Is Omicron the “Scrooge” or Could it be the “Ideal” Variant to Put an End to the Pandemic?

Although Omicron is now 73% of all new cases in the US[1],  I don’t feel we need to press the panic button. I have some hypotheses on the emergence of the Omicron variant that could put the brakes on the doom and gloom scenario we are all being fed.

Photo from the Hollywood Mirror

According to a study published on December 16th, authored by more than 20 scientists at Columbia and the University of Hong Kong, a striking feature of the Omicron variant is the large number of spike mutations that pose a threat to the efficacy of current COVID-19 vaccines, vaccine boosters and antibody therapies.[2] The scientists express concern that the variant’s “extensive” mutations can “greatly compromise” the vaccine, even neutralizing it. The report said the booster shots prevent some of the neutralization, but the variant “may still pose a risk” for those with their third shot. “Even a third booster shot may not adequately protect against Omicron infection,” the study said.

Omicron is spreading faster than previous variants of the novel coronavirus with the virus now in at least 90 countries since it first appeared in South Africa last month. Therefore, the Omicron variant could “out compete” other variants, including the more dangerous Delta variant – thus becoming the dominant variant. However, Omicron infections seem to be less severe and hospitalization and death nowhere near the rates of the other variants. Early reports suggest South Africa were reporting that people testing positive are presenting with mild symptoms: “In fact, they said, most of their infected patients were admitted for other reasons and have no Covid symptoms.” In other words, most of these patients had evidence of infection with SARS-CoV-2 but did not have COVID-19.[3]

What about Africa and Omicron?

There is something “mysterious” going on in Africa that is puzzling scientists, said Wafaa El-Sadr, chair of global health at Columbia University. “Africa doesn’t have the vaccines and the resources to fight COVID-19 that they have in Europe and the U.S., but somehow they seem to be doing better,” she said. Fewer than 6% of people in Africa are vaccinated.

“I think there’s a different cultural approach in Africa, where these countries have approached COVID-19 with a sense of humility because they’ve experienced things like Ebola, polio and malaria,” Sridhar said.

In past months, the coronavirus has pummeled South Africa and is estimated to have killed more than 89,000 people there, by far the most deaths on the continent. But for now, African authorities, while acknowledging that there could be gaps, are not reporting huge numbers of unexpected fatalities that might be COVID-19 related. WHO data shows that deaths in Africa make up just 3% of the global total. In comparison, deaths in the Americas and Europe account for 46% and 29%.

In Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, the government has recorded nearly 3,000 deaths so far among its 200 million population. The U.S. records that many deaths every two or three days.[4]

Why Some Viruses Can Be Good

Not all viruses are bad, and perhaps the Omicron variant could actually help us to overcome the pandemic. Omicron, like some viruses, can actually fight against more dangerous viruses and more dangerous COVID-19 variants such as the Delta variant. Keep in mind that viruses typically evolve to become less lethal over time. Like wolves domesticated into dogs, disease-causing viruses seem to become tamer in an effort to survive. The reasoning goes that, sooner or later, SARS-CoV-2 must “lose its fangs and become as boring as the common cold”.[5]

Generally, like protective bacteria (probiotics), we have several protective viruses in our body. I am a believer in hormesis and building adaptive response/immunity. For example, viral infections at a young age are important to ensure the proper development of our immune system.  Yet, we keep believing we should vaccinate against everything that poses a threat, even if the threat is mild. We should vaccinate when we have a real threat, and we have proven, non-leaky, and safe vaccines. But this should still be a personal decision and based on a multitude of factors; such as the frail and elderly. Elderly individuals are the most susceptible to an aggressive form of COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2. 

In some cases, latent (non-symptomatic) herpes viruses can help human natural killer cells (a specific type of white blood cell) identify cancer cells and cells infected by other pathogenic viruses. They arm the natural killer cells with antigens (a foreign substance that can cause an immune response in the body) that will enable them to identify tumor cells.[6]

Researchers working in Uganda said they found COVID-19 patients with high rates of exposure to malaria were less likely to suffer severe disease or death than people with little history of the disease.

If the Omicron variant is truly as transmissible as the say and significantly less harmful – some reports say 1/10 as strong – should we be afraid of it?

