The author of an op-ed published this week in the Wall Street Journal suggested COVID-19 vaccines could be fueling new variants — a theory posited as far back as August 2021 by vaccinologist Geert Vanden Bossche.
As scientists and mainstream media sounded the alarm this week about a new COVID-19 variant sweeping through the Northeast, the author of an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) suggested COVID-19 vaccines could be fueling new variants.
In her Jan. 1 opinion piece, Allysia Finley — a member of WSJ’s editorial board — cited new research suggesting the virus appears to be evolving in ways that “evade immunity.”
Since the COVID-19 Omicron variant emerged in November 2021, its descendants have been predominant. The latest Omicron variant, XBB.1.5, evolved from the XBB variant — itself a fusion of two Omicron subvariants — found in at least 70 countries.
There is no evidence that XBB is more lethal than other Omicron subvariants, but several recent studies indicated it is more transmissible and evades protection offered by existing vaccines and monoclonal antibody treatments.
XBB.1.5 has a key mutation known as F486P, which according to the Bloom Lab, is tied to immunity escape because it changes the part of the virus targeted by antibodies from vaccination or previous infection. The predecessor XBB strain had the same ability to evade antibodies….