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Moderna Developing mRNA Vaccines for Diseases Linked to COVID Shots


John-Michael Dumais

During its Vaccines Day Event for investors on March 28, Moderna announced progress on multiple mRNA-based vaccines and therapeutic candidates in its “pipeline.”

Three vaccines targeting Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Varicella-zoster virus (VZV, chickenpox and shingles) and Norovirus are advancing to “pivotal late-stage development,” the company said.

Moderna also announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to approve its respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine mRNA-1345 for older adults. This is part of an expected $52 billion market for Moderna’s infectious disease vaccines.

“We continue to explore the application of mRNA in the potential treatment of cardiovascular and other ischemic vascular diseases,” Moderna’s website states in its product plans for therapeutic areas.

The company also is developing mRNA solutions for cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Citing the well-documented and often serious adverse reactions to the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, some scientists and doctors said they are concerned about the dangers of existing and new mRNA formulations.

They also question whether Moderna is attempting to profit from solutions for diseases its products are causing.

Blocking the ‘foot soldiers of the immune system’

Synthetic-modified RNA (modRNA) in the cells suppresses innate immunity that keeps latent viruses at bay and protects against new infections, according to Brian Hooker, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at Children’s Health Defense.

“One of the mechanisms involves microRNAs that suppress the production of cellular interferon, which is extremely important for attack against viral infections as well as tumor suppression,” Hooker told The Defender.

Hooker pointed to the June 2022 paper by Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D., Dr. Peter McCullough and others that explored innate immune suppression by mRNA vaccines.

The authors proposed that vaccine-induced interferon suppression blocks the proper functioning of CD8+ T cells — often called the foot soldiers of the immune system — allowing dormant viruses to reactivate and, in the case of VZV, to cause shingles, the “adult” version of chickenpox.

A 2021 paper reported 54 cases of herpes zoster (shingles) emerging an average of 7 days after COVID-19 vaccination. A 2022 paper reported 10 cases of herpes zoster reactivation within one to three weeks after COVID-19 vaccination.

Yet the authors of both papers claimed a definitive link between the vaccines and the symptoms could not be established.

French scientist Hélène Banoun, Ph.D., in “La Science face au Pouvoir: Ce que révèle la crise Covid-19 sur la biopolitique du XXIe siècle” (“Science versus Power: What the Covid-19 crisis reveals about 21st-century biopolitics”), wrote that the disorganization of the innate immune system and its receptors contribute to the reactivation of latent viruses — including herpes, shingles, human papillomavirus (HPV) and RSV.

Many people infected by EBV or VZV become healthy, asymptomatic carriers, according to Banoun.

“These viruses, as well as other viruses or bacteria — such as the Koch bacillus responsible for tuberculosis — can remain dormant throughout life, or be reactivated during immunosuppression,” Banoun told The Defender.

Banoun also cited leprosy reactions following mRNA injections observed in numerous countries. “Despite the sophistication of mRNA vaccines, some side effects apparently reactivate diseases thought to have been relegated to the past,” she wrote.

Numerous case studies (here, here and here) correlate the development of EBV-related symptoms and antibodies with COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.

Matthew Matlock, a combat veteran and Ironman athlete, self-reported at the April 2022 meeting of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee that he suffered from the reactivation of EBV, in addition to cardiac and mast cell disease issues, after receiving the second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot.

Moderna is creating two versions of a vaccine for EBV: mRNA-1189 for prevention and mRNA-1195 to address the long-term effects, specifically multiple sclerosis and a subcategory of lymphoma in solid organ transplant patients.

Moderna reportedly paused its EBV vaccine trial last year when a subject developed myocarditis.

Moderna does not mention other long-term EBV effects such as chronic active EBV, EBV-associated cancers, anemia, rupture of the spleen, thrombocytopenia, hepatitis, myocarditis and diseases of the nervous system including encephalitis, meningitis and Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said the market for the EBV vaccines is expected to be several billion dollars.

Turbo cancers and autoimmune diseases

Banoun noted the role of anti-spike IgG4 (immunoglobin subtype 4) in spike-induced immunotolerance, writing that it “takes over from other IgG after repeated vaccinations” and increases the expression of PD-L1 (programmed cell death ligand 1), which can prevent the immune system’s T cells from attacking and killing cancer cells.

IgG4 is an antibody the immune system produces in response to infections or vaccinations. It has anti-inflammatory properties but can also bind to the same targets as other antibodies, blocking their effectiveness.