The main part of my personal practice is supporting people with cancer, and there are many situations where approaching cancer with low-dose metronomic chemotherapy yields significantly better results than standard-of-care high dose chemotherapy. In Oncology, systemic chemotherapies typically use the maximum tolerated dose to cause maximum tumor cell death. However, this paradigm has been challenged, particularly in older people and those who have reoccurring cancer, by theoretical models of tumor evolution, which suggest that removal of all cells that are sensitive to chemotherapy permits unopposed proliferation of any remaining resistant cells — a phenomenon called ‘competitive release’. Competitive release applies to viruses and different mutations and occurs when one of two species competing for the same resource disappears, thereby allowing the remaining competitor to utilize the resource more fully than it could in the presence of the first species.

Based on this model, an evolution-based treatment strategy that maintains a residual population of chemotherapy-sensitive cells should suppress growth of resistant cells when therapy is withdrawn, as the drug-sensitive cells have a fitness advantage in this condition.

A 2016 study designed an evolution-based treatment strategy using taxol (paclitaxel) adaptive therapy (AT), and compared this with standard taxol therapy (ST) in orthotopic xenograft mouse models of triple-negative and estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Two AT regimens were tested: AT-1, which maintains dosing frequency, but decreases paclitaxel dose as a tumor responds, and AT-2, which uses the same doses of paclitaxel, but doses are skipped when a tumor has responded. The treatment algorithms relied on tumor volume measurements determined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), as this could be used clinically.

In both mouse models, ST initially suppressed tumor growth, but exponential growth resumed following treatment cessation. AT-1 had the same effect as ST initially but was able to maintain a stable tumor burden similar to the initial tumor volume throughout the experiment (∼2 months). This allowed continued reduction of the paclitaxel dose, and eventually treatment withdrawal in some cases. Interestingly, AT-2 controlled tumor volume for longer than ST, but unlike AT-1, tumors treated using AT-2 eventually progressed. A direct comparison between AT-1 and AT-2 indicated that AT-1 provided better tumor growth control.[7]

The failure to trigger an effective adaptive immune response in combination with a higher pro-inflammatory tonus may explain why the elderly do not appropriately control viral replication and the potential clinical consequences triggered by a cytokine storm, endothelial injury, and disseminated organ injury.[8]

Perhaps the best approach would be to implement strategies, such as herbal medicine and nutritional compounds, including Zinc, Vitamin D, Quercetin, Selenium and an immune health-promoting diet, which provides a diverse and robust GUT microbiota.  This would be a sensible, cost-effective, approach that supports and optimizes innate health and the immune response.  

Dysregulation of the gut microbiota (gut dysbiosis) is an important risk factor as the gut microbiota is associated with the development and maintenance of an effective immune system response.[9] The elderly have a significantly increased susceptibility to infections and it has been reported that probiotic bacteria from the genus bifidobacterium can enhance certain aspects of cellular immunity in the elderly.[10] The best places to find this beneficial bacterium are yogurt, probiotics like kefir, or sauerkraut.

Selenium is a trace mineral which is deficient in many people. It plays an important role in free radical scavenging, targeting oxidative damage, a major factor in the COVID-19 “cytokine storm,” which is the immune response with an overproduction of cytokines and other immune cells that can lead to a rapid multi-organ failure and damage to the lungs, heart and kidneys.[11]  Animal studies show that selenium with ginseng stem/leaf saponins increase the immune response against infectious bronchitis causes by a live coronavirus vaccine.[12]

This may provide all those infected by SARS-CoV-2, to develop a milder disease and help them to clear the virus through an efficient adaptive immune response. With a milder form of COVID-19, being infected by the Omicron variant could be the path to building natural immunity which builds effective immune memory that can persist for decades and typically results in enhanced responses and accelerated pathogen control, and a generation of robust and durable T and B cell alike;[13] and this goes beyond the detection of antibodies. The absence of specific antibodies in the serum does not necessarily mean an absence of immune memory.[14] 

Wishing a Joyous Christmas, Winter Solstice, belated Chanukah, and a Happy New Year to you and our world. May our prayers be our words in deeds, and may our earth be made very peaceful because of each of us.


