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Innate Immune Suppression by SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccinations: The role of G-quadruplexes, exosomes and microRNAs

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The mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccines were brought to market in response to the widely perceived public health crises of Covid-19. The utilization of mRNA vaccines in the context of infectious disease had no precedent, but desperate times seemed to call for desperate measures. The mRNA vaccines utilize genetically modified mRNA encoding spike proteins. These alterations hide the mRNA from cellular defenses, promote a longer biological half-life for the proteins, and provoke higher overall spike protein production. However, both experimental and observational evidence reveals a very different immune response to the vaccines compared to the response to infection with SARS-CoV-2. As we will show, the genetic modifications introduced by the vaccine are likely the source of these differential responses. In this paper, we present the evidence that vaccination, unlike natural infection, induces a profound impairment in type I interferon signaling, which has diverse adverse consequences to human health. We explain the mechanism by which immune cells release into the circulation large quantities of exosomes containing spike protein along with critical microRNAs that induce a signaling response in recipient cells at distant sites. We also identify potential profound disturbances in regulatory control of protein synthesis and cancer surveillance. These disturbances are shown to have a potentially direct causal link to neurodegenerative disease, myocarditis, immune thrombocytopenia, Bell’s palsy, liver disease, impaired adaptive immunity, increased tumorigenesis, and DNA damage. We show evidence from adverse event reports in the VAERS database supporting our hypothesis. We believe a comprehensive risk/benefit assessment of the mRNA vaccines excludes them as positive contributors to public health, even in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Innate Immune Suppression by SARS-CoV-2 mRNA
Vaccinations: The role of G-quadruplexes, exosomes and
Stephanie Seneff1, Greg Nigh2, Anthony M. Kyriakopoulos3, and Peter A McCullough4
1Senior Research Scientist, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT,
Cambridge MA USA 02139
2Naturopathic Oncologist, Immersion Health, Portland, OR 97214, USA
3Director and Head of Research and Development, Nasco AD Biotechnology Laboratory,
Department of Research and Development, Sachtouri 11, 18536, Piraeus, Greece
4Chief Medical Advisor, Truth for Health Foundation, Tucson, AZ USA.
January 21, 2022
The mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccines were brought to market in response to the widely perceived public health crises of Covid-19.
The utilization of mRNA vaccines in the context of infectious disease had no precedent, but desperate times seemed to call for
desperate measures. The mRNA vaccines utilize genetically modified mRNA encoding spike proteins. These alterations hide
the mRNA from cellular defenses, promote a longer biological half-life for the proteins, and provoke higher overall spike protein
production. However, both experimental and observational evidence reveals a very different immune response to the vaccines
compared to the response to infection with SARS-CoV-2. As we will show, the genetic modifications introduced by the vaccine
are likely the source of these differential responses. In this paper, we present the evidence that vaccination, unlike natural
infection, induces a profound impairment in type I interferon signaling, which has diverse adverse consequences to human
health. We explain the mechanism by which immune cells release into the circulation large quantities of exosomes containing
spike protein along with critical microRNAs that induce a signaling response in recipient cells at distant sites. We also identify
potential profound disturbances in regulatory control of protein synthesis and cancer surveillance. These disturbances are shown
to have a potentially direct causal link to neurodegenerative disease, myocarditis, immune thrombocytopenia, Bell’s palsy, liver
disease, impaired adaptive immunity, increased tumorigenesis, and DNA damage. We show evidence from adverse event reports
in the VAERS database supporting our hypothesis. We believe a comprehensive risk/benefit assessment of the mRNA vaccines
excludes them as positive contributors to public health, even in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Vaccination is an endeavor to utilize non-pathogenic material to mimic the immunological response of a
natural infection, thereby conferring immunity in the event of pathogen exposure. This goal has been
primarily pursued through the use of both whole organism and attenuated virus vaccines. Use of fragments
of virus or their protein products, referred to as “subunit vaccines,” has been more technically challenging
[1]. In any event, an implicit assumption behind the deployment of any vaccination campaign is that the
vaccine confers the effects of a ‘benign infection,’ activating the immune system against future exposure,
while avoiding the health impacts of actual infection.