Overexpression of IgG4 can lead to IgG4-related disease, a chronic inflammatory condition with lesions that can dysregulate organ functioning and even cause death.

According to a 2023 study, IgG4 antibodies induced by repeated vaccination may generate immune tolerance to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, rendering the mRNA vaccines ineffective.

Mikolaj Raszek, Ph.D., a genomics sequencing specialist and founder and director of Merogenomics, in a recent tweet cited a January 2024 article in Viruses showing abnormal IgG4 antibodies in nearly all mRNA-vaccinated Individuals:

“They’re suggesting that having too much antigen eventually will lead to T cell exhaustion, and if you have T cell exhaustion this is how you might start correlating that with development of autoimmunity …

“More and more scientists are becoming leery of these IgG4 antibodies that basically seem to be observed in almost all of the mRNA vaccinated individuals.”

The authors of the Viruses article noted that a high level of IgG4 in the serum is considered pathogenic as it could trigger autoimmune diseases, cancer and other illnesses.

They speculated this could be due to the long-lasting spike protein produced by the vaccines and suggested this could lead to the desensitization of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, leading to immune system exhaustion.

“The induction of immunological tolerance by repeated vaccinations could perhaps explain the large number of deaths occurring in vaccinated people who received a third dose compared with unvaccinated individuals in some European countries,” they wrote.

In their paper, Seneff and McCullough linked vaccine-induced immunosuppression to neurodegenerative diseases, myocarditis, immune thrombocytopenia, Bell’s palsy, liver disease, cancer and other impairments.

Geert Vanden Bossche, Ph.D., also warned that vaccine-induced elevated levels of IgG4 could lead to turbo cancers. Many oncologists have reported rapidly developing cancers, often in younger people, that have already progressed to Stage 3 or 4 by the time they are diagnosed.

Banoun said that until a few years ago, Moderna developed mRNA vaccines solely to fight cancer. “It is certain that we are witnessing an increase in the incidence of cancer certainly due to anti-COVID RNAs,” she said.

Banoun said the mRNA-6981 product under development by Moderna is designed to increase PD-L1 levels to prevent the progression of autoimmune hepatitis by limiting the immune system’s self-reactivity.

However, as already noted, elevated PD-L1 can block the immune system’s cancer-fighting properties.

“This therapy is a double-edged sword, as it will not be specific and risks inducing immunotolerance to other pathologies such as infections and cancers,” Banoun said. “Moderna will then be able to develop other mRNAs against induced cancers.”

Other cancer-targeting mRNAs in Moderna’s pipeline include mRNA-4157 for melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); mRNA-5671 for NSCLC, pancreatic and colorectal cancers; mRNA-4359 to “stimulate effector T cells that target and kill suppressive immune and cancer cells that express high levels of target checkpoint antigens”; and mRNA-2752 for direct injection into tumors and lymphomas.

Moderna also said it is developing several mRNA therapeutics that it believes “have the potential to help the millions of patients battling autoimmune diseases.”

SARS-CoV-2 spike protein can cause many of the same diseases

Moderna may also be responding to diseases caused by the spike protein in the original SARS-CoV-2 virus itself.

There is ample evidence at this point to suggest that the virus was engineered specifically to be more virulent to humans.

Researchers in this 2022 study of COVID-19-infected people found elevated levels of EBV-related antibodies as well as herpes virus 6A and human endogenous retrovirus K antibodies.

Symptoms attributed to “long COVID” (which may include symptoms attributable to the mRNA vaccines) include difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, fatigue, brain fog, sleep problems, dizziness, pins-and-needles feelings, post-exercise malaise, a change in smell or taste, depression or anxiety, stomach pain or diarrhea, joint or muscle pain, rashes and changes in menstrual cycles.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website states that these symptoms are similar to those reported by people with chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis.

Dr. Michelle Perro, an integrative medicine pediatrician and executive director of GMO Science, told The Defender that because people with long COVID may have an exacerbation of underlying chronic infections, “the production of mRNA vaccines, which are problematic from the experience with COVID, is faulty at best.”

“These vaccines were in the pipeline way before COVID and got a pass with the EUA [emergency use authorization] to unleash the technology,” Perro said.

“There is nothing good to be said about using this process [mRNA] in ‘vaccine’ development,” she said. “This technology should be abandoned immediately until further data is available.”

