Covid-19 News

  • You misunderstand. Houston Methodist is not part of the government. No U.S. Federal or local government is going to coerce anyone to get the vaccine. Private organizations are free to coerce anyone they like. That's between them and their employees. By the same token, no one can force you to wear a mask, or put on a shirt and shoes, but a grocery store can ban you from entering without a mask, shirt and shoes. A grocery store is private property and they can make any rules they want, as long as they do not demand you do something illegal, and their rules are not discriminatory (such as banning minorities).

    What about Covid passports? That is coming directly from the Whitehouse and the CDC

  • Researchers are investigating if a COVID-19 with multiple mutations found in India is more deadly and resistant to existing vaccines


    https://www.businessinsider.co…ch-more-deadly-2021-4?amp


    As India contends with its second major wave of COVID cases and a double-mutated variant of the virus, it now faces a new threat — a triple-mutant variant.


    Scientists found two triple-mutant varieties in patient samples in four states: Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal, and Chhattisgarh. Researchers in the country have dubbed it the "Bengal strain" and say it has the potential to be even more infectious than the double-mutant variant.


    This is because three COVID variants have merged to form a new, possibly deadlier variant.


    The Times of India spoke to Vinod Scaria, a researcher at the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in India, who said the triple-mutant was also an "immune escape variant" — a strain that helps the virus attach to human cells and hide from the immune system.

    He added that it could have evolved from the double-mutant variant — which experts say is likely behind the recent surge of COVID in the country.


    Sreedhar Chinnaswamy, a researcher from the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics in India, told the Times of India that the variant also carried the E484K mutation, a characteristic found in the variants first identified in South Africa and Brazil.


    "In other words, you may not be safe from this variant even if you were previously infected by another strain, or even if you have been vaccinated," Chinnaswamy said.


    Paul Tambyah, a professor of medicine at the National University of Singapore, said the good news is that there is no concrete evidence that the triple mutation is deadlier or more transmissible.

    Singapore researchers have done some work trying to link the mutations with clinical outcomes and transmissibility and have found no link between more severity or more transmissibility with newer mutants compared with the original lineages of SARS-CoV2," Tambyah said.


    Other scientists studying COVID have detected quadruple- and quintuple-mutants in samples as well, he said, without it necessarily affecting how well vaccines work.


    "There is good data suggesting that the immune system, not just antibodies, can respond to multiple different mutants," Tambyah said.


    But this new threat is still worrying, as India's healthcare system has already reached a breaking point as it grapples with the second wave of COVID cases. Hospitals across the country are dealing with critical shortages of medical oxygen supplies. Yesterday, six hospitals in the country reportedly ran out of oxygen as the country grappled with a sudden surge in patients.

    Oxygen supplies have been diverted from shipbreaking facilities and steel plants. Still, hospitals remain overwhelmed — with some desperate families even resorting to stealing oxygen cylinders from hospitals to keep their family members alive.


    India recorded a daily high of 314,835 COVID cases on Thursday, but that worldwide record was broken within 24 hours when the country announced that it recorded 332,730 new cases and 2,263 deaths on Friday. The country now has over 16 million COVID cases, second only to the US' record of 32 million cases.

  • What about Covid passports? That is coming directly from the Whitehouse and the CDC

    Private industry is asking the government to establish and regulate Covid passports. The government will not force you to get a vaccination or a Covid passport. However, without a Covid passport, some privately owned stores and other organizations will not let you in the door. Again, that is their right. Property rights are important. You have a right to not get a shot, and they have a right to refuse to let you in. The same way they can stop you from coming in without a shirt and shoes. Any man in the U.S. can go barefoot without a shirt on the street or in a car (but women cannot), and any store or other building can refuse entry for that reason.


    Covid passports are not coercion, any more than a regular passport or a driver's license is. You do not have to get either one. You cannot go overseas without a passport, and you cannot drive a car without a license. That's your choice. No one says you have to travel or drive a car.


    At this time, at the height of the pandemic, in some cities there are rules that you have to wear a mask. It is not up to the store to decide. However, this is not coercion. You can choose not to go to the store. Order in. Grow your own food. Starve. It is up to you. Just don't give me and others a serious, potentially fatal illness. That is not your right.


    ..HM is in the US. Yes or No?

    Coercion is in HM..

    Therefore coercion is in the United States..

