The Omicron variant, the latest Covid mutation grabbing international headlines, is already causing a devastating ripple effect throughout the world. Global authorities in the U.K. and the E.U. are tightening their borders in anticipation of another Covid wave.
In the United States, New York’s governor Kathy Hochul has already canceled elective surgeries in the state citing the Omicron variant, even as the transmissibility and deadliness of this latest Covid mutation are unknown. The variant is believed to have originated in Botswana, and may be playing a role in a Covid surge in South Africa. The variant has been identified in Botswana, South Africa, Hong Kong, and Amsterdam in The Netherlands.
Pfizer-BioNTech, fresh off sky-high profits off of its government-mandated ‘vaccines,’ is already mullying a ‘future relaunch‘ of a Covid-19 vaccine to deal with the Omicron variant. It looks like a lesser-known pharmaceutical company, Novavax, however, may beat it to the punch.
Novavax said on Friday it has “started working on a version of its COVID-19 vaccine to target the variant detected in South Africa” and “would have the shot ready for testing and manufacturing in the next few weeks,” Reuters reported.
“The company’s COVID-19 shot contains an actual version of the virus’ spike protein that cannot cause disease but can trigger the immune system,” Reuters noted. “The vaccine developer said it had started developing a spike protein specifically based on the known genetic sequence of the variant, B.1.1.529.”
“The initial work will take a few weeks,” a company spokesperson said. “Shares of the company closed up nearly 9% on Friday.”
The report notes that Novavax’s vaccine received its first emergency use approval earlier this month in Indonesia, followed by the Philippines.
“The company has said it is on track to file for U.S. approval by the end of the year,” the report continued. “It has also filed for approvals with the European Medicines Agency as well as in Canada.”
Novavax’s statement indicates a potential continuation of the track record of Covid vaccines that are patented and developed ‘too quickly.’ Before SARS-CoV-2 burst onto the global scene in December 2019, it was expected that a vaccine took years of testing and development.
Suddenly, it takes almost no time at all to produce a so-called “vaccine” that is actually just a prophylactic therapeutic, which subsequently wears off in months and requires “boosters.” It is reminiscent of the manner that China rapidly produced a patent for a vaccine after international authorities learned of Covid-19, which the Communist Chinese Party apparently knew about and kept hidden from the world since May 2019.
The sudden appearance of Covid-19 in Wuhan preceded China filing an improbably early COVID-19 vaccine patent. Indeed, the ‘warp speed’ rollout would have been virtually impossible, unless the Chinese were already conducting research on the deadly coronavirus before the world knew about it.
The Australian reported that the “U.S. paid for the People’s Liberation Army to engineer coronaviruses.” The implications of the Pentagon funding such dangerous research in China are sweeping and profound.
National security sources said the ties between Zhou [Yusen] and Dr Shi [Zhengli aka the “Bat Woman”] supported claims by US intelligence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was engaged in “secret military activity.”
“Zhou, who conducted the research in conjunction with the Wuhan institute, the University of Minnesota and the New York Blood Centre, was the first to file a patent for a Covid-19 vaccine on February 24 last year, according to documents obtained by The Weekend Australian.”
This was only five weeks after China admitted there was human-to-human transmission of the virus.
The holder of the patent is striking. “Zhou is listed as the lead inventor on the patent application lodged by the ‘Institute of Military Medicine, Academy of Military Sciences of the PLA’,” the report states.
The Australian contacted a viral expert who corroborates that the vaccine timeline is virtually impossible.
Nikolai Petrovsky, a medical researcher at Flinders University who has been developing a Covid-19 vaccine, said that while it was technically possible to have a vaccine in this time frame, it appeared to be a “remarkable achievement”.
He said it left open the possibility the Chinese scientists were working on a vaccine before authorities publicly admitted there was a coronavirus outbreak.
“This is something we have never seen achieved before, raising the question of whether this work may have started much earlier,” Professor Petrovsky said.
The plot thickens. One of the scientists involved in the research, Zhou Yusen, was the subject of an “unexplained death” in May 2020 after a probe into the origins of COVID-19 had begun. Five Eyes intelligence is investigating the mysterious death as part of a probe that was initiated by the Biden administration.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that scientific researchers believe that the RNA sequence in the SARS-CoV-2 virus is almost certainly unnatural in origin.