[1] https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/96309?xid=nl_covidupdate_2021-12-21&eun=g1065123d0r&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DailyUpdate_122121&utm_term=NL_Gen_Int_Daily_News_Update_active

[2] Lihong Liu, Sho Iketani, Yicheng Guo, Jasper Fuk Woo Chan, Maple Wang, Liyuan Liu, Yang Luo, Hin Chu, Yiming Huang, Manoj S. Nair, Jian Yu, Kenn Ka-Heng Chik, Terrence Tsz-Tai Yuen, Chaemin Yoon, Kelvin Kai-Wang To, Honglin Chen, Michael T. Yin, Magdalena E. Sobieszczyk, Yaoxing Huang, Harris H. Wang, Zizhang Sheng, Kwok-Yung Yuen, David D. Ho; Striking Antibody Evasion Manifested by the Omicron Variant of SARS-CoV-2, preprint doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.12.14.472719

[3] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Glossary, Principles in Epidemiology in Public Health Practice, Third Edition, reviewed July 2, 2014, accessed December 17, 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/csels/dsepd/ss1978/glossary.html.

[4] MARIA CHENG and FARAI MUTSAKA, November 18, 2021·6 min read, Cheng reported from London. Rahim Faiez in Islamabad, Pakistan, and Chinedu Asadu in Lagos contributed to this report. https://sports.yahoo.com/why-double-mask-prevent-covid-235151606.html?utm_source=spotim&utm_medium=spotim_recirculation

[5] https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/covid-19/do-bad-viruses-always-become-good-guys-end, Jonathan Jarry M.Sc. | 18 Dec 2021, COVID-19, Do Bad Viruses Always Become Good Guys in the End?, McGill University

[6] https://theconversation.com/viruses-arent-all-nasty-some-can-actually-protect-our-health-117678, 08/2019, retrieved 12/16/2021

[7] Seton-Rogers, S. Preventing competitive release. Nat Rev Cancer 16, 199 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrc.2016.28

[8] Cunha LL, Perazzio SF, Azzi J, Cravedi P, Riella LV. Remodeling of the Immune Response With Aging: Immunosenescence and Its Potential Impact on COVID-19 Immune Response. Front Immunol. 2020 Aug 7;11:1748. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.01748. PMID: 32849623; PMCID: PMC7427491.

[9] Chen J, Vitetta L, Henson JD, Hall S. The intestinal microbiota and improving the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccinations. J Funct Foods. 2021 Dec;87:104850. doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2021.104850. Epub 2021 Nov 10. PMID: 34777578; PMCID: PMC8578005.

[10] Chiang, B. L., Sheih, Y. H., Wang, L. H., Liao, C. K., & Gill, H. S. (2000). Enhancing immunity by dietary consumption of a probiotic lactic acid bacterium (Bifidobacterium lactis HN019): Optimization and definition of cellular immune responses. European Journal

[11] Chen C, Zhang XR, Ju ZY, He WF. (2020). Advances In The Research Of Cytokine Storm Mechanism Induced By Corona Virus Disease 2019 And The Corresponding Immunotherapies. Zhonghua Shao Shang Za Shi (Chinese Journal of Burns), 36(0), E005. doi: 10.3760/cma.j.cn501120-20200224-00088. http://rs.yiigle.com/yufabiao/1183285.htm

[12] Ma X, Bi S, Wang Y, Chi X, Hu S. Combined Adjuvant Effect Of Ginseng Stem‐Leaf Saponins And Selenium On Immune Responses To A Live Bivalent Vaccine Of Newcastle Disease Virus And Infectious Bronchitis Virus In Chickens. Poult Sci. 2019;98:3548‐3556. https://doi.org/10.3382/ps/pez207

[13] Jarjour NN, Masopust D, Jameson SC. T Cell Memory: Understanding COVID-19. Immunity. 2021;54(1):14-18. doi:10.1016/j.immuni.2020.12.009

[14] Cox RJ, Brokstad KA. Not just antibodies: B cells and T cells mediate immunity to COVID-19. Nat Rev Immunol. 2020 Oct;20(10):581-582. doi: 10.1038/s41577-020-00436-4. PMID: 32839569; PMCID: PMC7443809.

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Updates on Ivermectin, Transmission, Natural Immunity and Herbal Medicine

The Covid-19 pandemic has now been with us for close to two years and shows no signs of ever being completely extinguished. Many epidemiologists believe that the virus is here to stay, in the same way that the seasonal flu and common cold are also part of our lives. My belief is that continuing attempts to eradicate the virus through vaccination are not the best way to deal with an ever-changing target. Viruses continually mutate, and I believe our best approach to staying healthy is to bolster our innate immunity, and when necessary, to employ treatments with minimal side effects.

Recent Paper on Ivermectin Ignores Positive Studies

I believe that Ivermectin has been maligned and misunderstood as a prophylactic and treatment for Covid-19. On October 29th 2021, Medscape published a paper titled “Re-Analysis, Ivermectin Benefits Disappeared as Trial Quality Increased.