    HM = Houston Methodist Hospital. The Methodist church is not affiliated with the U.S. government. If corporations, churches, grocery stores and other private property owners wish to coerce their employees into getting a COVID shot, they are free to do so. If they wish to ban customers who do not wear masks, they are free to do so.


    The only COVID vaccine coercion the government can exert -- or prevent -- is by the government itself. By the same token, the only protection of free speech and freedom of the press the government must ensure is protection from the government itself. In other words, the government is not allowed to stop you from speaking or publishing. Facebook, on the other hand, is a private corporation, and they can stop anyone they like from publishing anything they like. Any newspaper or magazine can censor your letter. Nature, for example, will never allow a positive statement about cold fusion. That is their right. I run LENR-CANR.org, and if I decide I will not allow your paper there, that's my decision. No one can overrule me. The government cannot prevent me from censoring anyone I feel like. (As it happens, I have never censored anyone, although I have been falsely accused of doing so. I haven't, but I could if I wanted to.)

  • There has been a lot of confusion about "freedom of speech" on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube lately. Mr. Trump and his supporters railed about it when he was banned from Twitter. There is no such thing as freedom of speech in any of these, or any other privately owned website, magazine or newspaper. The only person with freedom of speech at a newspaper is the publisher. The only person with freedom of speech at LENR-CANR.org is me. I am the only one free to speak there, and no one is allowed to interfere or censor me, except for things which are not covered by free speech protection, such as child pornography or libel.


    If Facebook were to decide to start banning people and censoring them for no good reason, or arbitrarily, or in ways that are highly political, that would upset the public. That would be very bad for their business. The would lose billions of dollar. So they would never do that. However, they could if they wanted to. It would not violate anyone's free speech rights. You cannot demand access to Facebook any more than I can demand that Nature publish an objective, scientific paper about cold fusion. Nature is allowed to publish any damn nonsense they want about cold fusion, and damn nonsense is all they choose to publish. The other day they wrote: "All scientists agree that cold fusion, creationism and Nazi eugenics are examples of pseudoscience."

  • For “Group Think Red”, the evidence is just as compelling to NOT get the vaccine.

  • 2013 paper. They think it could help obese people - but not at the cost of 10 cents. Simply to cheap....

    this from 2018

    Cold Sore Virus May Raise Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

    The presence of HSV-1 infection raised the risk of type 2 diabetes by 50 percent. People who have been infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) — the variety that usually causes ‘cold sores’ rather than genital infections — appear to have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


    Previous studies have implicated hepatitis C virus infection as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. However, it is a possible that infection with other viruses, such as HSV-1, may make people more prone to develop the disease as well.

    To investigate, Dr. Yuejin Yang and colleagues, from the Peking Union Medical College in Beijing, tested 206 subjects with type 2 diabetes for HSV-1 infection, along with a control group of 1360 without diabetes.


    To avoid possible confusion, all of the subjects were negative for hepatitis C virus antibodies, the investigators state in the medical journal Diabetes Care. Forty-six percent of diabetic subjects were infected with HSV-1 compared with 36 percent of controls. Moreover, individuals with diabetes made up for 16 percent of the group with HSV-1 but only 11 percent of those free of the virus.


    When they analyzed the data, the investigators concluded that the presence of HSV-1 infection raised the risk of type 2 diabetes by 50 percent. This association between HSV-1 infection and type 2 diabetes further supports the idea that inflammation and virus infection increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, the team points out.

    Diabetes Care, February 2005.

  • Houston Methodist Hospital. The Methodist church is not affiliated with the U.S. government

    HM is not in the US govt.. true

    but HM is in the United States . Yes or No

    although some Texans may disagree..

    examine the FM1 statement..there ain't no government in't

    unless someone coerces "government " into it..

    Fm1
  • Japan starts a new wave...


    Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared states of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures on Friday as the country resorts to contingency measures to contain a fourth wave of the coronavirus.

    Japan has passed through two states of emergency and three waves of the pandemic with casualties that pale in comparison to many countries, but the fourth wave — fueled by deadlier, more contagious variants of the virus — could do more harm if the country’s third state of emergency doesn’t embrace lessons learned from past mistakes.

    While the first state of emergency encompassed a broad swath of business closure requests, the second was executed more narrowly and took aim at where people eat and drink.

    The third state of emergency attempts to strike a greater balance between virus containment and economic recovery.

    Effective Sunday, department stores, shopping centers, movie theaters and other large commercial facilities will be asked to close in the four prefectures until May 11.