Much of the literature on this related to COVID-19 suggests that the immune response to mRNA-based
vaccination is similar to natural infection. A preprint study found “high immunogenicity of BNT162b2 [Pfizer]
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vaccine in comparison with natural infection.” The authors found there to be many qualitative similarities
though quantitative differences [2]. Jhaveri (2021) suggests that mRNA vaccines do what infection with the
virus does: “The protein is produced and presented in the same way as natural infection” [3]. The U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) makes the case based upon antibody titers generated
by prior infection vs. vaccination, in addition to production of memory B cells, to argue that the immune
response to vaccination is analogous to the response to natural infection [4]. It is this similarity in the
humoral immune response to vaccination vs natural infection, paired with both trial and observational data
demonstrating reduced risk of infection following vaccination, that stands as the justification for the mass
vaccination campaign.
In this paper we explore the scientific literature suggesting that vaccination with an mRNA vaccine initiates
a set of biological events that are not only different from that induced by vaccination but are in several
ways demonstrably counterproductive to both short- and long-term immune competence and normal cellular
function. These vaccinations have now been shown to downregulate critical pathways related to cancer
surveillance, infection control, and cellular homeostasis. They introduce into the body highly modified genetic
material. A medRxiv preprint has revealed a remarkable difference between the characteristics of the immune
response to an infection with SARS-CoV-2 as compared with the immune response to an mRNA vaccine
against COVID-19 [5]. Differential gene expression analysis of peripheral dendritic cells revealed a dramatic
upregulation of both type I and type II interferons (IFNs) in COVID-19 patients, but not in vaccinees. One
remarkable observation they made was that there was an expansion of circulating hematopoietic stem and
progenitor cells (HSPCs) in COVID-19 patients, but this expansion was notably absent following vaccination.
A striking expansion in circulating plasmablasts observed in COVID-19 patients was also not seen in the
vaccinees. All of these observations are consistent with the idea that the vaccines actively suppress type I
IFN signaling, as we will discuss below. In this paper we will be focusing extensively, though not exclusively,
on vaccination-induced type I IFN suppression and the myriad downstream effects this has on the related
signaling cascade.
Since long-term pre-clinical and Phase I safety trials were combined with Phase II trials, then phase II and III
trials were combined [6]; and since even those were terminated early and placebo arms given the injections,
we look to the pharmacosurveillance system and published reports for safety signals. In doing so, we find that
that evidence is not encouraging. The biological response to mRNA vaccination as it is currently employed is
demonstrably not like natural infection. In this paper we will illustrate those differences, and we will describe
the immunological and pathological processes we expect are being initiated by mRNA vaccination. We will
connect these underlying physiological effects with both realized and yet-to-be-observed morbidities. We
anticipate that implementation of booster vaccinations on a wide scale will make all of these problems only
more acute, and it will serve to further erode antiviral immune competence and innate cancer surveillance
and protection for the global population subjected to these repeated boosters.
The mRNA vaccines manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna have been viewed as an essential
aspect of our efforts to control the spread of COVID-19. Countries around the globe have been aggressively
promoting massive vaccination programs with the hope that such efforts might finally curtail the ongoing
pandemic and restore normalcy. Governments seem reticent to consider the possibility that these injections
might cause harm in unexpected ways, and especially that such harm might even surpass the benefits achieved
in protection from severe disease. It is now clear that the antibodies induced by the vaccines fade in as little
as 3 to 10 weeks after the second dose [7], such that people are being advised to seek booster shots at regular
intervals [8]. It has also become apparent that rapidly emerging variants such as the Delta and now the
Omicron strain are showing resistance to the antibodies induced by the vaccines, through mutations in the
spike protein [9]. Furthermore, it has become clear that the vaccines do not prevent spread of the disease, but
can only be claimed to reduce symptom severity [10]. A study comparing vaccination rates with COVID-19
infection rates across 68 countries and 294 counties in the United States in early September, 2021, found no
correlation between the two, suggesting that these vaccines do not protect from spread of the disease [11].
Regarding symptom severity, even this aspect is beginning to be in doubt, as demonstrated by an outbreak
in an Israeli hospital that led to the death of five fully vaccinated hospital patients [12]. Similarly, Brosh-
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Nissimov (2021) reported that 34/152 (22%) of fully vaccinated patients among 17 Israeli hospitals
died of COVID-19 [13].
The increasing evidence that the vaccines do little to control disease spread and that their effectiveness
wanes over time make it even more imperative to assess the degree to which the vaccines might cause harm.
That SARS-CoV-2 modified spike protein mRNA vaccinations have biological impacts is without question.
Here we attempt to distinguish those impacts from natural infection, and establish a mechanistic framework
linking those unique biological impacts to pathologies now associated with vaccination. We recognize that
the causal links between biological effects initiated by mRNA vaccination and adverse outcomes have not
been established in the large majority of cases.