This what the paper reports:

For the re-analysis, Andrew Hill, PhD, of the University of Liverpool in England, and colleagues included 12 studies with 2,628 participants, and assessed them for bias. Overall, four studies had a low risk for bias, four studies had moderate risk, three studies were at high risk for bias, and one was potentially fraudulent.

Taken at face value, the overall meta-analysis found a 51% increase in survival with ivermectin (P=0.01), but excluding the potentially fraudulent trial, ivermectin’s benefit fell to 38% and was of borderline significance (P=0.05), they reported.

Taking out the studies with a high risk of bias led to a further drop — down to a nonsignificant 10% increase in survival (P=0.66), they noted. Further removing studies with a moderate risk of bias took the benefit down to 4% (P=0.9).”[1],[2]

The bottom line is that they took 4 studies out of a total of 12, where ivermectin had the least impact, and said they were the ones without bias. Yet they give no details as to how they came to this conclusion. They also added two studies on remdesivir, with a total of 6 studies that actually referred to ivermectin, and again ignored the now close to 100 studies on ivermectin and Covid. 

My two recent papers, “Ivermectin and COVID-19 – Revision”[3] and “Ivermectin as a Prophylactic and Treatment for COVID-19”[4] highlight almost 40 studies, all of which show benefit. Why were none of these studies included?

Vaccines Have Little Effect against Delta Variant Transmission

Based on six new studies, people that are vaccinated appear to shed and spread Covid-19 Delta as much, or possibly even more, than the unvaccinated. 

Study 1: This study found comparable viral loads among vaccinated vs. non-vaccinated healthcare workers (HCWs) infected by variant Delta B.1.1.7, suggesting suboptimal protection of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines against new variants as compared to wild-type SARS-CoV-2.

Among all 55 PCR-positive HCWs, 24 (44%) had received at least one dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine, and 21 were fully vaccinated (diagnosed with COVID- 19>2 weeks after the second dose). The three individuals that had one dose had received it 11, 20 and 22 days before the positive PCR result. In 23 of 24 positive HCW, PCR showed the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 variant, in one single subject the B.1.177 variant. Up till May 12, only 2 HCWs required hospitalization, both of which were not vaccinated. Vaccinated (with at least one dose) HCWs did not differ significantly compared to non-vaccinated HCWs in regard to age, gender and epidemiological exposures.[5]

Study 2: This recent study (D. W. Eyre et al. preprint at medRxiv; 2021)[6] looked directly at how well vaccines prevent the spread of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2.  It showed that people infected with Delta are less likely to pass on the virus if they have already had a COVID-19 vaccine than if they haven’t.  However the protective effect of the vaccine is small, and dwindles alarmingly over time.

In this study, researchers analyzed testing data from 139,164 close contacts of 95,716 people infected with SARS-CoV-2 between January and August 2021 in the United Kingdom, when the Alpha and Delta variants were competing for dominance. Although vaccines did offer some protection against infection and transmission, Delta dampened that effect. A vaccinated person who had a ‘breakthrough’ Delta infection was almost twice as likely to pass on the virus as was someone who was infected with Alpha. And the vaccines effect on Delta transmission waned to almost negligible levels over time.

The results “possibly explain why we’ve seen so much onward transmission of Delta despite widespread vaccination,” says co-author David Eyre, an epidemiologist at the University of Oxford, UK.[7]

Study 3: Data released August 6th, 2021, by the CDC showed that vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant can carry detectable viral loads similar to those of people who are unvaccinated. The study stated, “Among five COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized, four were fully vaccinated; no deaths were reported. Real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) cycle threshold (Ct) values in specimens from 127 vaccinated persons with breakthrough cases were similar to those from 84 persons who were unvaccinated, not fully vaccinated, or whose vaccination status was unknown (median = 22.77 and 21.54, respectively).”[8]

Study 4: Ireland’s Waterford city district has emerged as the place with the highest rate of Covid-19 infection, despite the fact that it has the highest rate of vaccination in the Republic. The city’s south electoral area has a 14-day incidence rate of 1,486 cases per 100,000 of the population, three times the national average which stands at 493 infections per 100,000 people. Waterford has 99.7 per cent of its adult population fully vaccinated.[9]

Study 5: Singapore, with 82% of its population of 5.7 million fully vaccinated, was once believed to have passed the threshold for herd immunity. But it’s now seeing a surge in Covid-19 cases. In the month of October, Singapore reported record high cases since late September, with more than 2,900 new infections on Oct. 1.