    Dining establishments will be asked to close by 8 p.m., and those that serve alcohol or provide karaoke requested to suspend operations completely.

    On Friday, Hyogo saw a record-breaking 567 new cases, while 759 were reported in Tokyo and 1,162 in Osaka.

    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/n…/suga-state-of-emergency/

  • This is why an infection protects you much better than a vaccine! The news about vanishing antibodies is just Pfizer marketing with no real medical background.

    2013 paper. They think it could help obese people - but not at the cost of 10 cents. Simply to cheap....

    Every one should be a big pharma sceptic. Glad to hear that you bought a car with no warranty. This must be something special for a layer...

    CNN :

    <http://lite.cnn.com/en/article…1d96ab82c5a6f15891ff6f823>


    But the Washington University study
    https://medicine.wustl.edu/new…of-death-serious-illness/

    shows what many experts have said for much of the last year -- you don't want this

    virus, Gupta said.


    Between one and six months after getting sick, patients who had

    Covid-19 had a 60% higher risk of death than those patients that

    never had Covid-19. Patients who had Covid-19 also had a 20% greater

    chance of needing more medical care over the six months after their

    diagnosis and more medication.

  • Lessons from the Zimbabwe Ivermectin experience

    hit it hard hit it with multiple drugs and hit it early..

    if we followed the WHO advice we would be back to 70 deaths a day

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    the whole country functions on whatsapp

    I guess I should get it..

  • I think it’s common sense to get

    Vaccinated and have Ivermectin

    handy.

    No it is not common sense. There are many scientific reasons to be concerned, including very high adverse events - which are only starting to come out of the wood work. Most simply in some populations 1/25,000 clotting issues.

  • HM is not in the US govt.. true

    but HM is in the United States . Yes or No

    although some Texans may disagree..

    examine the FM1 statement..there ain't no government in't

    unless someone coerces "government " into it..

    Yes, private organizations are free to coerce people into getting COVID shots. They are also free to demand men wear shirts and shoes in grocery stores, and suits and ties in fancy restaurants. Churches are free to coerce members to tithe their salaries, and young people not to have sex. Many organizations coerce many people in many different ways in the U.S.


    What was your point again?


    The only coercion that is any business of yours or mine is government policy based coercion. What corporations, hospitals and churches demand of their members is none of our business, as long as it is legal.

  • There are many scientific reasons to be concerned, including very high adverse events - which are only starting to come out of the wood work

    That is a lie. There is not single serious adverse effect from the mRNA vaccines. There may be some from the other vaccines, but they are far less common than being hit by lightning, and thousands of times less likely than getting seriously ill or dying from COVID. Nothing is coming out of the woodwork, now, or in the future. Hundreds of millions of people have been vaccinated. If there were any serious effects, we would have seen them by now.


    You should stop posting vile lies and disinformation here. This is a science forum, not a place for you members of the Death Cult to spread your poison.

  • What was your point again?

    you coerced 'government' into Houston Methodist and said FM1 misunderstood..

    when clearly he did not mean government.. he did not misunderstand..

    I guess you wanted to make point JR..about private vs govt... which is selfevident to most.


    and probably more selfevident than

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"

    You misunderstand. Houston Methodist is not part of the government.

  • That is a lie. There is not single serious adverse effect from the mRNA vaccines. There may be some from the other vaccines, but they are far less common than being hit by lightning, and thousands of times less likely than getting seriously ill or dying from COVID. Nothing is coming out of the woodwork, now, or in the future. Hundreds of millions of people have been vaccinated. If there were any serious effects, we would have seen them by now.


    You should stop posting vile lies and disinformation here. This is a science forum, not a place for you members of the Death Cult to spread your poison.

    It is well known to those studied in psychology that people who have been traumatized engage in massive amounts of projection - they literally see out there what is inside. Think about it.

  • MIT researchers say you're no safer from Covid indoors at 6 feet or 60 feet in new study challenging social distancing policies


    https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2021/…60-feet-in-new-study.html


    The risk of being exposed to Covid-19 indoors is as great at 60 feet as it is at 6 feet — even when wearing a mask, according to a new study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers who challenge social distancing guidelines adopted across the world.


    MIT professors Martin Z. Bazant, who teaches chemical engineering and applied mathematics, and John W.M. Bush, who teaches applied mathematics, developed a method of calculating exposure risk to Covid-19 in an indoor setting that factors in a variety of issues that could affect transmission, including the amount of time spent inside, air filtration and circulation, immunization, variant strains, mask use, and even respiratory activity such as breathing, eating, speaking or singing.Bazant and Bush question long-held Covid-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization in a peer-reviewed study published earlier this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America.


