COVID and the Shadow of Original Antigenic Sin – A Primer

This primer is a summary of the magnificent work of Eugyppius over the last week or so. In a series of posts, principally, here and here, he fashions an argument that a universal vaccination campaign:

may permanently compromise immunity to SARS-2, via Original Antigenic Sin — the phenomenon, long observed in the antibody response to influenza infections, that initial exposure to a pathogen (or a spike protein) shapes all subsequent immune responses to mutated, recombined or reassorted instances of that pathogen. Our Corona vaccines elicit antibodies against the spike protein alone, while natural infection provokes antibodies against other virus proteins as well, including the nucleocapsid or N protein. The broad spectrum of natural immune response is why recovered individuals enjoy much greater and longer-lasting protection, than people who have been merely vaccinated.

Of course, you would imagine that immunologists and public health experts would be well aware of Original Antigenic Sin and the problems it might establish for a universal vaccination campaign. So what was there riposte and what is the counter riposte:

The vaccinators have always insisted that there’s nothing to see here. You can get the spike-specific protection of vaccination, they say, and pick up broader-based protection from low-risk natural infection later on. The problem, though, is that the vaccines appear to influence subsequent immune response, focusing antibodies on legacy spike and making it much easier for SARS-2 to escape immune resistance. Potentially for good, and in billions of people.

Indeed, but that is exactly the problem with Original Antigenic Sin. It appears to sensitize our immune system to the original viral encounter and this encounter subsequently establishes a pattern for all future responses with that virus no matter the variation involved:

The mechanisms of Original Antigenic Sin are not fully understood, but we have a rough idea of what might be happening. When a virus infects your body for the first time, your naive memory B cells imprint on specific virus proteins, or antigens, presented to them. These B cells then become either memory B cells or plasma cells. Forever after, they specialise in producing antibodies against those specific antigens. When a slightly mutated form of the virus arrives, these memory B-cells begin pouring forth the antibodies they learned to produce during the first infection. These antibodies bind to multiple epitopes on the virus particles, and in the process they give the slower-moving naive B-cells little chance to learn about any new, mutant virus features.

Original Antigenic Sin was most influentially described by Thomas Francis in 1960. He noted that, regardless of whatever influenza A strains were in circulation, subjects tended to have dominant antibody responses to the strains that were current in their early childhood:

The antibody of childhood is largely a response to … the virus causing the first Type A influenza infection of the lifetime. As the group grows older and subsequent infections take place, antibodies to additional families of virus are acquired. But … the antibody which is first established continues to characterize that cohort of the population throughout its life. The antibody forming mechanisms have been highly conditioned by the first stimulus, so that later infections with strains of the same type successively enhance the original antibody to maintain it at the highest level at all times in that age group. The imprint established by the original virus infection governs the antibody response thereafter. This we have called the doctrine of original antigenic sin.

And the evidence from Public Health England vaccine surveillance report suggests that this is indeed the case. If you look at two figures Eugyppius includes from the report in the first link, we see two things emerging in England, firstly:

Not only is there a dramatic reversal in efficacy in vaccinated adults, there appears to be the emergence of negative efficacy re infection in vaccinated persons compared with unvaccinated persons; that is, the vaccinated do worse than if they were otherwise unvaccinated! And the partial explanation for this disparity may be indicated in the following:

Specifically, the vaccines promote the development of anti-S antibodies but negligible production of anti-N antibodies. In other words, the vaccine has trained a response to COVID that focuses on the spike protein but fails to develop broad-spectrum immunity even if the person is later infected with COVID.

This appears to have been confirmed independently:

We have very little data on the specifics of post-vaccination immune response, but a Twitter informant points me to this piece in the Journal of Infection. It’s a brief letter to the editor confirming the findings of the UK Health Security Agency that breakthrough infections in the vaccinated seem to elicit a vastly attenuated antibody response to the N protein, compared to infections in unvaccinated people. The authors report results from their seroprevalence study of 4000 hospital personnel. At the time, there had been very little vaccine fade and breakthrough infections were rare, so they know of only 23 breakthrough cases. From this small cohort, a mere 6 individuals had detectable anti-N antibodies. They compare this to 663 people with anti-N antibodies from 812 infections in the unvaccinated.

