Selective pressure is any cause that increases or reduces an organism's chances of survival and reproductive success, depending on his or her traits. It drives natural selection, the process in which organisms that are better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring.
Verkerk, who is the founder of the advocacy group Alliance for Natural Health International, opines that the selection pressure from the most intensive vaccination programs, coupled with widespread infections and the impact of lockdowns and other restrictions, provides the perfect breeding ground for "immune escape" variants. These are viruses that are resistant to the protection provided by a vaccine or a recent infection.
Geert Vanden Bossche, an immunologist who worked for pharmaceutical companies GSK, Novartis and Solvay Biologicals, as well as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (now known as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance) in Geneva, also warned that mass vaccination programs will "no doubt" create immune escape variants last March.
"There can be no doubt that continued mass vaccination campaigns will enable new, more infectious viral variants to become increasingly dominant and ultimately result in a dramatic incline in new cases despite enhanced vaccine coverage rates," he wrote in a public statement. "This situation will soon lead to complete resistance of circulating variants to the current vaccines."
These vaccine-resistant variants, in turn, will encourage Big Pharma to further refine vaccines, as The Defender noted. But those refined versions will only fuel a selection pressure, instead of diminishing it. This, in effect, will create more transmissible and potentially more deadly variants in a never-ending cycle. (Related: New Wuhan coronavirus variants will make vaccines ineffective, according to global health experts.)
Look at the mass death wave happening in India right after the covid vaccinations began:
This came as vaccine makers were pushing for the rollout of booster shots. Last week, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said that a third dose of the firm's COVID-19 vaccine was likely needed within a year of the initial two-dose vaccination. Annual re-vaccinations would follow this third dose, he added.
The likely scenario is "a third dose somewhere between six and 12 months, and from there it would be an annual re-vaccination," he stated. The CEO told CNBC that booster shots were important tools for battling more contagious variants.
Meanwhile, Moderna is in the middle of developing a booster shot. Chief commercial officer Corinne Le Goff said during a call with investors in mid-April that Americans could start getting booster shots of its vaccine later this year. She noted that countries that vaccinated a high percentage of their population would shift their focus to booster shots starting 2022 or possibly at the end of this year.
Johnson & Johnson also said that its single-shot vaccine probably needed to be given annually.
According to preliminary data, the protection provided by the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines lasts for at least six months. But it is not yet clear whether a recipient's immunity would wane after that.
David Kessler, chief science officer for President Joe Biden's COVID-19 response task force, said that the country is currently preparing for the possibility that a booster shot would be needed between nine to 12 months after the initial vaccination. He added that the most vulnerable individuals would be the first to receive the booster shot if this additional dose were rolled out.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and chief medical advisor to Biden, assured that the decision about whether to roll out a booster shot would be made by public health officials and not by pharmaceutical companies. However, it's worth noting that the National Institutes of Health, which is comprised of the NIAID and other institutes, is a joint owner of the Moderna vaccine.
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