As we inch closer to mandatory worldwide vaccinations against covid-19, there is something that almost nobody is talking about.
A virus is a living thing, and like all viruses they adapt depending on their environment. We all are aware of this, it happens with cold and flu viruses, and it also happens with dangerous bacteria.
However, most mild viruses don’t generally mutate into more deadly strains because it is of no benefit to the longevity of the virus. If a virus suddenly becomes very deadly to the hosts, the virus will completely run out of hosts and die off itself. This is a fundamental aspect of evolutionary science and how it relates to epidemiology.
Andrew Read, a biologist at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, published a study that suggests by interfering with this normal aspect of virus behavior through mass vaccinations, we can inadvertently create a more deadly variant that otherwise would not have existed. Such inadvertent outcomes are the result of “leaky vaccines” which allow more dominant and deadly variants to take hold.
An article in the peer-reviewed academic journal Science Magazine explained Read’s finding this way:
“…Read has published a paper showing that this seems to have happened with Marek’s disease, a viral infection in chickens. Marek’s disease spreads when infected birds shed the virus from their feather follicles, which is then inhaled with dust by other chickens. Poultry farmers routinely vaccinate against the disease, which keeps their flocks healthy but does not stop chickens from becoming infected and spreading the virus. Over the past few decades, Marek’s disease has become much more virulent—which some researchers believe is the result of vaccination.”
Another way to look at this is similar to how the overuse of antibiotics has caused a surge in so-called “superbugs” or deadlier strains of common bacteria.
The overuse of antibiotics in humans and farm animals has muted many of the milder strains of bacteria, which has left an opening for the more deadly variants to flourish. On the topic of antibiotic overuse in humans and farm animals, there is no debate whether or not it leads to deadlier strains. A majority of the scientific community agrees on this topic.
But of course, Read and his theory has detractors. Although his detractors have done no studies of their own and mostly disagree out of fear that Read’s findings could fuel “anti-vaxxer” arguments and claims. So most of the counterarguments are based on how the data will be interpreted by the layperson, not necessarily the data itself.
But the truth is, nobody really knows for sure and Read is the scientist actually putting in the work to conduct experiments. It would be prudent for the scientific community and public health officials to take his work seriously as to prevent an outbreak worse than what has already happened.