2. Interferons: An Overview with Attention to Cancer Surveillance
Discovered in 1957, interferon (IFN) earned its name with the recognition that cells challenged by attenuated
influenza A virus created a substance that “interfered with” a subsequent infection by a live virus [14].
IFN is now understood to represent a very large family of immune-modulating proteins, divided into three
types, designated as type I, II, and III based upon the receptors each IFN interacts with. Type I IFN
includes both IFN-αand IFN-β, and this type is the most diverse, being further divided into seventeen
subtypes. IFN-αalone has thirteen subtypes currently identified, and each of those is further divided into
multiple categories [15]. Type I IFNs play a powerful role in the immune response to multiple stressors.
In fact, they have enjoyed clinical therapeutic value as a treatment option for a variety of diseases and
conditions, including viral infections, solid tumors, myeloproliferative disorders, hematopoietic neoplasms
and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis [16].
As a group, IFNs play exceedingly complicated and pleiotropic roles that are coordinated and regulated
through the activity of the family of IFN regulatory factors, or IRFs [17]. IRF9 is most directly involved in
anti-viral as well as anti-tumor immunity and genetic regulation [18-20].
Closely related to this are plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), a rare type of immune cell that circulate
in the blood but migrate to peripheral lymphoid organs during a viral infection. They respond to a viral
infection by sharply upregulating production of type I IFNs. The IFN-αreleased in the lymph nodes induces
B cells to differentiate into plasmablasts. Subsequently, interleukin-6 (Il-6) induces plasmablasts to evolve
into antibody-secreting plasma cells [21]. Thus, IFNs play a critical role in both controlling viral proliferation
and inducing antibody production. Central to both antiviral and anticancer immunity, IFN-αis produced
by macrophages and lymphocytes when either is challenged with viral or bacterial infection or encounters
tumor cells [22]. Its role as a potent antiviral therapy has been recognized in the treatment of hepatitis C
complications [23], Cytomegalovirus infection [24], chronic active ebola virus infection [25], inflammatory
bowel disease associated with herpes virus infection [26], and others.
Impaired type I IFN signaling is linked to many disease risks, most notably cancer, as type I IFN signaling
suppresses proliferation of both viruses and cancer cells by arresting the cell cycle, in part through upreg-
ulation of p53, a tumor suppressor gene, and various cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors [27,28]. IFN-αalso
induces major histocompatibility (MHC) class 1 antigen presentation by tumor cells, causing them to be
more readily recognized by the cancer surveillance system [29,30]. The range of anticancer effects initiated
by IFN-αproduction is astounding and occurs through both direct and indirect mechanisms. Direct effects
include cell cycle arrest, induction of cell differentiation, initiation of apoptosis, activation of natural killer
and CD8+ T cells, and others [31].
The indirect anticancer effects are predominantly carried out through gene transcription activation of the
Janus kinase signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK/STAT) pathway. IFN-αbinding on the
cell surface initiates JAK, a tyrosine kinase, to phosphorylate STAT1 and STAT2 [32]. Once phosphorylated,
these STATs form a complex with IRF9, one of a family of IRFs that play a wide range of roles in oncogene
regulation and other cell functions [33]. It is this complex, named IFN-stimulated gene factor 3 (ISGF3),
that translocates to the cell nucleus to enhance the expression of at least 150 genes [31]. IRF9 has been
suggested to be the primary member of the IRF family of proteins responsible for activation of the IFN-α
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antiproliferative effects, and that appears to be through its binding to the tumor necrosis factor-related
apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) receptor 1 and 2 (TRAIL-R1/2) [34]. IRF7 is another crucial member
of the IRF family of proteins involved early in the response to a viral infection. It is normally expressed
in low amounts but is strongly induced by ISGF3. IRF7 also undergoes serine phosphorylation and nuclear
translocation to further activate the immune response. IRF7 has a very short half-life, so its gene-induction
process is transient, perhaps to avoid overexpression of IFNs [35].