Moderna has recently been pushing a vaccination campaign aimed at long COVID prevention.

‘Hello shingles!’ Existing vaccines may be cause of diseases

The mRNA shots may not be solely responsible for the reemergence of viruses like chickenpox. In her March 29 Substack post, Jennifer Margulis discussed the chickenpox vaccine and its relationship to the rise in shingles cases.

Until the chickenpox vaccine was added to the childhood vaccination schedule in 1995, the virus was associated with “only 100 deaths each year out of nearly 4 million cases,” she wrote.

Margulis questioned why such a relatively mild disease would need a vaccine if the purpose of the scheduled vaccines was to prevent serious disease. She noted that fewer than one-third of European countries even recommend universal vaccination for children.

Citing a 2022 study, Margulis highlighted some of the serious adverse reactions to the chickenpox vaccine, including meningitis, encephalitis and death. Other adverse effects reported include thrombocytopenia, pneumonia, severe rashes, skin infections and seizures.

Margulis argued that removing the wild virus from circulation through wide-scale vaccination campaigns had reduced the natural immunity of adults who in times past were allowed to fight the infection as children.

“This natural immunization boost is pretty much gone,” she said, adding, “Hello shingles!” and pointing out that “mRNA-1468 is the vaccine Moderna is developing to help protect adults from shingles.”

More products in Moderna’s pipeline

Other products in Moderna’s pipeline include an HIV vaccine, a combined RSV-HPV vaccine, a pediatric RSV vaccine, a pandemic flu shot, a cytomegalovirus vaccine and an endemic HCoV (human coronavirus) vaccine; vaccines for Lyme disease, Zika, Nipah and Mpox; a therapeutic to promote relaxin, a naturally occurring cardio-protective hormone; and a combined COVID-19-flu shot.

Blackstone Life Sciences has agreed to invest $750 million in Moderna’s flu vaccine in exchange for milestone payments and royalties, Yahoo Finance reported.

The stock value of Moderna rose 3% after the announcements, approaching $111 per share, bringing the 2024 increase to 11.2% as of March 28, which is well above the industry average.

The current price is still well below the $450 price per share Moderna enjoyed in mid-2021 at the height of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

More than 100,000 excess deaths involving cardiovascular conditions occurred in England since February 2020, according to prominent medical commentator John Campbell, Ph.D., in a video posted today.

The figure comes from a new British Heart Foundation report, which also shows more than 39,000 people under age 75 died prematurely from heart disease and stroke last year alone — a 14-year high.

Citing the lack of public outcry and government intervention around the statistics, Campbell, a former nurse and healthcare educator, said authorities need to urgently determine why decades of progress in reducing cardiovascular disease mortality are suddenly reversing across England.

“We’ve got an epidemic of heart disease here,” Campbell said.

According to Dr. Sonya Babu-Narayan, a cardiologist and associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, the rise is the “worst heart care crisis in living memory.” “Urgent intervention is long overdue,” she said.

The reasons for the trend reversal are “multiple and complex,” according to the British Heart Foundation press release, which cited increasing National Health Service pressures, healthcare inequalities and the COVID-19 pandemic as potential culprits.

More than 100,000 excess deaths involving cardiovascular conditions occurred in England since February 2020, according to prominent medical commentator John Campbell, Ph.D., in a video posted today.

The figure comes from a new British Heart Foundation report, which also shows more than 39,000 people under age 75 died prematurely from heart disease and stroke last year alone — a 14-year high.

Citing the lack of public outcry and government intervention around the statistics, Campbell, a former nurse and healthcare educator, said authorities need to urgently determine why decades of progress in reducing cardiovascular disease mortality are suddenly reversing across England.

“We’ve got an epidemic of heart disease here,” Campbell said.

According to Dr. Sonya Babu-Narayan, a cardiologist and associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, the rise is the “worst heart care crisis in living memory.” “Urgent intervention is long overdue,” she said.

The reasons for the trend reversal are “multiple and complex,” according to the British Heart Foundation press release, which cited increasing National Health Service pressures, healthcare inequalities and the COVID-19 pandemic as potential culprits.

Watch: An ‘Epidemic of Heart Disease Deaths’ in England, Says John Campbell

Medical analyst John Campbell, Ph.D., today highlighted a new British Heart Foundation report showing there were more than 100,000 excess cardiovascular deaths in England since February 2020.

