Originally published May 30, 2023 7:30 am PDT
Researchers are cautioning that “over-vaccination” could weaken the alleged protection provided by the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new study published this month in the journal Vaccines.
The study also suggests that if this happens, both newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients and people re-infected with the virus could have a more severe case of the disease.
Antibodies are proteins that the body produces in response to harmful substances called antigens, like the COVID virus.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine stimulates the body to create antibodies to fight against the COVID virus spike protein.
But this new study shows that repeatedly giving booster shots increases a specific type of antibody called IgG4.
The study found that the levels of IgG4 increased significantly after the third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
To put it in numbers, IgG4 levels rose from 0.04% right after the second shot to 19.27% after the third shot.
This increase in IgG4 antibodies wasn’t seen with other types of COVID-19 vaccines, like the AstraZeneca vaccine, which uses a different technology.
Too much IgG4 can lead to “immune tolerance,” when the immune system gets so used to seeing the spike protein of the COVID virus (because of the repeated booster shots) that it reduces its response to it.
This could mean that the vaccine provides less protection against the virus.
Another key point of the study has to do with the role of certain immune cells, known as T cells.
T cells are vital soldiers in our body’s defense system against viruses.
However, too much stimulation from repeated vaccines can tire out these T cells, a phenomenon called “T cell exhaustion.”
When T cells are exhausted, they can’t fight against viruses as effectively as they should.
The researchers conclude that the “conventional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine’s ability to provide immunological protection may be significantly impacted by over-vaccination.”
In addition, they caution, “If this happens, either newly diagnosed COVID-19 cases or people who have already contracted the virus again may have a more severe case of the illness.”
This is due to “prolonged booster immunization doses.”
The authors elsewhere emphasize that new evidence demonstrates that repeated vaccinations could hinder the drug’s ability to confer protection from the virus and even suppress the body’s natural ability to fight infection.
The “emerging evidence suggests that the reported increase in IgG4 levels detected after repeated vaccination with the mRNA vaccines may not be a protective mechanism,” the authors write. “[R]ather, it constitutes an immune tolerance mechanism to the spike protein that could promote unopposed SARS-CoV2 infection and replication by suppressing natural antiviral responses.”
Startlingly, the study authors revealed that increased IgG4 from over-vaccination can even “cause autoimmune diseases,” “promote cancer growth,” and induce heart disease.
“Increased IgG4 synthesis due to repeated mRNA vaccination with high antigen concentrations may also cause autoimmune diseases, and promote cancer growth and autoimmune myocarditis in susceptible individuals,” they write.
The authors warn that individuals with “genetic susceptibility, immune deficiencies, and comorbidities” are “probably the most likely to be affected.”
In light of these negative health outcomes after vaccination, the authors conclude by questioning whether even individuals who are “most affected” by COVID should be vaccinated at all.
They write that these vaccine-induced adverse reactions give “rise to a disturbing paradox—if people who are the most affected by the COVID-19 disease (the elderly, diabetics, hypertensive, and immunocompromised people like those with HIV) are also more susceptible to suffering the negative effects of repeated mRNA vaccination, is it then justified to booster them?”
This study raises important questions about the number of COVID-19 booster shots people should receive.
Vaccines, a monthly online journal published by the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI) and partnered with the American Society for Virology (ASV), is an esteemed international publication that undergoes rigorous peer review.