“The CGG-CGG combination has never been found naturally. That means the common method of viruses picking up new skills, called recombination, cannot operate here,” the scientists wrote in the WSJ.
“A virus simply cannot pick up a sequence from another virus if that sequence isn’t present in any other virus,” they added.
A scientist who has been studying the Omicron variant described it as “horrific.” It also has unusual properties that have not been seen in other Covid variants.
Tom Peacock, a virologist the Department of Infectious Disease at Imperial College in the U.K., gave the latest state of scientific research on the Omicron variant.
“Just spotted: very small cluster of variant associated with Southern Africa with very long branch length and really awful Spike mutation profile including RBD – K417N, N440K, G446S, S477N, T478K, E484A, Q493K, G496S, Q498R, N501Y, Y505H (github.com/cov-lineages/p…)
Full Spike profile: A67V, Δ69-70, T95I, G142D/Δ143-145, Δ211/L212I, ins214EPE, G339D, S371L, S373P, S375F, K417N, N440K, G446S, S477N, T478K, E484A, Q493K, G496S, Q498R, N501Y, Y505H, T547K, D614G, H655Y, N679K, P681H, N764K, D796Y, N856K, Q954H, N969K, L981F.”
“For those interested this has an NTD insertion at the NTD insertion hotspot (at aa214) which shows high likelihood of being host-derived (from host TMEM245 mRNA),” he continued.
“Worth emphasising this is at super low numbers right now in a region of Africa that is fairly well sampled, however it very very much should be monitored due to that horrific spike profile (would take a guess that this would be worse antigenically than nearly anything else about),” he added.
“A final observation – this variant contains not one, but two furin cleavage site mutations – P681H (seen in Alpha, Mu, some Gamma, B.1.1.318) combined with N679K (seen in C.1.2 amongst others) – this is the first time I’ve seen two of these mutations in a single variant,” he noted.
Then he provided a few updates: “[T]his lineage has now been assigned as B.1.1.529: (github.com/cov-lineages/p…)
“Update on South African situation from @Tuliodna (Who is absolutely the best person to follow for updates on this) – bottom line is B.1.1.529 may already be quite widespread in SA,” he added.
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) November 25, 2021
Tulio de Oliveira, the director of South Africa’s Center for Epidemic Response and Innovation, told the BBC the variant has an “unusual constellation of mutations.” For example, the Delta variant had two mutations to its receptor binding domain; this variant has 10, he said.
There are also anecdotal reports of cases in vaccinated people and reinfections, but health officials said more investigation is needed, Nature reported. Researchers are trying to measure the variant’s potential to spread globally, as well as if it will prove to be milder than the Beta and Delta variants.
“A burning question is ‘does it reduce vaccine effectiveness, because it has so many changes?’” Aris Katzourakis, who studies virus evolution at the University of Oxford.
Moore told Nature that breakthrough infections have been reported in South Africa among people who have received any of the three kinds of vaccines in use there: Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer–BioNTech and Oxford–AstraZeneca.
Ravindra Gupta, a professor of clinical microbiology at the University of Cambridge, said the new variant has a high number of spike mutations that could affect transmissibility and immune response.
“There’s a lot we don’t understand about this variant,” Richard Lessells, an infectious-diseases physician at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, said at a press briefing. “The mutation profile gives us concern, but now we need to do the work to understand the significance of this variant and what it means for the response to the pandemic.”
“We’re flying at warp speed,” Penny Moore, a virologist at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, told Nature. Moore added that “at this stage it’s too early to tell anything” about the anecdotal reports of reinfections and of cases in vaccinated individuals.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is already under scrutiny for the waning efficacy of its mRNA prophylactic therapeutic, which has been marketed as a ‘vaccine’ for Covid-19. The pharmaceutic company, whose Comirnaty vaccine was ‘fully authorized’ for Covid-19 by the Food and Drug Administration was granted full liability shielding by the Biden administration. The so-called ‘vaccines’ have worn off so fast that the Centers for Disease Control is already recommending “boosters.”
Novavax may soon be the next pharmaceutical company to get in on the Covid profiteering. If it can produce a vaccine within weeks, it may find its product being mandated to millions of people worldwide — without anyone knowing the side effects or even if people will need more boosters in another six months.