More than 100,000 excess deaths involving cardiovascular conditions occurred in England since February 2020, according to prominent medical commentator John Campbell, Ph.D., in a video posted today.

The figure comes from a new British Heart Foundation report, which also shows more than 39,000 people under age 75 died prematurely from heart disease and stroke last year alone — a 14-year high.

Citing the lack of public outcry and government intervention around the statistics, Campbell, a former nurse and healthcare educator, said authorities need to urgently determine why decades of progress in reducing cardiovascular disease mortality are suddenly reversing across England.

“We’ve got an epidemic of heart disease here,” Campbell said.

According to Dr. Sonya Babu-Narayan, a cardiologist and associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, the rise is the “worst heart care crisis in living memory.” “Urgent intervention is long overdue,” she said.

The reasons for the trend reversal are “multiple and complex,” according to the British Heart Foundation press release, which cited increasing National Health Service pressures, healthcare inequalities and the COVID-19 pandemic as potential culprits.

The news echoes a recent analysis of cardiovascular death trends in the U.S. co-authored by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemiologist, which showed a marked increase since 2020, with the 2022 mortality rate being the highest observed since 2011.

Campbell said that despite the availability of experts like pathologists and medical researchers, “We might as well not have” them because “they’re not being adequately commissioned to do this work.”

“Why aren’t universities being given emergency grants to investigate this?” he said.

Campbell also noted the severe backup in National Health Service capacity, citing data showing more than 400,000 people in England were waiting for cardiac care at the end of November.

‘This is costing countries a fortune’

Beyond the tragic human toll of 139,000-plus deaths attributed to cardiovascular disease each year in the U.K., the British Heart Foundation reported the economic impacts are also severe, with heart and other circulatory health issues costing £8.3 billion ($11.3 billion) annually for healthcare alone.

According to Campbell, the spiking rates of morbidity and mortality affect not only families grieving lost loved ones, but also disable many more survivors. He cited statistics showing significant increases in government payouts for disability allowances in recent years, which he tied directly to ailments like debilitating strokes.

“Lives are changed with paralysis, ongoing,” Campbell explained, referencing the distressing cases of stroke he has witnessed where patient mobility and respiration are severely impacted for the remainder of their lives.

Campbell pointed not just to the direct healthcare costs cited in the British Heart Foundation release, but also to impacts like lost productivity and wages that strain the entire system.

“This is costing countries a fortune because people that would be productive are dying — apart from the incalculable tragedy to the individual and the family.”

Campbell said the “hard cash” consequences of the spike in cardiovascular issues in terms of the long-term care costs and economic hits from disabilities and deaths should be incentive enough for public health authorities to urgently investigate causes and solutions — if human welfare was not sufficient motivation already.

“And yet we see essentially nothing from governments,” he said.

Comparing England to global trends

While the British Heart Foundation’s newly released data focuses specifically on the reversing fortunes of cardiovascular disease mortality in England, Campbell questioned whether this trend is a U.K.-specific phenomenon or part of a more widespread global resurgence.

He referenced excess mortality trends in countries ranging from the U.S. to Japan to Ireland.

“There are definitely excess deaths around the world” in recent years, he said. He said he doesn’t know how many of those excess deaths are directly attributable to heart disease. But he assumed cardiovascular conditions comprise the highest such category in most places, as it does in Britain.

When discussing potential factors behind the global spikes, Campbell analyzed changes over time in classic risk factors like smoking, hypertension, diabetes and obesity rates.

However, he concluded that while management of these could always be improved, he doubted sufficient deterioration occurred in recent years to account for the dramatic trend reversals taking place simultaneously across many countries.

“So what other factors are at play here?” Campbell asked. “Pretty well no official interest in the cause of this. Why would governments not want to get to the bottom of this?”

Mirroring the incomplete investigation of potential causes in the U.S. cardiovascular mortality study, neither the British Heart Foundation press release nor Campbell mentioned the possible role of vaccines. However, Campbell’s many podcasts suggest he suspects they play a role in the worsening U.K. statistics.

But in today’s video, Campbell pointed to the elephant in the room only through his repeated questions about “other factors … in the last few years” that could have played a role, and why governments have “no official interest in the cause.”