To return to original antigenic sin, the implication of this for immune response is that different generational cohorts will have developed different immune responses to whatever variant of X was prevalent in their childhood:

This is an important if subtle aspect of our population-wide immunity to influenza A. It looks like this:

As older cohorts die, their immunity to older strains dies with them. These old strains, long suppressed, are then positioned to return, for very few human immune systems remember them any longer. Francis believed this was the mechanism underlying periodic cycles of pandemic influenza. The 1957 influenza pandemic, for example, featured a strain of flu against which only the oldest cohorts – those in their 70s – had specific antibodies. As these “immunological veterans” disappeared, this older, long-suppressed type of influenza was free to return and cause another pandemic event.

For further discussion of the above in relation to influenza, return to the second link above here, and scroll down to Lancet (1979) and Nature Medicine (2005) studies. Consider the example of dengue fever and original antigenic sin. There are at least four known variants, but the experience with dengue fever and immune response is:

Once a response has been established, it is unlikely that repeat boosting will be able to change its scope, meaning that balanced responses against the four virus serotypes will need to be established with the first vaccine dose.

This is precisely the danger we are now facing. We are attempting to vaccinate the entire population using a particular feature – the spike protein – of COVID prevalent in 2020. In doing so, we may be, via original antigenic sin, denying the emergence of broad spectrum immunity (in individuals) and layered immunity (across the generations) in our society. As Eugyppius concludes:

Aside from the minority that have managed to recover from natural infection before the vaccinators got to them, most humans will have their crucial, primary immune response conditioned by the spike protein of SARS-2 in its vintage 2020 configuration.

It is a near certainty that this immunity will attenuate antibody responses to the spike protein of current and future variants, forever. Mutant spike proteins will increasingly escape vaccine-conferred immunity, and breakthrough infections will elicit only partial response to the new epitopes. Insofar as the data also suggest that our vaccines will attenuate immunity to other virus proteins beyond spike, mass vaccination will lead to ever more volatile waves of infection – in exchange for limited and fading protection against severe outcomes.

 Given the danger of infection to those 50 years or younger, there should never have been any promotion of vaccination in these age groups beyond the high risk groups, let alone a program of mandatory mass vaccination. They should have been earmarked as the group that would gradually become a positive case, fight infection, develop broad-spectrum natural immunity, and by doing so perform an actual service to their community that would have actually been in the public good. What has occurred, health young and middle aged people getting vaccinated, appears to be the opposite of in the interest of the public good, having locked their societies into a never-ending cycle of COVID outbreaks. The only thing possibly in the way of this rolling wave of infection and reinfection are those children under 12 that have yet to be vaccinated. And yet, our political masters seem to be ploughing ahead with vaccinating our near youngest, 5-11, whose risk to COVID is negligible.

The governments of the West have bet on the favourite and not the field; this strategy always ends in tears.

19 thoughts on “COVID and the Shadow of Original Antigenic Sin – A Primer”

  1. Great explanation of the damage being done by individuals who have neither the the intellectual firepower nor sufficient understanding from experience of the nature of risk and it’s companion, the Law of Unforseen Consequences.

    Except this particular problem was a known consequence. The panicked politicians and bureaucrats simply ignored those experts raising these particular possibilities and ploughed ahead with the most stupid mass medical experiment ever.

    I strongly suspect this will not be the only nasty consequence we encounter in the global post-mandate reality.


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  2. Isn’t this the very much what has happened with the overuse of antibiotics?

    Not quite, bemused.

    Bacteria cause problems for their hosts when their numbers become so excessive that the immune system can no longer keep them in check, or they get into places other than their usual habitats. S.aureus, for example is mostly harmless in its usual home on your skin (e.g. on your hands), but potentially lethal if it gets into your bloodstream.

