Three peer-reviewed studies hit Science in the last two weeks that analyze the vaccines and their ability to neutralize the Omicron variant. While not a single one of them was a large scale, double-blind, controlled study of human patients, they all raise questions on the viability of using the several generation old mRNA vaccines against Omicron.

Yet the strained results are still being claimed as a victory by Pfizer, cherry-picking suggestions that three vaccines are more effective than two, in what essentially amounts to misleading corporate propaganda, repeated by both the CDC and news outlets as if it were fact.

The first study (DOI: 10.1126/science.abn7760), a molecular analysis of the genetic and protein changes in Omicron, does not support the efficacy of the vaccines at all. It states “the Omicron variant is more resistant to neutralization dependent on prior infection with an earlier variant or vaccination than any other variant of concern that has emerged over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic,” calling into question the capacity of several generation old vaccines to prove efficacious.

The second study (DOI: 10.1126/science.abn7591), rather than testing living human subjects and immune response curves or responses in vivo, used blood titers instead. It lacked any means of control, and had only 51 participants all of whom where vaccinated. Even so, despite the issuance of vaccine passports around the world, and Pfizer’s claims of success, they stated that, “the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine may not be sufficient to protect against infection with the Omicron variant,” though suggests a third vaccine may boost immune responses and “may protect” patients.

The third study (DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.abn7842), rather than testing in vivo symptomatic responses or actual infections simply performed neutralization assays, testing the immune response to a pseudovirus of protein particles. A confused and jumble collection of heterogeneous test groups, who had different incoming profiles, and received different vaccines, even this study was lukewarm regarding the vaccines. The authors stated, “neutralizing activity against D614 and Delta was measurable in many participants at day 300, activity against the Beta and Omicron variants was largely absent by this later timepoint,” suggesting that the vaccines effect dissipates quickly, particularly against later strains. They also stated, “substantial heterogeneity was observed in the breadth of the neutralizing antibody responses,” suggesting that the vaccines provide differential protection to different individuals.

As such, the argument made in many countries that vaccine mandates are meant to protect public health, rather than legally compel a medical intervention with the product of a private corporation, has been thoroughly debunked by the raging spread throughout communities where “full vaccination” often tops 70-80 percent. It is a fact that majority of those hospitalized for COVID have received either two or three vaccines, in both the US and UK. It should be also clear that the assumed public protection offered by so-called vaccine passports are similarly fabrications, and that not only are vaccines incapable of fully preventing spread and infection, the limited protection that they do offer is time limited, and varies significantly by individual.

As controversy is stirring in the US this week as the FDA pulled authorization for two of Pfizer’s competitor products (Eli Lilly’s and Regeneron’s monoclonal antibodies) for their lack of efficacy against Omicron, as the Omicron strains share of infections tops 99.9% according the the CDC, many will question why the FDA has taken such steps against Pfizer’s competitors while continuing to push a product that for which most of the emerging evidence suggests lacks efficaciousness against the Omicron strain.

Staff writer: Ari B