Disinformation ‘Expert’ Tells People to Only Use ‘Trusted Sources,’ Avoid ‘Doing Your Own Research’

Reclaim the Net reported:

Brianna Lyman, elections correspondent at The Federalist, recently reported on a panel discussion featuring Al Schmidt, Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth, and Beth Schwanke, Executive Director of the Pitt Disinformation Lab. Schmidt and Schwanke, speaking at a forum organized by Spotlight PA, voiced their stance on “misinformation” and “disinformation” surrounding elections.

Strikingly, Schwanke recommended that rather than conducting self-led investigations, Pennsylvanians should place their confidence in so-called “trusted” sources. These include certain institutions and media outlets that have unfortunately been tied in the past to acts of censorship.

Schwanke’s advice, interestingly, seemed to discourage individual research, questioning, and sharing of ideas. Instead, she advocated the use of sources like the Department of State, county elections offices, and, strikingly, media organizations such as local NPR affiliates, which she implied upheld superior journalistic standards.

Lawmakers Unveil New Bipartisan Digital Privacy Bill After Years of Impasse

The Verge reported:

A pair of bipartisan lawmakers released a new comprehensive privacy proposal on Sunday, the first sign in years that Congress could have a shot at breaking the long-standing impasse in passing such protections.

Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) unveiled the American Privacy Rights Act, the most significant comprehensive data privacy proposal introduced in years. The draft bill would grant consumers new rights regarding how their information is used and moved around by large companies and data brokers while giving them the ability to sue when those rights are violated.

The legislation would require large companies to minimize the amount of data they collect on users and allow them to correct, delete, or export their data. It would give consumers the right to opt out of targeted advertising and the transfer of their information and let them opt out of the use of an algorithm to make important life decisions for them, like those related to housing, employment, education, and insurance. The bill would also mandate security protections to safeguard consumers’ private information.

40 Million Americans’ Health Data Is Stolen or Exposed Each Year. See if Your Provider Has Been Breached.

USA TODAY reported:

More than 40 million Americans’ medical records have been stolen or exposed so far this year because of security vulnerabilities in electronic healthcare systems, a USA TODAY analysis of Health and Human Services data found.

And the problem is steadily worsening. From 2010 to 2014, the first five years that data was collected, close to 50 million people had their medical data stolen or exposed. In the following five years, that number quadrupled. And health privacy breaches have continued to grow on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal law strictly prohibits medical institutions — hospitals, insurance companies and outpatient clinics — from sharing patient information, and requires that companies take steps to shield sensitive data from prying eyes.

Hackers Stole 340,000 Social Security Numbers From Government Consulting Firm

TechCrunch reported:

U.S. consulting firm Greylock McKinnon Associates disclosed a data breach in which hackers stole as many as 341,650 Social Security numbers. The data breach was disclosed on Friday on Maine’s government website, where the state posts data breach notifications.

GMA provides economic and litigation support to companies and U.S. government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, bringing civil litigation. According to its data breach notice, GMA told affected individuals that their personal information “was obtained by the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) as part of a civil litigation matter” supported by GMA.

GMA told victims that “your personal and Medicare information was likely affected in this incident,” which includes names, dates of birth, home addresses, some medical information and health insurance information, and Medicare claim numbers, which included Social Security Numbers.

It’s unclear why it took GMA nine months to determine the extent of the breach and notify victims.

How AI Risks Creating a ‘Black Box’ at the Heart of U.S. Legal System

The Hill reported:

Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing an expanding — and often invisible — role in America’s legal system. While AI tools are being used to inform criminal investigations, there is often no way for defendants to challenge their digital accuser or even know what role it played in the case.

AI and machine learning tools are being deployed by police and prosecutors to identify faces, weapons, license plates and objects at crime scenes, survey live feeds for suspicious behavior, enhance DNA analysis, direct police to gunshots, determine how likely a defendant is to skip bail, forecast crime and process evidence, according to the National Institute of Justice.

But trade secrets laws are blocking public scrutiny of how these tools work, creating a “black box” in the criminal justice system, with no guardrails for how AI can be used and when it must be disclosed.

Currently, public officials are essentially taking private firms at their word that their technologies are as robust or nuanced as advertised, despite expanding research exposing the potential pitfalls of this approach.  Take one of its most common use cases: facial recognition. Clearview AI, one of the leading contractors for law enforcement, has scraped billions of publicly available social media posts of Americans’ faces to train its AI, for example.