Prior to this wave, the highest single-day total was 1,426 reported in April 2020.[10]

Study 6: A new study, which appears in The Lancet Infectious Diseases Trusted Source,[11] has found that vaccination alone is not enough to stop the household transmission of the Delta variant.

What we have learned so far is thatthe peak viral load of the Delta virus does not differ between fully vaccinated and nonvaccinated individuals. Also, the elimination of the Delta strain of the virus takes place more quickly in vaccinated individuals.

Natural Immunity and Covid-19 Update

While a much-publicized CDC report concluded that mRNA vaccination provides stronger protection against COVID-19 hospitalization than prior infection, there were several study limitations, including that it was not a randomized controlled trial and that the follow-up period was short. The findings also don’t negate the robust protection from prior infection which many studies have now confirmed. In fact, in a recent CDC science report[12] that reviews the totality of evidence, agency staff found that infection-induced immunity is durable for at least 6 months.

“Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Health System conducted a study of 52,238 employees with and without a history of COVID-19, with or without vaccination. They found that those who recovered from COVID-19 and were vaccinated had equally low rates of repeat infection when compared with those who recovered and were unvaccinated. The investigators concluded that those previously infected were unlikely to benefit from COVID-19 vaccination.[13] In another study looking at the duration of immunity among the COVID-19-recovered, researchers found that the immune response against SARS-CoV-2 was persistent and relatively stable for at least a year.”[14]

Multiple studies also show that people who have recovered from COVID-19 are at least equally protected compared to fully vaccinated COVID-naive people.[15] This recent meta-analysis included nine clinical studies, including three randomized controlled studies, four retrospective observational cohorts, one prospective observational cohort, and a case-control study.

A new study, published in the November 2021 issue of the prestigious Lancet Journal, highlights protective immunity after recovery from SARS-CoV-2 infection. According to the review, an overwhelming amount of research confirms those who have natural immunity are well protected. Several studies have found that people who recovered from COVID-19 and tested seropositive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies have low rates of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection. This study puts to rest the questions surrounding the strength and duration of such protection compared with that from vaccination.

Within this review paper, studies published in PubMed to September 28, 2021 were analyzed, including well-conducted biological studies showing protective immunity after infection. Furthermore, multiple epidemiological and clinical studies, including studies during the recent period of predominantly delta (B.1.617.2) variant transmission, found that the risk of repeat SARS-CoV-2 infection decreased by 80.5–100% among those who previously had COVID-19.

The reported studies were large and conducted throughout the world. Another laboratory-based study that analyzed the test results of 9,119 people with previous COVID-19 from December 1, 2019 to November 13, 2020 found that only 0.7% became reinfected.[16]

Here is a breakdown of the research studies they reviewed:

Biological studies

  • Dan et al (2021): About 95% of participants tested retained immune memory at about 6 months after having COVID-19; more than 90% of participants had CD4+ T-cell memory at 1 month and 6–8 months after having COVID-19.[17]
  • Wang et al (2021): Participants with a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection with an ancestral variant produce antibodies that cross-neutralize emerging variants of concern with high potency.[18]

Epidemiological studies

  • Hansen et al (2021): In a population-level observational study, people who previously had COVID-19 were around 80·5% protected against reinfection.[19]
  • Pilz et al (2021): In a retrospective observational study using national Austrian SARS-CoV-2 infection data, people who previously had COVID-19 were around 91% protected against reinfection.[20]
  • Sheehan et al (2021): In a retrospective cohort study in the USA, people who previously had COVID-19 were 81·8% protected against reinfection.[21]
  • Shrestha et al (2021): in a retrospective cohort study in the USA, people who previously had COVID-19 were 100% protected against reinfection.[22]
  • Gazit et al (2021): In a retrospective observational study in Israel, SARS-CoV-2-naive vaccinees had a 13.06-times increased risk for breakthrough infection with the delta (B.1.617.2) variant compared with those who previously had COVID-19; evidence of waning natural immunity was also shown.[23]
  • Kojima et al (2021): in a retrospective observational cohort of laboratory staff routinely screened for SARS-CoV-2, people who previously had COVID-19 were 100% protected against reinfection.[24]

Clinical studies:

