By Zachary Stieber and Roman Balmakov Roman Balmakov
Roman Balmakov is a Reporter with The Epoch Times and host of the show, “Facts Matter.” He has travelled around the country (as well as overseas) covering protests, riots, and elections. He is also the producer of many Epoch Times’ commercials, both on TV and social media.
March 9, 2022 Updated: March 9, 2022
COVID-19 vaccines may be causing enhanced disease because they target an old version of the coronavirus, Dr. Robert Malone says.
“The data are showing that vaccination can actually increase the risk of being infected with the Omicron version of this virus,” Malone told The Epoch Times in a recent interview.
A recent study, meanwhile, found that one dose of a vaccine boosted protection for people who recovered from COVID-19 but two or three doses seemed to lower protection; the authors said they weren’t sure why this was the case. Another study found higher protection among naturally immune who weren’t vaccinated versus those who were.
Vaccine-associated enhanced diseases (VAED) were identified (pdf) as an “important potential risk” of the COVID-19 vaccines by U.S. drug regulators, as was a similar event known as enhanced respiratory disease following COVID-19 vaccination. Some adverse events recorded following COVID-19 vaccination “could indicate” VAED (pdf), according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) team.
VAED refers to disease “resulting from infection in individuals primed with non-protective immune responses against the respective wild-type viruses,” researchers said last year as they set a case definition for the term. “Given that these enhanced responses are triggered by failed attempts to control the infecting virus, VAED typically presents with symptoms related to the target organ of the infection pathogen,” they added.
“That’s what the data has been showing now for a few months,” Malone, who helped invent the messenger RNA technology that two of the three COVID-19 vaccines cleared for use in the United States is built on, told The Epoch Times.
In a Pfizer document (pdf) released this month, the vaccine manufacturer said there were a potential 138 cases with 317 relevant events of VAED reported from December 2020 to February 2021. Of the 138 cases, 71 were medically significant, 16 required hospitalization, 13 were life-threatening, and there were 38 deaths.
The most frequently reported event out of the 317 potentially relevant events was drug ineffectiveness (135). Other events included COVID-19 pneumonia, diarrhea, respiratory failure, and seizure.
“VAED may present as severe or unusual clinical manifestations of COVID-19,” Pfizer concluded, adding that, “based on the current evidence, VAED/VAERD remains a theoretical risk for the vaccine” and that they will continue to monitor the syndrome.
Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson didn’t respond to requests for comment.
A CDC spokesperson said that the agency, along with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are monitoring vaccine safety through surveillance systems such as the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System and v-safe.
Monitoring to date “has not established a causal relationship between COVID-19 vaccination and vaccine-associated enhanced disease,” the spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an email.
The CDC says the vaccines are largely safe and effective but also encourages people who experience side effects after getting one of them to report the issues to one of the systems.
The FDA, meanwhile, has not at this time identified an association between enhanced respiratory disease with the three vaccines the agency has cleared, a spokesperson told The Epoch Times via email.
Meiling Lee contributed to this report.
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland