It seems there’s yet more misinformation being pushed about this, so here’s the scoop on ADE and the new mRNA coronavirus vaccines.
Here’s our original interview with Dr. Peter Hotez that mentioned this from the spring. Here’s a followup with Dr. Paul Offit where this was again addressed.
So what is antibody dependent enhancement, ADE, and could it be that it makes the vaccine for coronavirus more dangerous than not being vaccinated at all? Well, this is the claim made by Dr. Simone Gold, who was made famous during her speech at the Supreme Court steps over the summer for “America’s Frontline Docs.” She was just arrested yesterday by the way, for her participation, alleged participation in the capitol riots.
But before that, she put out a video that referred to the “experimental” coronavirus vaccines, the new mRNA vaccinations, and spreading the statement that antibody dependent enhancement, ADE, makes this vaccine dangerous, you shouldn’t take it, it’s experimental, et cetera. So let’s talk about that. What is antibody dependent enhancement? This is something we’ve been talking about on this show since the beginning of the pandemic with Dr. Peter Hotez, who’s a vaccine developer and expert, Dr. Paul Offit, who’s a vaccine developer and expert. And what it refers to is there is a phenomenon where if you generate an immune response to parts of a virus that don’t knock the virus out of commission. So a K-O punch from an immune response is called neutralizing response, neutralizing antibodies. So you make these proteins that bind to the virus, parts of the virus, and neutralize it.
In the case of SARS-CoV-2, that’s that spike protein. The virus can then be taken up by immune cells and basically gotten rid of. If you don’t do that right, if you make antibodies that don’t quite neutralize it or that bind to parts of the virus that don’t knock it out of commission, but rather send up a flag on the virus that says, hey immune system, come here, come here, come here. Take this virus into a macrophage, which is an immune cell because it’s not neutralized yet, but you know what? Here, here’s a flag that sort of helps it get into a macrophage, at which point the virus can then replicate in this immune system, it’s kind of like a Trojan horse kind of thing, and cause damage. Now it turns out, that type of antibody dependent enhancement, and what that means is the antibodies you make actually enhance the virus’ lethality or replicating ability, make you sicker than if you didn’t have the antibodies. And it was described with dengue. So in dengue, you can have both vaccine mediated and natural infection mediated antibody dependent enhancement where you then have a worse course of illness.
It doesn’t happen to everybody, but it can happen, it’s been documented, right? Now there’s another way that antibody dependent enhancement can happen, in respiratory viruses like respiratory syncytial virus called RSV. So the way this happens is a slightly different mechanism. You make antibodies that don’t neutralize the virus. And this happened in early trials in the sixties I believe for RSV vaccines. RSV is a disease that really causes a lot of hospitalization and injury and mortality in children. And they tried to develop a vaccine for it.
And what they found was the kids who got the vaccine, some of them got worse when they got infected with RSV, they got worse lung disease, really bad stuff, and actually deaths resulted. And the way that happens is you can make antibodies to parts of the virus that again, don’t knock it out of commission, but they then allow this thing to form structures called immune complexes. There are these depositions where the virus and the antibodies, they kind of link up in this kind of polymer and that triggers the immune system to have this massive inflammatory response and cytokines are generated. And what that can do in lungs is it can cause obstruction, it can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome, and worsen lung disease. And that is called enhanced respiratory disease, ERD. And none of that really matters.
The bottom line is with RSV, with dengue, we have these two different types of antibody dependent enhancement, ADE. From the beginning of this when we were talking with Peter Hotez and talking with Paul Offit about couldn’t this happen in a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, wouldn’t we be concerned about that? SARS is respiratory illness. It doesn’t seem to infect macrophages in a productive way. So the dengue effect where you’re Trojan horsing into a macrophage doesn’t seem to be very likely. And they looked at that in vitro and in vivo with SARS-CoV-2. But the respiratory effect, where you form these polymers and then this massive inflammation, seemed not just possible, it almost felt likely given the way coronavirus causes cytokine storm and ARDS in natural infections. And so Paul and I and Peter, we all discussed this on the show early on.
Man, they’ve really got to show that you have a very specific neutralizing antibody response from the vaccine that doesn’t generate all this other nonsense, because otherwise you could certainly make a bad situation worse. And that’s what Simone Gold and others have said this is what the new mRNA vaccines are doing. Well, it turns out they’re completely wrong. And here’s why, here’s why these vaccines are not only safe, they’re highly effective and they don’t seem to cause antibody dependent enhancement, no matter what misinformation you’re seeing circulating around. When you actually do the studies, right, there’s a few circumstantial pieces of information that tell you that antibody dependent enhancement is unlikely.
First of all, giving convalescent plasma. So antibodies that have been generated by people who were naturally infected can then be given to people who are now infected as a way to treat the disease. That’s called convalescent plasma. Those patients don’t get worsening of their disease. You would expect that if there was this sort of antibody dependent enhancement from natural antibodies at least, that you would end up with that happening in convalescent plasma. We don’t see it. The second and most compelling reason we see no evidence of ADE is we see no evidence of ADE in the trials. So in the large phase 3 trials with tens of thousands of people where you actually had enough infections to say, okay there’s a placebo group, there’s a group that got the vaccine. The group that got the vaccine, if there were a potential for antibody dependent enhancement, they would have gotten sicker, or at least some of them would have.
We didn’t see that. In fact, what we saw was quite remarkable. All the severe illness in these cases are in the placebo group and the the vaccines instead are remarkably effective. Now, this actually makes sense because with the mRNA vaccines, you’re tailoring a very specific immune response to exactly the protein you want to make. And that protein, because you’re using the original mRNA sequence that the virus would use to teach your cells how to make this protein. So you are making a pristine version of the spike protein and binding antibodies all over it, which means you are gonna neutralize that virus. You’re not gonna get the sub neutralizing antibody levels that then can lead to, and and weird antibodies that don’t quite knock the virus out. And so as a result, the chances of ADE are much, much, much, much, much, much, much lower, and we just don’t see any evidence of it. We’re not seeing evidence of it in the 10 odd million people that have been vaccinated already.
And so that’s really important. So I think when people talk to you about ADE, and they’ll say things because, and again, you can pick out misinformation by how they frame things. “Nobody’s talking about this.” “It’s a conspiracy to give you a experimental vaccine.” This and that and the other thing. Okay, well, no, we’ve been talking about it from the beginning. There’s tons of published papers on it. There’s actually been a lot of concern about it, which is good, which you want. And then you address it in the trials. Do you let your guard down even now? No you don’t. But the way that we manage this pandemic now, where 400,000 people have died, which by the way Simone Gold would even deny that this is a serious illness saying you don’t need a vaccine for something that doesn’t have this degree of lethality. Well, all right, well then you can tell that to the 400,000 people’s families who’ve lost their lives and the more that are coming.
So listen, I want to believe her as much as you that this isn’t serious. And my sort of unconscious really wants to believe that kind of political grand standing because it speaks to this. It just happens to be wrong. So don’t listen to that, listen to the science and make your decisions based on that. All right guys, love you so much. And we are out.
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