of ways. However, in some instances, the presence of specific antibodies can be beneficial to the virus. This activity is known as antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of virus infection.
The ADE of virus infection is a phenomenon in which virus-specific antibodies enhance the entry of virus, and in some cases the replication of virus, into monocytes/macrophages and granulocytic cells through interaction with Fc and/or complement receptors.
This phenomenon has been reported in vitro and in vivo for viruses representing numerous families and genera of public health and veterinary importance. These viruses share some common features such as preferential replication in macrophages, ability to establish persistence, and antigenic diversity. For some viruses, ADE of infection has become a great concern to disease control by vaccination.”
Previous Coronavirus Vaccine Efforts Have All Failed
In my May 2020 interview above with Robert Kennedy Jr., he summarized the history of coronavirus vaccine development, which began in 2002, following three consecutive SARS outbreaks. By 2012, Chinese, American and European scientists were working on SARS vaccine development, and had about 30 promising candidates.
Of those, the four best vaccine candidates were then given to ferrets, which are the closest analogue to human lung infections. In the video below, which is a select outtake from my full interview, Kennedy explains what happened next. While the ferrets displayed robust antibody response, which is the metric used for vaccine licensing, once they were challenged with the wild virus, they all became severely ill and died.
The same thing happened when they tried to develop an RSV vaccine in the 1960s. RSV is an upper respiratory illness that is very similar to that caused by coronaviruses. At that time, they had decided to skip animal trials and go directly to human trials.
“They tested it on I think about 35 children, and the same thing happened,” Kennedy said. “The children developed a champion antibody response — robust, durable. It looked perfect [but when] the children were exposed to the wild virus, they all became sick. Two of them died. They abandoned the vaccine. It was a big embarrassment to FDA and NIH.”