Once TRAIL is bound by IRF9, it is then able to act as a ligand for Death Receptor 4 (DR4) or DR5,
initiating a cascade of events involving production of caspase 8 and caspase 3, and ultimately triggering
apoptosis [36]. Dysregulation of this pathway, through suppression of either IFN-αor IRF9 and the resulting
failure to bind TRAIL-R, has been associated with several hematologic malignancies [37], and has been
shown to increase the metastatic potential in animal models of melanoma, colorectal cancer, and lymphoma
IFN-αboth initiates and orchestrates a wide range of cancer suppressing roles. Dunn et al. (2005) showed
that IFN-αplays an active role in cancer immunoediting, its locus of action being hematopoietic cells that are
“programmed” via IFN-αbinding for tumor surveillance [39]. It is via the exceedingly complex interactions
between type I IFNs and IRF7 and IRF9 in particular that a great deal of antiproliferative effects are carried
out. This is evidenced by the large number of studies showing increased tumor growth and/or metastases
associated with a wide number of cancer types.
For example, Bidwell et al. (2012) found that, among over 800 breast cancer patients, those with high
expression of IRF7-regulated genes had significantly fewer bone metastases, and they propose assessment of
these IRF7-related gene signatures as a way to predict those at greatest risk [40]. Use of microRNA to target
IRF7 expression has also been shown to enhance breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion in vitro [41].
Zhao et al. (2017) found a similar role for IRF7 in relation to bone metastases in a mouse model of prostate
cancer [42]. Regarding the anti-cancer mechanism behind IRF7 expression, Solis et al. (2006) found that
IRF7 induces transcription of multiple genes and translation of their downstream protein products including
TRAIL, IL-15, ISG-56 and CD80, with the noted therapeutic implications [43].
IRF9, too, has a central role to play in cancer surveillance and prevention. Erb et al. (2013) demonstrated
that IRF9 is the mediator through which IL-6 augments the anti-proliferation effects of IFN-αagainst prostate
cancer cells [44]. Tian et al. (2018) found IRF9 to be a key negative regulator of acute myeloid leukemia
cell proliferation and evasion of apoptosis [45]. It does so, at least in part, through acetylation of the master
regulatory protein p53.
Both IFN-αand IRF9 are also apparently necessary for the cancer-preventative properties of a fully functional
BRCA2 gene. In a study presented as an abstract at the First AACR International Conference on Frontiers
in Basic Cancer Research, Mittal and Chaudhuri (2009) describe a set of experiments which show for the
first time that BRCA2 expression leads to increased IFN-αproduction and augments the signal transduction
pathway resulting in the complexing of IRF9, STAT1 and STAT2 described previously [46]. Two years prior,
Buckley et al. (2007) had established that BRCA1 in combination with IFN-γpromotes type I IFNs and
subsequent production of IRF7, STAT1, and STAT2 [47]. Thus, the exceedingly important cancer regulatory
genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 rely on IRF7 and IRF9, respectively, to carry out their protective effects.
In a preprint, Mamoor (2020) used gene expression analysis to determine that infection with either SARS-
CoV-1 (in mice) or MERS-CoV (in vitro ) leads to increased production of IRF7 and IRF9, and the author
speculates that “IRF7 and IRF9 may be important for SARS-CoV-2 immune defense in humans.” [48]
This speculation is somewhat confirmed by Rasmussen et al. (2021), who reviewed the compelling evidence
that deficiencies of either IRF7 or IRF9 lead to significantly greater risk of severe COVID-19 illness [49].
Importantly, they also note that evidence suggests type I IFNs play a singularly important role in protective
immunity against COVID-19 illness, a role that is shared by multiple cytokines in most other viral illnesses
including influenza.
As will be discussed in more detail below, the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein modifies host cell exosome pro-
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duction. Transfection of cells with the spike gene and subsequent spike protein production results in those
cells generating exosomes containing microRNAs that suppress IRF9 production while activating a range
of pro-inflammatory gene transcripts [50]. Since these vaccines are specifically designed to induce high and
ongoing production of spike proteins, the implications are ominous. As described above, inhibition of IRF9
will suppress TRAIL and all its regulatory and downstream apoptosis-inducing effects. IRF9 suppression via
exosomal microRNA should also be expected to impair the cancer-protective effects of BRCA2 gene activ-
ity, which depends on that molecule for its activity as described above. BRCA2-associated cancers include
breast, fallopian tube, and ovarian cancer for women, prostate and breast cancer for men, acute myeloid
leukemia in children, and others [51].
Vaccination has also been demonstrated to suppress both IRF7 and STAT2 [52]. This can be expected to
interfere with the cancer-protective effects of BRCA1 as described above. Cancers associated with impaired
BRCA1 activity include breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer in women; prostate and breast cancer in men;
and a modest increase in pancreatic cancer for both men and women [53].
