Covid-19: tests, analysis and vaccines. What future awaits?
by Nassim Langrudi, April 13th, 2020 - thanks to Chiara Remedia for translation
A few days ago the idea of an "immunity passport" has entered the public discussion on the Covid19 emergency measures.
I have waited before sharing some of my thoughts about this topic, but sadly this idea seems to be concretely confirmed…. Why am I saying “sadly”? Some people at first may consider it a great idea to verify people's immunity, a perfect response to the quarantine measures; yet ...
Let's just assume: currently no one really knows a thing about this "virus" acquired immunity.
Will it be permanent? No one knows.
How long the eventual Sars-COv-2 immunity will last, it hasn't been evaluated with reasonable confidence. What has been confirmed, however, is that - like the whole Coronavirus family - this variant too is susceptible to rather important mutations: "The genotyping analysis shows that the genes encoding the S proteins and RNA polymerase, RNA primase, and nucleoprotein, undergo frequent mutations. These mutations are critical for vaccine development in disease control. "
Clearly this uncertainty on the acquired immunity makes the whole immunity passport debate a non sense.
Some questions arise: does being immune mean no longer being a healthy carrier? Who decided it? Where is it proven?
An individual, normally, can be immune to a certain disease, because coming into contact with it, he acquires natural immunity in a symptomatic or asymptomatic way, is that right?
However, when it was unequivocally proven, once this immunity has been acquired, the individual would cease carrying this virus, in case he met it? Who said that the virus would stop harboring in the body?
Because, if this fact can't be proved, and it can't, we are facing an hysterical delusion.
A virus acquired immunity allows the body to recognize that virus so when we come in contact with it again we won't develop the disease: it is not a shield that prevents from coming into contact with the virus !!!
What are we then blabbering about?
"A subject can be defined as a healthy carrier when he has been infected by a pathogen and he is hosting the pathogen with no signs of any pathology: these are usually immunologically resistant subjects (mostly having previously acquired immunity), where microorganisms live as saprophytes , who can infect close people, especially if they are less resistant "
But let's take a step back, before technically and scientifically discussing about the (NON) validity of the proposal, because in my opinion a “philosophic” reasoning is required: what are we heading towards by legitimizing this idea? Are we really starting to discuss issuing a kind of "immunity certificate" to allow, or not, people to live in the world as "normal" individuals?
Are we really considering, in these days, to limit personal freedoms, of movement, enjoyment of goods and services, by subjecting them to a virus immunity ???
It seems to me an absurd and paranoid hypochondriac dystopia, but I must acknowledge that, unfortunately, these delusions are being given a lot of space by the media: we are now reading every day about this innovative strategy ... but where are we heading to?
Are we willing to introduce (and accept) the idea that individuals, human beings, need to prove their immunity to some pathogen in order to have the right to move freely? Coronavirus today, and who knows what else tomorrow? Is it only me shuddering to think of it as a real possibility? Are we realizing what the implications are?
But we have already gone further with hypochondriac atrocities, take for example the swab mania: "you have to do the swab" and thus demonstrate that you are - or not - a virus carrier at a given time. This is already happening, and the call for nasopharyngeal swabs full-scale over the population.
Trifles like test reliability are underestimated, because gee, we are in emergency !! Thus, the possibility of refusing a medical test (and the right to privacy) is affected, in the name of a test that, given the emergency, hardly matters if it provides potential false positive or false negative, and what percentage !!
For example this article mentions a concerning percentage of these swabs' inaccuracy and unreliability.
Therefore, we are evaluating political, social and health strategies, not supported by sufficient scientific reliability.
Obviously, all of the above opens up to a logical need to be very, very cautious about a vaccine against this "disease": if we don't have reliable data on the rate of mutation and on circulating serotypes, and on the persistence of any acquired immunity, how can I preview the effectiveness of a vaccine? And how do these considerations affect an almost non-existent evaluation of the adverse reactions and of the vaccine safety? In fact, another basic aspect we must not overlook is the safety of a hypothetical vaccine (which, according to the latest news, would be in the human trial phase already). We've had many official statements about the very short testing time in this particular case, which obviously affects the pre-clinical safety tests indeed, these very same tests we have been, until recently, reassured about the "very long" testing times for the vaccines. As of yesterday, faced with demands of scientific evidence for these drugs' safety, we were told that it was guaranteed by years of study, whereas today Villani is telling us that testing time is "normally" two years: "Normally - he said - at least two years are needed to develop a vaccine, on this particular occasion the times will certainly not be the same ".
What the implications?
In conclusion, in my view great caution is needed considering the different proposals we are reading of these days:
- the indiscriminate use of unreliable diagnostic tools
- the feared “necessity” to somehow tie to a hypothetical "immunity" the people's return to a semblance of normalcy
- the call for a vaccine with the above assumptions
As always, all we have to do is watch over the evolution of the events and facts, keeping in mind that any restriction of civil and constitutional rights is likely to be permanent.