Should we be worried about ‘immune escape’ variants?

We interviewed vaccine scientist Geert Vanden Bossche PhD DVM in March – following some serious questions we had about his concerns.

Central to these was the notion that mass vaccination with the current crop of highly-specific, spike protein-targeted, experimental vaccines, might place an extreme form of selection pressure on the evolving virus. This could in turn accelerate the generation of ‘variants of concern’ or even produce a ‘super-variant’ that is both more dangerous and vaccine resistant. Dr Vanden Bossche’s cry was that all of this could lead to a scenario that might make what we’ve seen to-date look like a walk in the park.

At the end of March, we expressed the view that we should be cautious – on the basis of available science – in dismissing Dr Vanden Bossche’s potentially alarmist concerns.

Three months have now elapsed – and a tidal wave of infections and associated deaths has yet to manifest. Does this mean Dr Vanden Bossche got it wrong? Or is there another explanation?  

Our second interview with Dr Geert Vanden Bossche

We decided it was time to ‘speak naturally’ to Geert van den Bossche again. Our video recording of the interview with our founder Rob Verkerk PhD follows.

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The bottom line

Some of the key points to emerge from the interview were as follows:

  • Dr Vanden Bossche argues that we are seeing ever more variants associated with the global mass vaccination program
  • These are applying ever more selection pressure on a very specific area (the receptor binding domain) of the spike protein
  • This evolution of immune escape variants causes incomplete sterilisation of the virus in infected people, offering ever greater opportunities for evolution under this highly specific immune pressure
  • The consequence, as articulated by molecular epidemiologists, could be ever more variants (a ‘pandemic of variants’ – with a risk that more lethal, more transmissible and vaccine resistant variants will emerge). There’s already ample evidence from the latest Public Health England data that ever younger populations are being affected and that transmissibility is increasing despite the northern summer conditions. Fortunately mortality so far associated with the delta variant (B.1.617.2 ) appears considerably less than the alpha variant (B.1.1.7 [‘UK’]) There’s also an increased risk that mutants might emerge that enlarge the non-human host range
  • Dr Vanden Bossche argues we’re now in the ‘calm before the storm’ – all the signals that suggest the next wave in the autumn will present a greater risk are already in preprint scientific publications
  • He believes mass vaccination should be stopped with immediate effect and he supports early treatment of symptomatic covid-19 patients with ivermectin and nutrients, as the Frontline Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC), the BIRD Group, ourselves and numerous others have proposed for months
  • He also advocates the avoidance of mass gatherings and need for entirely different vaccine technologies that reduce selection pressure and the risk of immune escape variants
  • You can find out more about the views of Dr Vanden Bossche via his website.


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