    "We argue there really isn't much of a benefit to the 6-foot rule, especially when people are wearing masks," Bazant said in an interview. "It really has no physical basis because the air a person is breathing while wearing a mask tends to rise and comes down elsewhere in the room so you're more exposed to the average background than you are to a person at a distance."


    The important variable the CDC and the WHO have overlooked is the amount of time spent indoors, Bazant said. The longer someone is inside with an infected person, the greater the chance of transmission, he said.


    Opening windows or installing new fans to keep the air moving could also be just as effective or more effective than spending large amounts of money on a new filtration system, he said.


    Bazant also says that guidelines enforcing indoor occupancy caps are flawed. He said 20 people gathered inside for 1 minute is probably fine, but not over the course of several hours, he said.

    What our analysis continues to show is that many spaces that have been shut down in fact don't need to be. Often times the space is large enough, the ventilation is good enough, the amount of time people spend together is such that those spaces can be safely operated even at full capacity and the scientific support for reduced capacity in those spaces is really not very good," Bazant said. "I think if you run the numbers, even right now for many types of spaces you'd find that there is not a need for occupancy restrictions."


    Six-feet social distancing rules that inadvertently result in closed businesses and schools are "just not reasonable," according to Bazant.


    "This emphasis on distancing has been really misplaced from the very beginning. The CDC or WHO have never really provided justification for it, they've just said this is what you must do and the only justification I'm aware of, is based on studies of coughs and sneezes, where they look at the largest particles that might sediment onto the floor and even then it's very approximate, you can certainly have longer or shorter range, large droplets," Bazant said.


    "The distancing isn't helping you that much and it's also giving you a false sense of security because you're as safe at 6 feet as you are at 60 feet if you're indoors. Everyone in that space is at roughly the same risk, actually," he noted.


    Pathogen-laced droplets travel through the air indoors when people talk, breathe or eat. It is now known that airborne transmission plays a huge role in the spread of Covid-19, compared with the earlier months of the pandemic where hand-washing was considered the leading recommendation to avoid transmission.

    Those droplets from one's warm exhalation mix with body heat and air currents in the area to rise and travel throughout the entire room, no matter how socially distanced a person is. People seem to be more exposed to that "background" air than they are by droplets from a distance, according to the study.


    For example, if someone infected with Covid-19 is wearing a mask and singing loudly in an enclosed room, a person who is sitting at the other side of the room is not more protected than someone who is sitting just six feet away from the infected person. This is why time spent in the enclosed area is more important than how far you are from the infected person.


    Masks work in general to prevent transmission by blocking larger droplets, therefore larger droplets aren't making up the majority of Covid infections because most people are wearing masks. The majority of people who are transmitting Covid aren't coughing and sneezing, they're asymptomatic.


    Masks also work to prevent indoor transmission by blocking direct plumes of air, best visualized by imagining someone exhaling smoke. Constant exposure to direct plumes of infectious air would result in a higher risk of transmission, though exposure to direct plumes of exhaled air doesn't usually last long.


    Even with masks on, as with smoking, those who are in the vicinity are heavily affected by the secondhand smoke that makes its way around the enclosed area and lingers. The same logic applies to infectious airborne droplets, according to the study. When indoors and masked, factors besides distance can be more important to consider to avoid transmission.


    As for social distancing outdoors, Bazant says it makes almost no sense and that doing so with masks on is "kind of crazy."


    "If you look at the air flow outside, the infected air would be swept away and very unlikely to cause transmission. There are very few recorded instances of outdoor transmission." he said. "Crowded spaces outdoor could be an issue, but if people are keeping a reasonable distance of like 3 feet outside, I feel pretty comfortable with that even without masks frankly."


    Bazant says this could possibly explain why there haven't been spikes in transmission in states like Texas or Florida that have reopened businesses without capacity limits.


    As for variant strains that are 60% more transmissible, increasing ventilation by 60%, reducing the amount of time spent inside or limiting the number of people indoors could offset that risk.


    Bazant also said that a big question that is coming will be when masks can be removed, and that the study's guidelines can help quantify the risks involved. He also noted that measuring carbon dioxide in a room can also help quantify how much infected air is present and hence risk of transmission.


