A recent “perspective” paper in the medical journal Cell Host and Microbe, led by the office of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the former head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), suggests that the agency had reason to believe that COVID vaccines were not effective at preventing transmission even before they were authorized.
“U.S.-authorized COVID vaccines, overwhelmingly built on the novel mRNA platform, were designed to provide systemic rather than mucosal immunity, administered in arms rather than noses,” the paper explained.
The NIAID research stresses the significance of mucosal immunity and outlines the obstacles encountered in the past with developing vaccines of this nature, as well as offering suggestions for future vaccine development.
The paper’s authors are highly critical of flu vaccines, which they claim have a “disappointing history of efficacy.” They argue that even the most effective flu vaccines would not meet the standards for approval for most other vaccine-preventable diseases. They also express concern that COVID vaccines may encounter similar shortcomings as the virus continues to mutate.
“It is increasingly accepted that route of vaccine administration (e.g., intramuscular, intranasal, conjunctival, or aerosol routes) is a key determinant of mucosal respiratory response,” the authors wrote. “In general, and when feasible, mucosal immunization seems the optimal approach for respiratory viruses.”
In a recent interview with WebMD, Fauci was asked about the vaccine rollout and he expressed uncertainty about whether the problem lies with the mRNA platform itself or whether the response against coronaviruses is not durable. He also mentioned the possibility of a nasal vaccine in addition to a systemic vaccine.
Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, who has invested heavily in global vaccine development, has also called for the development of an inhaled blocker that can stop infections early during a pandemic. “We will have a toolset for respiratory pandemics that will be excellent,” he said at an event in Australia last month.
The NIAID report in the January edition of Cell Host and Microbe stands out as it lacks the usual indication of peer review. This opens up the chance that Dr. Fauci, along with his senior scientific advisor David Morens and Jeffery Taubenberger, the Chief of the Viral Pathogenesis and Evolution Section, could have strategically submitted the paper to avoid any difficulties for the outgoing head of NIAID.
Meanwhile, the impact of the NIAID paper is yet to be determined as COVID research that goes against government accounts has experienced notable delays and government-led censorship.
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