  • Hall et al (2021): in a large, multicenter, prospective cohort study, having had COVID-19 previously was associated with an 84% decreased risk of infection.[25]
  • Letizia et al (2021): in a prospective cohort of US Marines, seropositive young adults were 82% protected against reinfection.[26]

Potential Treatment of COVID-19 with Traditional Chinese (Herbal) Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has shown success in treating viral infectious pneumonia. It has also exhibited therapeutic effects against infectious diseases, such as SARS and COVID-19. On February 7, 2020, the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China and the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine recommended the Qingfei Paidu decoction, the Huashi Baidu formula, the Xuanfei Baidu decoction, the Jinhua Qinggan granule, the Lianhua Qingwen capsule/granule, and Xuebijing.

The experimental antivirus effects are mainly characterized by the direct inhibition of virus replication. Regarding the immune system destruction, inflammatory cytokine storm, and lung damage caused by COVID-19, some classic TCM formulas and proprietary Chinese medicines may regulate the immune system, reduce inflammatory responses, and suppress lung fibrosis and injury. Xuebijing, for example, has been found to have clinical efficacy in the treatment of COVID-19 for the treatment of flu-like symptoms, asthma, inflammation, tonsillitis, and sore throat.

Based on clinical results, TCM formulas have been applied to treat COVID-19, and their effects have been remarkable. Experimental studies have focused on the potential antiviral effects of classical formulas. For example, the Huashi Baidu formula has been recommended by the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China for the treatment of COVID-19 patients with mild and severe symptoms. Cai et al. identified 223 active ingredients in Huashi Baidu formula that potentially interact with 84 COVID-19-related target genes, such as ACE2, estrogen receptor 1, adrenergic receptor α1, and histone deacetylase 1.[27]

One of the many advantages of TCM and herbal medicine lies not only in its regulation of immunity, but also in its holistic regulation of metabolism and the intestinal environment and broad protective effects as well on organ systems.[28]

Indonesia First to Greenlight Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Biotechnology company Novavax said Monday that Indonesia has given the world’s first emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine, which uses a different technology than current shots. The vaccine is easier to store and transport than some other shots, which could allow it to play an important role in boosting supplies in poorer countries around the world.

Novavax said it has already filed for authorization of the vaccine in the United Kingdom, European Union, Canada, Australia, India, and the Philippines.[29]

Also keep in mind, some people are allergic to polyethylene glycol (PEG), an ingredient in the mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna) vaccines. There’s no polyethylene glycol (PEG) in Novavax

How the Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine Works

Unlike the mRNA and vector vaccines, this is a protein adjuvant (an adjuvant is an ingredient used to strengthen the immune response and in this case it a plant saponin extract, called Matrix M, from the Soapbark tree).

While other vaccines trick the body’s cells into creating parts of the virus that can trigger the immune system, the Novavax vaccine takes a different approach. It contains the spike protein, made from a moth and not the RNA messenger. 

Unlike mRNA vaccines that command your own cells to manufacture the antigens that trigger an immune response, the Novavax vaccine contains the antigens themselves.  The lab-grown nanoparticle spike protein mimics the natural spike protein on the surface of the coronavirus cannot cause disease.

How did they get the spike protein?

The Novavax method uses moth cells to make spike proteins: 

  1. Researchers select the desired genes that create certain SARS-CoV-2 antigens (spike protein). 
  2. Researchers put the genes into a baculovirus, an insect virus.
  3. The baculovirus infects moth cells and replicates inside them.
  4. These moth cells create lots of spike proteins.
  5. Researchers extract and purify the spike proteins.

The Novavax vaccine has no genetic material, only proteins.

When the vaccine is injected, the Matrix-M Soapbark extract stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies and T-cell immune responses.

This tried-and-true method of making a custom copy of a virus spike protein has been used to develop vaccines against HPV, hepatitis B and influenza.[30]

So, there you have it.

References


[1] https://www.medpagetoday.com/special-reports/exclusives/95333?xid=nl_medpageexclusive_2021-11-01&eun=g1065123d0r&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MPTExclusives_110121&utm_term=NL_Gen_Int_Medpage_Exclusives_Active

[2] Hill A, et al “Ivermectin for COVID-19: addressing potential bias and medical fraud” Research Square 2021; DOI: 10.21203/rs.3.rs-1003006/v1.