    "We need scientific information conveyed to the public in a way that is not just fearmongering but is actually based in analysis," Bazant said. After three rounds of heavy peer review, he said it's the most review he's ever been through, and that now that it's published he hopes it will influence policy.

  • Long haulers' study suggests even mild COVID-19 could increase risk of death up to 6 months after infection


    https://www.businessinsider.co…y-long-haulers-2021-4?amp


    Mild COVID-19 made people more likely to die for six months in a large-scale study published Thursday in Nature.


    The study, of nearly 73,000 mostly male veterans, found that people who had COVID-19 but weren't hospitalized were 59% more likely to die more than a month after diagnosis, compared to someone without the virus.


    A higher risk of death extended to at least six months. The study's authors, from the US department of Veterans Affairs, estimated that mild COVID-19 would cause eight more deaths per 1,000 people six months out from diagnosis, compared to an average group of people on the US department of Veterans Affairs database.


    The numbers were higher for those who had hospital treatment — a separate group of nearly 14,000 people in the study. The authors estimated that out of 1,000 people who received hospital treatment for COVID-19, 28 more would die within six months of diagnosis, compared with an average group of 1,000 on the database

    Due to the nature of the study, it was not possible to say whether COVID-19 caused these deaths. The cohort for mild COVID-19 comprised more than 73,000 mostly white (76%), male (90%) war veterans with an average age of 66, so it is not clear whether the findings apply to a wider population.


    The US department of Veteran Affairs researchers also found that those not needing hospital treatment required 20% more ongoing care than someone who hadn't gotten infected. Some of these people had lingering symptoms, including respiratory symptoms, headaches, mental-health conditions, and metabolic disorders.


    A previous study from France, reported on by Insider's Aria Bendix in March, found that 40-year-old women were most at risk of so-called "long-COVID," — a range of symptoms lasting a month or more after first catching coronavirus or that appear weeks after infection.


    The authors of the new study didn't provide much detail about the symptoms, including how long they lasted for, and whether the veterans had preexisting conditions before they caught COVID-19.

  • Detection of SARS‐CoV‐2 in respiratory samples from cats in the UK associated with human‐to‐cat transmission


    https://bvajournals.onlinelibr…doi/full/10.1002/vetr.247


    Abstract

    Objectives: The aim of the study was to find evidence of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection in UK cats.


    Design: Tissue samples were tested for SARS‐CoV‐2 antigen using immunofluorescence and for viral RNA by in situ hybridisation. A set of 387 oropharyngeal swabs that had been submitted for routine respiratory pathogen testing was tested for SARS‐CoV‐2 RNA using reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR.


    Results: Lung tissue collected post‐mortem from cat 1 tested positive for both SARS‐CoV‐2 nucleocapsid antigen and RNA. SARS‐CoV‐2 RNA was detected in an oropharyngeal swab collected from cat 2 that presented with rhinitis and conjunctivitis. High throughput sequencing of the viral genome revealed five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) compared to the nearest UK human SARS‐CoV‐2 sequence, and this human virus contained eight SNPs compared to the original Wuhan‐Hu‐1 reference sequence. An analysis of the viral genome of cat 2 together with nine other feline‐derived SARS‐CoV‐2 sequences from around the world revealed no shared cat‐specific mutations.


    Conclusions: These findings indicate that human‐to‐cat transmission of SARS‐CoV‐2 occurred during the COVID‐19 pandemic in the UK, with the infected cats developing mild or severe respiratory disease. Given the ability of the new coronavirus to infect different species, it will be important to monitor for human‐to‐cat, cat‐to‐cat and cat‐to‐human transmission.

  • A COVID vaccine you can make at home? Scientists are trying it

    The Rapid Deployment Vaccine Collaborative, or RaDVaC, is a group of scientists working on an open-source, low-tech COVID-19 vaccine that costs pennies per dose; but it isn’t yet proven to work, and it doesn’t have a green light from regulators


    https://www.aljazeera.com/amp/…-scientists-are-trying-it


    For the millions of people around the world who don’t have access to hard-to-get Covid-19 vaccines, a group of Boston-area scientists has a potential solution. And it’s literally a solution, one that you snort in hopes of warding off the deadly virus.


    The group is called the Rapid Deployment Vaccine Collaborative, or RaDVaC, and their vaccine is so easy to make that its chief scientist, Preston Estep, said we could whip it up in my kitchen. So we did.