Pharmaceutical Companies May Be the First Targets of the Washington State My Health My Data Act

The National Law Review reported:

On April 17, 2023, the Washington State Legislature passed the “My Health My Data Act” (WMHMDA or the Act), which took effect for most companies on March 31, 2024. Unlike other modern state privacy laws that purport to regulate any collection of “personal data,” WMHMDA confers privacy protections only upon “consumer health data.” This term is defined to include any data that is linked (or linkable) to an individual and that identifies their “past, present, or future physical or mental health status.” As the statute is not intended to apply to HIPAA-regulated entities or employers, there is some confusion regarding its scope (i.e., which companies may be collecting consumer health data) as well as its requirements.

Specifically, the Act refers to data that might “identify” a consumer seeking a service to improve or learn about a consumer’s mental or physical health as an example of consumer health data. As a result, organizations that traditionally do not consider themselves to be collecting health data, such as grocery stores, newspapers, dietary supplements providers, and even fitness clubs, are uncertain whether the Act may be interpreted to apply to them to the extent that someone seeks out such companies either for information about health or to improve their health.

While courts have not yet been presented with a case under the statute, and the Office of the Washington Attorney General has provided little guidance, plaintiff law firms have already begun seeking individuals who had visited pharmaceutical company websites as well as other medical-related providers (e.g., testing companies) to serve as plaintiffs in litigation. While it remains unclear what substantive provision within the statute the law firms will allege was violated, the firms have signaled that pharmaceutical companies may be the first group of targets under the Act. As a result, pharmaceutical companies may want to ensure they are in full compliance with the Act.

Meta Is so Desperate for Data Sources to Train Its AI It Weighed Risking Copyright Lawsuits: Report

Insider reported:

Tech giants are scrambling to find new data sources to fuel the AI arms race.

And at Meta, the issue has been so critical that executives met almost daily in March and April of last year to hash out a plan, The New York Times reported.

As AI systems become more powerful, tech companies have been forced to seek data more aggressively, which could open them up to possible copyright violations. Some have suspected OpenAI, for example, of using YouTube to train its video generator, Sora. The company’s CTO, Mira Murati, has denied those accusations.

The Bird Flu Vaccine Is Made With Eggs. That Has Scientists Worried.

CBS News reported:

Even a peep of news about a new flu pandemic is enough to set scientists clucking about eggs. They worried about them in 2005, and in 2009, and they’re worrying now. That’s because millions of fertilized hen eggs are still the main ingredient in making vaccines that, hopefully, will protect people against the outbreak of a new flu strain.

The spread of an avian flu virus has decimated flocks of birds (and killed barn cats and other mammals). Cattle in at least nine states and at least two people in the U.S. have been infected, enough to bring public health attention once again to the potential for a global pandemic.

To make raw material for an influenza vaccine, the virus is grown in millions of fertilized eggs. Sometimes it doesn’t grow well, or it mutates to a degree that the vaccine product stimulates antibodies that don’t neutralize the virus — or the wild virus mutates to an extent that the vaccine doesn’t work against it. And there’s always the frightening prospect that wild birds could carry the virus into the henhouses needed in vaccine production.

Pfizer and Moderna are testing seasonal influenza vaccines made with mRNA, and the government is soliciting bids for mRNA pandemic flu vaccines, said David Boucher, director of infectious disease preparedness at HHS’ Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response.

Vermont Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Accidental COVID Vaccination Case

VTDigger reported:

The Vermont Supreme Court on Tuesday heard arguments in a case brought by the parents of a student who received a COVID-19 vaccine against their wishes.

The lawsuit, filed two years ago against the state of Vermont and the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union, claimed that Dario and Shujen Politella’s child, who was 6 years old at the time, was mistakenly given a COVID-19 shot. The incident, which reportedly stemmed from a name tag mix-up, occurred in November 2021 at a vaccination clinic held at the Academy School in Brattleboro.

Windham Superior Court Judge Michael Kainen dismissed the case in January 2023. Kainen cited the federal PREP Act, a 2005 law that provides immunity from liability to government officials administering “countermeasures” in response to a public health emergency — in this case, the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Politellas appealed to the state’s highest court. During Tuesday’s arguments Ronald Ferrara, an attorney representing the parents, said they were not challenging the constitutionality of the PREP Act, but, citing other state court cases, he argued that the “idea that the PREP Act provides blanket immunity is eroding.”