[3] https://www.donnieyance.com/ivermectin-and-covid-19-revision/

[4] https://www.donnieyance.com/ivermectin-as-a-prophylactic-and-treatment-for-covid-19/

[5] Petros Ioannoua , Stamatis Karakonstantisa , Eirini Astrinakib, Stamatina Saplamidoub,

Efsevia Vitsaxakib, Georgios Hamilosc, George Sourvinosd and Diamantis P. Kofteridisa, Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 among vaccinated health care workers, INFECTIOUS DISEASES, 2021; VOL. 0, NO. 0, 1–4, https://doi.org/10.1080/23744235.2021.1945139

[6] David W Eyre, Donald Taylor, Mark Purver, David Chapman, Tom Fowler, Koen B Pouwels, A Sarah Walker, Tim EA Peto. The impact of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination on Alpha & Delta variant transmission, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.09.28.21264260

[7] Nature, https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02759-1?WT.ec_id=NATURE-20211014&utm_source=nature_etoc&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20211014&sap-outbound-id=C45F96E14F855E90076BC7A0A2589E9DC8299B74, 10/13/2021

[8] Brown CM, Vostok J, Johnson H, Burns M, Gharpure R, Sami S, Sabo RT, Hall N, Foreman A, Schubert PL, Gallagher GR, Fink T, Madoff LC, Gabriel SB, MacInnis B, Park DJ, Siddle KJ, Harik V, Arvidson D, Brock-Fisher T, Dunn M, Kearns A, Laney AS. Outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 Infections, Including COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Infections, Associated with Large Public Gatherings – Barnstable County, Massachusetts, July 2021. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 Aug 6;70(31):1059-1062. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm7031e2.

[9] https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/waterford-city-district-has-state-s-highest-rate-of-covid-19-infections-1.4707344, The Irish Times, October 21, 2021

[10] https://qz.com/india/2068834/highly-vaccinated-singapore-sees-rising-covid-cases/, Kapur, Manavi, Oct. 5th, 2021

[11] Anika Singanayagam, Seran Hakki, Jake Dunning, Kieran J Madon, Michael A Crone, Aleksandra Koycheva, Nieves Derqui-Fernandez, Jack L Barnett, Michael G Whitfield, Robert Varro, Andre Charlett,Rhia Kundu, Joe Fenn, Jessica Cutajar,Valerie Quinn, Emily Conibear, Wendy Barclay, Paul S Freemont, Graham P Taylor, Shazaad Ahmad, Maria Zambon, Neil M Ferguson, Ajit Lalvani, on behalf of the ATACCC Study Investigators, Community transmission and viral load kinetics of the SARS-CoV-2 delta (B.1.617.2) variant in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in the UK: a prospective, longitudinal, cohort study; The Lancet Infectious Diseases Trusted Source, Published on line: October 29, 2021 DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(21)00648-4

[12] Bozio CH, et al “Laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 among adults hospitalized with COVID-19–like illness with infection-induced or mRNA vaccine-induced SARS-CoV-2 immunity — nine States, January–September 2021” MMWR 2021; DOI: 10.15585/mmwr.mm7044e1.

[13] Nabin K. Shrestha, Patrick C. Burke, Amy S. Nowacki, Paul Terpeluk, Steven M. Gordon Necessity of COVID-19 vaccination in previously infected individuals, https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.06.01.21258176

[14] https://www.medpagetoday.com/opinion/second-opinions/95399, Medscape, Jeffrey D. Klausner, MD, MPH, and Noah Kojima, MD November 2, 2021, COVID Vaccine Mandates and the Question of Medical Necessity,

[15] Mahesh B. Shenai, Ralph Rahme, Hooman Noorchashm Equivalency of Protection from Natural Immunity in COVID-19 Recovered Versus Fully Vaccinated Persons: A Systematic Review and Pooled Analysis doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.09.12.21263461

[16] Noah Kojima, Jeffrey D Klausner, Protective immunity after recovery from SARS-CoV-2 infection, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 2021, ISSN 1473-3099, https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(21)00676-9. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1473309921006769)

[17] M Dan, J Mateus, Y Kato, et al. Immunological memory to SARS-CoV-2 assessed for up to 8 months after infection Science, 371 (2021), Article eabf4063

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Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna): A Potent Ayurvedic Heart Tonic

The stem bark of the Arjuna tree has been valued for heart health since 500 BC. This beautiful and amazing tree is native to central India and lives on average over fifty years. Ayurvedic physicians commonly prescribe the powdered tree bark for alleviating angina, hypertension and other cardiovascular conditions. In research, the bark extract has been shown to have diuretic and hypotensive properties.[1]

I often use Arjuna in my clinical practice, and combine it with hawthorn leaf, flower, and berry (Crataegus oxycantha); olive leaf (Olea europea); coleus (Coleus forskohli); grape seed extract; green coffee bean; celery seed (Apium graveolens) and rauwolfia (Rauwolfia serpentina). All of these botanicals have been found to have therapeutic benefit in cardiovascular health, and in particular for maintaining healthy blood pressure, tonifying the heart, and improving its function.