    Drawbacks: The vaccine isn’t proven to work, and it doesn’t have regulatory authorization. It also hasn’t gone through huge, lengthy, costly clinical trials like those undertaken by Moderna Inc., Pfizer Inc., AstraZeneca Plc and Johnson & Johnson. The main testing ground for the vaccine is RaDVaC’s scientists themselves and other colleagues like Harvard Medical School’s George Church, who believe the project has merit.


    What it does have is low-cost, low-tech production. Shots can be made for as little as a dime each and took less than an hour to mix together in my home – less time than it would take to make a loaf of bread.


    “It’s actually easier than a lot of recipes in cookbooks,” said Estep, who has written a book on foods that promote brain longevity.


    All the materials – saline solution, small pieces of proteins that are similar to those of the coronavirus, and cross-linking chemicals including one called chitosan that’s made from shellfish and insect carapaces – can be bought online with no special licenses or permission. And the recipe is open-source, meaning anyone can use it.

    We want other people to have the design,” Estep said. “So we share the design and start making the vaccine, and then we start testing it on ourselves.”


    The Process

    In both rich and poor countries, there’s still not enough Covid vaccine to go around. Jutta Paulus, a Green Party member of the European Parliament from Germany, said she’s spoken with European Union regulators, its health ministry and the World Health Organization about backing and testing RaDVac’s vaccine. Without success, the trained pharmacist is turning to non-governmental organizations and foundations.


    “I would have taken this vaccine experimentally,” said Paulus, who hasn’t received any vaccine herself. “My personal belief is that the risk is low, and I wouldn’t expect a lot of adverse reactions, but it has to be investigated.”


    A cheap, easily produced vaccine could be a hugely important when the next pandemic hits, Paulus said. And that’s when, not if, as people continue to come into contact with more new, potentially dangerous viruses spreading in the animal world.

    Here’s how the vaccine is supposed to work: The vaccine is essentially an amalgam of portions of coronavirus proteins that the human immune system recognizes. RaDVaC takes those pieces, called peptides, and uses chitosan to pull them together into nanoparticles that are similar in size to viruses.


    The nanoparticles have a positive charge, and when they’re snorted, they’re attracted to the negatively charged nasal lining. The scientists hope the particles will be recognized by the body’s immune system, which would then prime protective antibodies and T-cells to respond in the event of a real infection. Protecting nasal tissue is key, because that’s where the virus is thought to frequently enter the body. The idea has been shown to work in animal experiments, Estep said.


    Because the vaccine is so simple to make, it’s also relatively easy to modify. RaDVaC is already on its 10th version, which includes copies of portions of the virus that aren’t included in commercial vaccines. Other components are designed to protect against new variants that emerged in the U.K., Brazil and South Africa. Big vaccine-makers are just beginning to test versions targeted against these mutants in people.


    “We have the first vaccine that addresses those variants of concern,” Estep said. “Because we’re not constrained by all these clinical trials and regulatory hoops, we can start making these designs and testing them very quickly.”

    A Visitor

    Estep showed up at my door on a Wednesday afternoon in April toting nothing more than a cardboard box and a mini-cooler. Inside the box were a magnetic stirring plate, a beaker, pipetting equipment and a sterilizing agent. The cooler held the peptides and chitosan.


    Dousing his gloved hands in isopropyl alcohol at every step of the way, Estep showed me how to slowly mix the peptides and chitosan to form nanoparticles, invisible to the naked eye. We let it sit for a few minutes, and then he sprayed the solution into his nose for what he said was the 10th time. Side effects are minimal, he said.


    “It usually results in some nasal congestion, but that soon goes away,” he said.


    The list of disclaimers on RaDVaC’s website is quite long. The group doesn’t guarantee that the vaccine works, and its efforts don’t constitute medical advice. It doesn’t provide ingredients or production equipment. I didn’t take the vaccine Estep made, as it may present legal problems for the group to directly provide vaccine to anyone.

    But RaDVaC is continuing to bring its simple vaccine into the mainstream. Talks are underway with governments to get it into challenge trials, which would involve deliberately trying to infect vaccinated and unvaccinated volunteers with SARS-CoV-2. The studies carry some risk but are an efficient way to determine whether the solution works at minimal cost.


    “We made it a priority from the very start that everything is free and open-source,” he said. “A lot of emerging economies are last on the list for vaccine access. They’re extremely concerned, they have no options right now. The thing that these governments are starting to realize is that if they had control of production, they wouldn’t have to negotiate these contracts, they wouldn’t have to be last in line — they could just design it and make it.”