Reduced BRCA1 expression is linked to both cancer and neurodegeneration. BRCA1 is a well-known breast
cancer susceptibility gene. BRCA1 inhibits breast cancer cell proliferation through activation of SIRT1 and
subsequent suppression of the androgen receptor [54]. In a study conducted by Suberbielle et al. (2015),
reduced levels of BRCA1 were found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients [55]. Furthermore, experiments
with knocking down neuronal BRCA1 in the dentate gyrus of mice showed that DNA double-strand breaks
were increased, along with neuronal shrinkage and impairments in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory.
Analysis detailed in a recent case study on a patient diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma called angioim-
munoblastic T cell lymphoma provided strong evidence for unexpected rapid progression of lymphomatous
lesions after administration of the BNT162b2 mRNA booster shot [56]. Comparisons of detailed metrics
for hypermetabolic lesions conducted immediately before and 21 days after the vaccine booster revealed a
five-fold increase after the vaccine, with the post-booster test revealing a 2-fold higher activity level in the
right armpit compared to the left one. The vaccine had been injected on the right side. It is worth pointing
out in this regard that lymphoid malignancies have been associated with suppression of TRAIL R1 [57].
Given the universally recognized importance of optimally functioning BRCA1/2 for cancer prevention and
given the central role of the TRAIL signal transduction pathway for additional cancer surveillance, the
suppression of IRF7 and IRF9 through vaccination and subsequent spike protein production is extremely
concerning for long-term cancer control in injected populations.
3. Considerations in the Design of mRNA Vaccines
The primary goal of the developers of the SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines was to design a vaccine that could
induce a robust antibody response to the spike protein. Preexisting antibodies to spike protein should cause
the invading viruses to be quickly cleared before they could invade host cells, thus arresting the disease
process early on. As stated succinctly by Kaczmarek et. al. (2021) [58]:
“The rationale behind vaccination is to provide every vaccinated person with protection against the SARS-
CoV-2 virus. This protection is achieved by stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies against
the virus and to develop lymphocytes that will retain memory and the ability to fight off the virus for a long
Vaccines generally depend upon adjuvants such as aluminum and squalene to provoke immune cells to migrate
to the injection site immediately after vaccination. In the history of mRNA vaccine development, it was
initially hoped that the mRNA itself could serve as its own adjuvant. This is because human cells recognize
viral RNA as foreign, and this leads to upregulation of type I IFNs, mediated via toll like receptors such as
TLR3, TLR7 and TLR8 [59].
However, with time it became clear that there were problems with this approach, both because the intense
reaction could cause flu-like symptoms and because IFN-αcould launch a cascade response that would lead
to the breakdown of the messenger RNA before it could produce adequate amounts of spike protein to
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induce an immune response [60]. A breakthrough came when it was discovered experimentally that the
mRNA coding for the spike protein could be modified in specific ways that would essentially fool the human
cells into recognizing it as harmless human RNA. A seminal paper by Karik´o et al. (2005) demonstrated
through a series of in vitro experiments that a simple modification to the mRNA such that all uridines were
replaced with pseudouridine could dramatically reduce innate immune activation against exogenous mRNA
[59]. Andries et al. (2015) later discovered that 1-methylpseudouridine as a replacement for uridine was even
more effective than pseudouridine and could essentially abolish the TLR response to the mRNA, preventing
the activation of blood-derived dendritic cells [61]. This modification is applied in both the mRNA vaccines
on the market [62].
For successful mRNA vaccine design, the mRNA needs to be encapsulated in carefully constructed particles
that can protect the RNA from degradation by RNA depolymerases. The mRNA vaccines are formulated
as lipid nanoparticles containing cholesterol and phospholipids, with the modified mRNA complexed with a
highly modified polyethylene glycol (PEG) lipid backbone to promote its early release from the endosome
and to further protect it from degradation [63]. The host cell’s existing biological machinery is co-opted to
facilitate the natural production of protein from the mRNA through endosomal uptake of a lipid particle [63].
A synthetic cationic lipid is added as well, since it has been shown experimentally to work as an adjuvant
to draw immune cells to the injection site and to facilitate endosomal escape. De Beuckelaer et al. (2016)
observed that “condensing mRNA into cationic lipoplexes increases the potency of the mRNA vaccine evoked
T cell response by several orders of magnitude.” [60] Another important modification is that they replaced
the code for two adjacent amino acids in the genome with codes for proline, which causes the spike protein
to stay in a prefusion stabilized form [64].
