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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) vaccine advisory committee met Wednesday to “mull over” what’s next for COVID-19 boosters and consider “upgrades” to the vaccines, CNN reported.

Some members of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) suggested “entirely different vaccine formulations could be needed.”

Currently, additional booster doses are recommended only for certain people with weakened immune systems and adults 50 and older.

The CDC quoted Dr. Sara Oliver, one of the agency’s epidemic intelligence service officers with the Division of Viral Diseases, who provided a robust soundbite:

“Policy around future doses requires continued evaluation of COVID-19 epidemiology and vaccine effectiveness, including the impact of both time and variants, and the ability of doses to improve this protection.”

CNN cited Oliver as saying the CDC needs to take into account recent case counts, hospitalization rates and vaccine effectiveness in the U.S., and also — shocking — whether the vaccines are waning over time.

Oliver also said she thought the CDC should weigh “the impacts of circulating coronavirus variants.”

We know vaccine effectiveness is unacceptably low — and given the findings of Jacques Fantini, a biochemist and professor of virology at Aix-Marseille Université in Marseille, France, the vaccines could have negative effectiveness, indicating disease enhancement.

Oliver said the evolution of the virus will be an important consideration for considering “platforms” for future COVID vaccinations.

It’s not hard to read between the lines here. Readers of #PopularRationalism already know the mRNA vaccines have proven to be worse than a dismal failure.

This is the CDC putting the word out that a second round of vaccine development is expected, and is about the closest we’ll ever see to the CDC admitting the vaccination program has flopped.

And it’s surprising to see the ACIP focusing on future “effectiveness.”

Clearly, if newly formulated vaccines are proposed, they will be a square one in terms of the regulatory stage of development, and we should be seeing data on efficacy — which is a measure of a vaccine’s ability to reduce transmission in a prospective randomized clinical trial — not effectiveness, which is measured using real-world data.

As the real-world data on COVID vaccine effectiveness came in, it was quite bad, so the net was lowered from “preventing transmission” and “reducing new infections” to “producing an antibody response.”

So far, according to USASpending.Gov, the U.S. has spent more than $3.63 trillion in its response to COVID.

According to the U.S. Center for Economic Studies, the U.S. suffered a record-smashing loss of -9.5% of its GDP in 2020, and more than 30% shrinkage in economic growth.

Nevertheless, Pfizer and Moderna are taking a stab at vaccines meant to be available against Omicron. Yet it’s doubtful the variant will be around long enough to even be targeted by the new vaccines.

Pfizer is hoping for a vaccine that will remain effective for more than a year, while Moderna’s non-peer-reviewed preprint containing data from its internal study of the efficacy of their bivalent vaccine was cited by the CDC with the careful caveat that the preprint had “not been peer-reviewed or published in a professional journal.”

In the heyday of the pandemic, Pfizer and Moderna could get away with sending the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) assurances they would share data mentioned in press releases once the FDA gave Emergency Use Authorization or full-out approval.

Now that the fog of the pandemic has lifted, it seems the standard practice of labeling press releases, such as Moderna’s recent one on its bivalent vaccine as “Forward-Looking Statements” is in place, so I suspect Moderna, Pfizer and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission got my memos.

Due to evidence of lack of efficacy and need, FDA, Pfizer and Moderna delayed further consideration of COVID vaccines for young children until June, according to Politico.

Unfortunately, the companies are still communicating “success” as equivalent to “antibody response” when we all know (or at least my immunology students know) that they really should be measuring and reporting memory B-cell responses and the degree of match between the antibodies produced by B-cells upon reinfection and whatever variant or variants have taken over after Omicron is a distant memory.

CDC also shared that Kaiser Permanente — which profits from vaccine sales — was in the driver’s seat of the CDC’s ACIP committee, with Dr. Matthew Daley, ACIP Vaccine Working Group chairperson and senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Research issuing “marching orders” to the rest of ACIP to be “be more proactive than reactive” on the future of COVID vaccinations.

This article is just a reminder to those who need it that #ParentsAreWatching, and that #ScientistsAreWatching, too.

Originally published on James Lyons-Weiler’s Popular Rationalism Substack page.