    Antibiotics will not achieve 100% lethality, but will usually wipe out sufficent bacterial organisms for the immune system to take back over the balancing process. Some of these surviving bacteria will have a genetically-derived resistance to whatever mechanism of attack the antibiotic uses, e.g. dissolving the waxy cell coating.

    Bacteria share genetic data between like strains and species via transposons- Literally sidling up to each other and slipping encapsulated ‘packets’ of DNA into each others’ pockets. Over sufficient time, these bacteria then reproduce and build up such numbers that the immune system is again overwhelmed and the antibiotic either no longer works or its efficacy is severely diminished.

    Antibiotic overuse and the subsequent concentration of resistant bug populations in places like hospitals has led to all the nasty bacterial infections elderly and immunocompromised folk tend to pick up.


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  3. Great article Dover.

    I’ve subscribed to eugyppius and Alex Berenson.

    Antigenic Original Sin is a new concept to me, I didn’t realise it is so well recognised in diseases like influenza, Dengue fever (the dangerous, hemorrhagic form is more common in the vaccinated or in people getting second or subsequent infections, if I have understood correctly), RSV and Mareks disease.

    Eugyppius’ article on the disappearance of ‘flu, a topic that apparently has elicited no interest from our public health officials, is very interesting.

    Everything suggests that Corona has displaced influenza. Even if we can’t identify or even really conceive of the mechanism, Corona begins to resemble an invasive species that has disturbed the ecology of human-infecting respiratory viruses. Nobody will talk about this, because they are eager to claim any victory they can for mass containment. The absence of flu must be ascribed to lockdowns, even though flu is gone even in countries that have not locked down.

    It’s worth reading the whole thing. If he’s right and the regular ‘flu seasons have been an anomaly arising from some sort of viral ecosystem shift that occurred with the 1918 ‘flu pandemic, and corona viruses are displacing the ‘flu, then we may be entering a phase where respiratory illnesses become less severe as we develop natural immunity.

    A process that seems to be disrupted by vaccination.


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  4. Not quite, bemused.

    Yes, I realise it’s not the same, but I was using it as an analogy to what happens when we overly rely on one form of medicine without considering (or caring) about the consequences (unintended or otherwise). The bacteria that we kill with antibiotics becomes increasingly resistant to those antibiotics.

    From the most authoritative source in the world (/sarc): https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/antibiotic-resistance


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  5. They’re working on it. This article from May 22

    COVID-19 Vaccine Makers Are Looking Beyond the Spike Protein
    It’s time for more weapons in the shots-versus-virus arms race.

    One of Gritstone’s vaccines, which is currently in human trials, contains not only spike but also chunks of two proteins that the coronavirus keeps in its interior: one called nucleocapsid, which helps the pathogen package its genetic material, and another called ORF3a, which helps newly formed coronavirus particles mosey out of cells.



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  6. Looks to me sars-covid-2 was released in 2 waves, the first for the wuhan military games prior to october 2019, which fizzled out. Released again in november 2019 which caught on. China then ensured the spread of the virus internationally, while still having plausible deniability with its wet market bullshit.

    History shows that demonstrations in Hong Kong had gotten out of control and were starting to spread across the border into mainland china. For the CCP, Hong Kong was morphing from an annoyance into a possible existential threat. As soon as the virus was release, Beijing went with a full on lockdown model which was immediately applied to Hong Kong by its pliant government, while Beijing prepared its National Security laws, legalising its internal stazi to operate in Hong Kong. A flood of social media horror virus videos were allowed to “leak” to the west, scaring the bejesus out of everyone and justifying harsh lockdowns.

    WHO was accused rightfully of being in china’s pocket by Trump and still tries to push the chinese model of zero-covid, lock downs, passports (ie social credit systems) and other chicom style fascism. The aim obviously is to show the triumph of fascism with chinese characteristics.