The spike protein mRNA is further “humanized” with the addition of a guanine-methylated cap, 3’ and 5’
untranslated regions (UTRs) copied from those of human proteins, and finally a long poly(A) tail to further
stabilize the RNA [65]. In particular, researchers have cleverly selected the 3’UTR taken from globins which
are produced in large quantities by erythrocytes, because it is very effective at protecting the mRNA from
degradation and maintaining sustained protein production [66]. This is to be expected, since erythrocytes
have no nucleus, so they are unable to replace the mRNAs once they are destroyed. Both the Moderna and
the Pfizer vaccines adopted a 3’UTR from globins, and the Pfizer vaccine also uses a slightly modified globin
5’UTR [67]. De Beuckelaer et al. (2016) aptly summed up the consequences of such modifications as follows:
“Over the past years, technical improvements in the way IVT [in vitro transcribed] mRNAs are prepared
(5’ Cap modifications, optimized GC content, improved polyA tails, stabilizing UTRs) have increased the
stability of IVT mRNAs to such extent protein expression can now be achieved for days after directin vivo
administration of the mRNA.” [60]
However, the optimized analogue cap formation of synthetic mRNAs inevitably forces the recipient cells to
undergo a cap-dependent prolonged translation, ignoring homeostatic demands of cellular physiology [65].
The cap 2’ O methylation carried out by cap 2’ O methyltransferase (CMTR1) serves as a motif that marks
the mRNA as “self,” to prevent recognition by IFN-induced RNA binding proteins [68]. Thus, the mRNA in
the vaccines, equipped with the cap 2’ O methylation motif, evades detection as a viral invasion. Furthermore,
the overwhelming impetus for cells to perform a single and artificial approach to translation according to the
robust capping and synthetic methylations of mRNAs in vaccines is fundamentally associated with disease
progression due to differential rather than normal signaling of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) [69].
The regulatory process controlling mRNA translation is extremely complex, and it is highly disturbed in the
context of mRNA vaccines [65,69]. Briefly, the idea is for mRNA vaccines to achieve the intended goal (i.e.,
production of the modified spike protein) through a stealth strategy that bypasses the natural immunological
response to RNA-type viral infection. Injected lipid nanoparticles containing mRNA are brought to the cell
interior via endocytosis. The mRNA escapes its lipid carrier and migrates to the ribosome, where it is
abundantly translated into its final protein product, following an optimized program for producing large
quantities of a specific protein over an extended period of time. These modified spike proteins then follow
one of three primary pathways. Some are proteolytically degraded and fragments are bound by MHC class
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I molecules for surface presentation to cytotoxic T-cells. A second pathway has those same spike fragments
bind MHC class II molecules, move to the cell surface, and activate T-helper cells. A final pathway has
soluble spike proteins extruded from the cell in exosomes, where they can be recognized by B-cell-activated
spike-specific antibodies [70].
In the end, it is through utilization of nanolipids and sophisticated mRNA technology that the normal
immune response to exogenous RNA is evaded in order to produce a strong antibody response against an
exogenous RNA virus.
4. GC enrichment and potential G4 (pG4) structures in vaccine mRNAs
Recently, members of our team investigated possible alterations in secondary structure of mRNAs in SARS-
CoV-2 vaccines due to codon optimization of synthetic mRNA transcripts [71]. This study has shown that
there is a significant enrichment of GC content in mRNAs in vaccines (53% in Pfizer BNT 162b2 and 61%
in Moderna mRNA-1273) as compared to the native SARS-CoV-2 mRNA (36%). The enriched GC content
of mRNAs is the result of codon optimization performed during the development of the mRNAs used in
SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, apparently without determining the effect on secondary structures, particularly the
G quadruplex formation [71].
Codon optimization describes the production of synthetic, codon-optimized polypeptides and proteins used
in biotechnology therapeutics (such as the synthetic mRNAs used for SARS-CoV-2 vaccination). The altered
codon assignments within the mRNA template dramatically increase the quantity of polypeptides and/or
proteins produced [72]. Synonymous codon replacement also results in a change in the multifunctional
regulatory and structural roles of resulting proteins [73]. For this reason, codon optimization has been
cautioned against due to its consequent changes causing perturbation in the secondary conformation of
protein products with potentially devastating effects on their resulting immunogenicity, efficacy and function
[74,75]. Notably, various human diseases are the result of synonymous nucleotide polymorphisms [76].
