The vaccines change that equation. Vaccines – particularly the mRNA and DNA/AAV vaccines – are not masks or “social distancing.” They aren’t feel-good but useless interventions. They are incredibly powerful biological tools, even if our public health authorities have spent the last year portraying them as simple and largely risk-free.
And they don’t just work on us.
Speed of replication may be a particular advantage for a virus trying to defeat a vaccinated population – since vaccines are designed give the immune system a head start on finding and defeating pathogens.
The broader issue is this: our immune systems are engaged in an incredibly complex race with viruses and other pathogens. The effect of leaky vaccines can make the outcome of that race even harder to understand, much less predict.
Nothing about how the pandemic plays out now can be disentangled from the vaccination campaign. The more aggressive spread of Delta among the unvaccinated is as much a part of this campaign, as its continued spread among the vaccinated. We have totally changed the environment in which SARS-2 circulates, and in response SARS-2 has become more aggressive across the board.
Eugyppius fears – and I fear he is right – that our current vaccination scheme will drive the rise of more virulent variants.
Near the end of his Stack, Eugyppius offers this warning:
Third and probably even fourth doses will be administered widely in the coming months. Delta-specific vaccines are also in the works. All of these will increase pressure on the virus, very likely in the same direction. These vaccinations will favour more transmissible, more pathogenic strains…