Study of Deadly Australian Japanese Encephalitis Virus Strain Prompts Push for New Vaccine

Medical Xpress reported:

Researchers have conducted the first comprehensive two-year laboratory characterization of the rare sub-type of the mosquito-borne Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) that caused an unprecedented deadly outbreak in Australia in 2022.

The study, which was conducted in QIMR Berghofer’s high biocontainment facility, showed the strain’s potential to cause fatal brain infection and establishes technologies to test new vaccines to protect Australian populations.

Published in npj Viruses, the research found that miniature human brain organoids were destroyed when infected with the virus.

The research also looked at blood samples from individuals vaccinated against JEV, and found that while it did offer protection against the new Australian strain, more work was needed to tailor a new vaccine to the recent Australian outbreak strain.

Moderna Stock Is Having Another Very Bad Day. Here’s Why.

Barron’s reported:

Moderna shares were down another 7.8% Wednesday morning after falling 8% Tuesday, crimping what had been the stock’s best month in years.

There was no apparent impetus for the selloff, but the drop comes at a busy moment for the company, as it waits on a handful of important developments involving an experimental cancer treatment, a new vaccine, and the avian flu, which could weigh heavily on its future.

The stock was down to $141.64 early Wednesday, down from a Friday closing price of $166.61 but well ahead of where it began the month, at $110.31. Moderna MRNA-5.16% shares had been having their best month in years, and the stock had been climbing for 10 straight trading days before the Tuesday selloff.

While the avian flu vaccines the government has stockpiled are made by other manufacturers, Moderna confirmed to Barron’s last week it was in discussions with the federal government about the pandemic flu candidate vaccine it is developing.

Big Pharma’s Focus on Profit Is Behind Medicine Shortages, Superbug Threat

Al Jazeera reported:

What happens when we run out of medicines? Medical authorities around the world are pondering this question as they struggle with shortages of a range of essential medicines amid a global drug supply crisis.

Separately, England’s former chief medical officer Sally Davies, warns us of the growing threat posed by drug-resistant superbugs. The antimicrobial resistance crisis could make the COVID-19 pandemic “look minor,” Davies claims, if not met with urgent action, including the development of new antibiotics.

At first glance, these two crises seem to have little in common other than the serious threat they pose to human life. But they are, in fact, born out of a single problem: Big Pharma’s prioritization of profit, which disincentivizes it from both keeping essential medicines accessible and developing new medicines we desperately need.

BioNTech Gets $145 Million Funding for African Vaccine Plants

Reuters reported:

COVID-19 vaccine maker BioNTech (22UAy.DE) has secured up to $145 million in funding from a global coalition against infectious diseases to help build a production network in Africa for shots based on cutting-edge messenger-RNA (mRNA) technology.

A future African network could produce affordable vaccines to fight malaria, mpox, tuberculosis or other health threats, they added.

The funds pledged by CEPI come on top of up to $90 million that the coalition granted BioNTech in September to support the development of mpox vaccine candidates.

Data Breach at Pharma Partner Cencora Puts Sensitive Patient Information at Risk

Fierce Pharma reported:

A data breach at drug distributor Cencora has left sensitive information vulnerable, with patients on medicines from a dozen drugmakers potentially affected.

Cencora, formerly known as AmerisourceBergen, and its patient services unit Lash Group have submitted a data breach notification to the California attorney general’s office. In letters to patients, Cencora explained that it learned “data from its information systems had been exfiltrated” on Feb. 21.

The company sent letters to patients receiving medicines marketed by Bristol Myers Squibb, Bayer, Genentech, Acadia, AbbVie, Novartis, Regeneron, Incyte, Dendreon Pharmaceuticals, Sumitomo Pharma, Endo and GSK.

The information involved could include first and last names, addresses, birthdates, health diagnoses and prescriptions, Cencora warned.

Novo Blames U.S. Health System After Sanders’ Wegovy Criticism

Bloomberg reported:

Novo Nordisk A/S said it retains about 60% of the list price of Ozempic and Wegovy in the U.S. after rebates and fees paid to middlemen, as the debate heats up over the cost of its blockbuster diabetes and obesity medicines.

Novo is prepared to work with lawmakers to address “systemic issues so that everyone who can benefit from its medicines is able to get them,” the Danish drugmaker said in a letter Friday to Senator Bernie Sanders, who has been pressing Novo to lower the cost of Wegovy. “Under current market conditions, the company expects that net prices will continue to decline for both Ozempic and Wegovy.”