In an experiment where GC-rich and GC-poor versions of mRNA transcripts for heat shock protein 70 were
configured in the context of identical promoters and UTR sequences, it was found that GC-rich genes were
expressed several-fold to over a hundred-fold more efficiently than their GC-poor counterparts [77]. This is
partly because all of the preferred mammalian codons have G or C nucleotides in the third position. It is
also well documented that AU-rich elements in the 3’ UTRs can destabilize mRNA [78]. What may be of
particular concern is the fact that GC enrichment content in vaccine mRNAs results in an enhanced ability
for potential G quadruplex (pG4) formations in these structures, and this could cause onset of neurological
disease [79]. Remarkably, the human prion protein (PrP) genetic sequence contains multiple G4 forming
motifs, and their presence may form the missing link in the initial conversion of PrP to the misfolded form,
PrPsc [80]. PrP binding to its own mRNA may be the seed that causes the protein to misfold. This
observation is particularly concerning in light of the fact that the spike protein has prion-like characteristics
On the one hand, the GC content has a key role in the modulation of translation efficiency and control of
mRNA expression in mammals [82]. Especially during translation initiation, the GC content operating as a
cis-acting mRNA element orchestrates the 43S ribosomal pre-initiation complex attachment and thereafter
the assembly of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4EF (eIF4F) complex. One representative example
of this system in action is the regulation of αand βglobin mRNA expression through their 5’ untranslated
regions (5’UTRs) [82].
On the other hand, the presence of pG4s in RNAs is implicated in cancer biology as key determinants of
the regulation of G4 RNA binding proteins such as helicase [83]. Generally, the G quadruplexes in RNAs
have essential roles in a) the regulation of gene expression, b) the localization of ribonuclear proteins, c) the
mRNA localization and d) the regulation of proto-oncogene expression [84].
Regarding SARS-CoV-2, relevant studies reveal overwhelming similarities between SARS-CoV-2 pG4s, in-
cluding in RNA coding for spike protein, and those sequenced in the human transcriptome [85]. Thus, it
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can be inferred that synthetic mRNAs in vaccines carrying more pG4 structures in their coding sequence
for spike protein will amplify and compound the potential post-transcriptional disorganization due to G4-
enriched RNA during natural SARS-CoV-2 infection. Moreover, the cellular nucleic acid binding protein
(CNBP), which is the main cellular protein that binds to the SARS-CoV-2 RNA genome in human-infected
cells [86], binds to and promotes the unfolding of SARS-CoV-2 G4s formed by both positive and negative
sense template strands of the SARS-CoV-2 RNA genome. A similar modulation of CNBP on vaccine mRNA
G4s and promotion of G4 equilibrium towards unfolded conformations create favorable conditions for miRNA
binding, and this will have a direct impact on miRNA-dependent regulation of gene expression [87].
The negative-sense RNAs are intermediate molecules produced by the replicase transcriptase complex (RTC)
formed by the nonstructural proteins of coronaviruses (including SARS-COV-2) to provide efficiency in repli-
cation and transcription [88,89]. This, however, introduces another potentially serious complication asso-
ciated with vaccination. Co-infection with other negative sense RNA viruses such as hepatitis C [90] or
infection by other coronaviruses contemporaneous with vaccination periods would provide the necessary ma-
chinery of RTC to reproduce negative sense intermediates from synthetic mRNAs and therefore amplify the
presence of pG4s by negative sense templates. This would result in further epitranscriptomic dysregulation
Summarizing the topic to this point, the enrichment of GC content in vaccine mRNA will inevitably lead
to an increase in the pG4 content of the vaccines. This, in turn, will lead to dysregulation of the G4-
RNA-protein binding system and a wide range of potential disease-associated cellular pathologies including
suppression of innate immunity, neurodegeneration, and malignant transformation [83].
Concerning the post translational deregulation due to emergence of new G4 structures introduced by vac-
cination, one other important issue related to miRNA regulation and pG4s arises. In miRNA structures,
hundreds of pG4 sequences are identified [92]. In their unfolded conformation, as during binding to their
respective targets in 3’ to 5’ sequences of mRNAs, miRNAs switch off the translation of their respective
target mRNA. Alternatively, when in the presence of a G4 ligand, the translation of their target mRNAs is
promoted [93]. Moreover, a vast number of putative miRNA binding sites overlap with G4s in 3’ UTRs of
mRNAs as there are at least 521 specific miRNAs that are predicted to bind to at least one of these G4s.