    The choice of an experimental mRNA vax is interesting, considering it strictly targets the spike protein and china has numerous coronaviruses easily weaponisable with the same spike protein. Dishonorable mention to fauci and his band of cretins that helped wuhan create the current chimera of a non human transmissible sars virus into a highly transmissible strain.

    Also needs to be mentioned are Canadian useful idiots who sent wuhan a copy of all the most lethal viruses on the planet.

    So now we are in the situation where the vax is likely to do more long term harm than good by forcing genetic selection on the spike protein. The mRNA vaxes do not work in any sense of the word vaccination.

    The west meanwhile, tricked into smashing its own economies, continues to pretend we are not already at war with china while various groups push their own build back fascist agendas.


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  7. I am not convinced that the CV has ‘pushed out’ the flu.

    A human body is at all times the host to trillions of micro-organisms, including viruses. Which ones will outcompete the others in order to ultimately kill an aged & frail person is never a black & white issue. Old people usually die of a variety of causes.

    The PCR tests etc have only been set to look for CV RNA; this has even since been admitted by the CDC. If you don’t look, there will be no flu, and the external symptoms of the two are similar enough anyway.

    Regarding the Eugyppius article quoted above, note that OAS is not the same as ADE, although they tend to ‘complement’ each other in ensuring an outcome where vaccines lead to worse outcomes than what would occur in non-vaxxed individuals.

    It was notably ADE which killed the test animals in previous mRNA ‘vaccine’ trials and thus resulted in their not being approved for human use. There has been no actual proof of any sort that the current lot of mRNA (Pfizer & Moderna) & viral vector DNA (AZ & JJ) have overcome that problem.

    And that is even before we get to the fact that the S-protein, which the vaxxes make your own body produce, appears to be the most damaging part of the virus itself.

    Given the history of attempts at CV vaccines in the past 20 years, I continue to be skeptical of any new dramatic breakthrough being attained any time soon.

    This again reinforces that there is absolutely no justifiable reason to force people to mass-vaccinate, and that in fact in almost all cases your best line of defence is to keep fit, healthy and not overly fat.

    Good diet, exercise, Vitamin D (usually not a problem in AUS climate) & Vitamin C & possibly some zinc supplement will keep you much healthier than the proposed 6-monthly Russian roulette with the frankenvaxx boosters.

    Young children are at essentially zero risk. Vaccinating them with this toxic sludge, which has no benefit to them but comes with very real risk of heart damage etc is yet another crime against humanity.


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  8. Megan

    Great explanation of the damage being done by individuals who have neither the the intellectual firepower

    Everyone possesses an intellect, but many are asymptomatic carriers.


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  9. Zipster, I’ve a link on the open thread to Eugyppius’ latest on the Pandemic Doctrine. I think you’ll find much common agreement. He makes an interesting observation:

    Christian Drosten develops a PCR test for SARS-2 on the basis of social media reports, before the virus has even been sequenced. Our Pfizer/BioNTech spike-based mRNA vaccines are invented just a few weeks later.

    Seriously, how is this possible?


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  10. They’re working on it. This article from May 22

    COVID-19 Vaccine Makers Are Looking Beyond the Spike Protein
    It’s time for more weapons in the shots-versus-virus arms race.

    In a sane world, this is really only beneficial for the at-risk groups and over 60s. Everyone else is better off developing natural immunity.


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  11. Seriously, how is this possible?

    indeed, the fauci & co link is deeply troubling, how far up the food chain does that little stink go?

    4 things were achieved by china.

    normalising its style of fascist control to the world
    capturing Hong Kong without a shot
    evicting Trump out of the white house
    smashing western economies while it rapidly builds up its nuclear arsenal


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  12. normalising its style of fascist control to the world
    capturing Hong Kong without a shot
    evicting Trump out of the white house
    smashing western economies while it rapidly builds up its nuclear arsenal

    This was Act 1. At the end of which, China decided to throw away the mantle of friendly harmless poor nation and start flexing some muscle, diplomatically and militarily.

    Beijing Olympics will be a short intermission.

    Act 2, looks to be even more perfidious and deadly.


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