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Health Optimization and Adaptogens

Health Optimization and Adaptogens – An Effective Strategy Against Pathogens

In general, I am astonished by how little attention is placed on the value and importance of good health in our society. In the face of the current pandemic, with underlying co-morbidities present in an estimated 60% of the population, increasing the risk of death from complications, there is an even greater urgency to educate our communities and urge our citizens to adopt the key components to optimal health. For example, there is now a clear association between diabetes and increased mortality and severity in COVID-19 pneumonia, and ocular symptoms of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2).[1] These and many other underlying conditions can be successfully managed by applying the fundamental building blocks to optimal health and wellness, which include nutrition, botanical medicine, lifestyle, and diet. The more robust our health at the molecular, cellular, and organ system levels, the better equipped we are to resist and recover from disease.

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‘Misrepresentation of ‘Integrative Oncology’ in the Literature: Clearing up Misperceptions and Recognizing the Validity of Herbal Medicine at the Forefront of ‘Unified Medicine’

I recently read a paper entitled “Integrative Oncology” 1 published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. To say I was shocked at the misrepresentation presented as “fact” is an understatement.

I am strongly compelled to offer a rebuttal to this article. I can only hope that those who most need the perspective of someone who has worked in clinical practice with cancer patients on a daily basis for almost three decades will benefit from my experience.

Personally, I prefer to use the term “Unified Medicine” over “Integrative Oncology” to more appropriately describe the wholistic ETMS (Eclectic Triphasic Medical System) model I developed and practice, known as ‘Mederi Medicine’ or ‘Mederi Care’.

Mederi Medicine is an approach where all aspects of an individual are addressed for optimal health and well being. This includes the fundamental building blocks of nutrition, herbs, lifestyle, and spiritual and emotional health, with the tools of modern conventional medicine employed when necessary. As a musician, I think of Mederi Medicine as similar to the way that the various parts of an orchestra each play an essential role in creating beautiful music. The ETMS is not a fragmented approach, but is synergistic, meaning that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This harmonious approach is something that is sorely lacking in modern conventional medicine”.

 

“I think of Mederi Medicine as similar to the way that the various parts of an orchestra each play an essential role in creating beautiful music”

What’s Wrong with the “Integrative Oncology” Paper?

Honestly, when I first saw the title “Integrative Oncology” I felt hopeful. I thought perhaps this paper would offer helpful information to those suffering from cancer, or to those who dedicate their lives to working with people with cancer. Instead, I found bias, misrepresentation, and outright twisting of the facts and outcomes of studies. This paper clearly states that it has been peer-reviewed, but given the many errors, I find that difficult to believe.

I find it strange that the subtext delineates “integrative approaches (e.g., lifestyle, meditation, yoga, acupuncture, massage)” but overlooks botanical and nutritional medicines, which are widely used as adjunct therapies in cancer protocols. I have no idea what the underlying agenda is in this paper. Why would scientifically and clinically proven modalities be dismissed or overlooked when they offer the potential for help without harm? Continue reading “‘Misrepresentation of ‘Integrative Oncology’ in the Literature: Clearing up Misperceptions and Recognizing the Validity of Herbal Medicine at the Forefront of ‘Unified Medicine’”

The Truth about Herb-Drug Interactions: An Honest Evaluation of the Benefits and Risks When Weighing Scientific Data and Clinical Experience

“I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts.”  ~Sherlock Holmes.

Conventional medicine has long been wary of traditional herbal medicine, particularly when it comes to the potential interactions of herbs and pharmaceutical drugs. However, the focus of conventional medicine always seems to be on the negative interactions of herbs and drugs, when in fact, herb-drug interactions can often be positive.

Continue reading “The Truth about Herb-Drug Interactions: An Honest Evaluation of the Benefits and Risks When Weighing Scientific Data and Clinical Experience”