Overall, 44,294 G4-miRNA potential binding sites have been traced to possess putative overlapping G4s in
humans [87].
As described elsewhere, during the cellular translation of vaccine mRNAs, an increased assembly of a number
of RNA binding protein helicases, such as eIF4A bound to eIF4G, will occur [65]. The presence of increased
pG4s in synthetic mRNAs can potentially amplify binding of RNA binding proteins and miRNAs. This form
of molecular crowding of protein components (helicases) with great affinity for G4 binding [87] will decrease
the number of RNA binding proteins binding G4s normally available for miRNA regulation. This loss of
RNA binding proteins as well as miRNA availability for regulation by binding to G4s can dramatically alter
the translational regulation of miRNAs present in cells and thereby disrupt essential regulation of oncogene
expression. An example is the p16-dependent regulation of the p53 tumour suppressor protein [87,94].
This process is exceedingly complicated yet tantamount to cellular homeostasis. So, again, it merits sum-
marizing. If pG4s accumulate, as would be expected with an increased amount of GC content in the vaccine
mRNA, this would have an effect of increasing potential G4 structures available during translation events
and this can affect miRNA post-transcriptional regulation. This, in turn, would either favor greater expres-
sion of the oncogenes related to a range of cancers or drive cells to apoptosis and cell death [95]. The case
study described earlier in this paper strongly supports the hypothesis that these injections induce accelerated
lymphoma progression in follicular B cells [56].
miRNA binding recognition patterns are imperfectly complementary to their target regions, and for this
reason they are referred to as “master regulators,” since one miRNA affects a plethora of different targets
[92]. The multitude of pG4s in the mRNA of the vaccine would predictably act as decoys, distracting miRNAs
from their normal function in regulating human protein expression. The increase in G4 targets due to the
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vaccine would decrease the availability of miRNAs to target human-expressed G4s for regulation of gene
expression. This can result in downregulation of miRNA expression which is implicated in cardiovascular
pathology [96], onset of neurodegeneration [97], and/or cancer progression [98].
In most respects within epitranscriptomic machinery, miRNAs are involved in translation repression. One
example, vital for cellular normal housekeeping is that of Mouse double minute 2 homolog (MDM2), a
physical negative regulatory protein of p53. P53 itself is considered the master regulator of the cellular
tumor suppression network of genes. P16 controls the expression of many miRNAs, and, via miR-141 and
mIR-146b-5p binding to MDM2 mRNA, it induces the negative regulation of MDM2, thus enabling p53
ubiquitination and promotion of cell survival upon DNA damage events [94]. Deregulation of miRNAs that
control MDM2 suppression of p53 would predictably lead to an increased risk to cancer [99].
5. Type I IFNs and COVID-19
Type I IFNs play an essential role in fighting viral infections, and deficiencies in type I IFN signaling have
been associated with poor outcomes from COVID-19 in multiple studies. These cases are often associated
with autoantibodies to type I IFNs. As reviewed below, type I IFNs have been used with some success in
treating severe COVID-19, particularly if administered very early in the disease process. If, as argued above,
the mRNA vaccines interfere with type I signaling, this could lead to increased susceptibility to COVID-19
in the two weeks following the first vaccine, before an antibody response has been initiated.
Cells infected with a virus detect the presence of virus replication through a number of pattern recognition
receptors (PPRs), which serve as sentinels sensing aberrant RNA structures that often form during viral
replication. These receptors respond by oligomerizing and subsequently inducing type I IFNs, ultimately
upregulating a large number of proteins involved in suppressing viral proliferation [100].
A multi-author study by researchers in Paris, France, involving a cohort of 50 COVID-19 patients with
varying degrees of disease severity, revealed that patients with severe disease were characterized by a highly
impaired type I IFN response [101]. These patients had essentially no IFN-βand low IFN-αproduction and
activity. This was associated with a persistent blood viral load and an exacerbated inflammatory response,
characterized by high levels of tumor necrosis factor α(TNF-α) and Il-6. The authors proposed type I IFN
therapy as a potential treatment option. A paper by several researchers in the United States also identified
a unique and inappropriate inflammatory response in severe COVID-19 patients, characterized by low levels
of both type I and type III IFNs along with elevated chemokines and elevated expression of Il-6 [102].
Type I IFNs have even been proposed as a treatment option for severe COVID-19. In a hamster model,
researchers exposed hamsters to SARS-CoV-2 and induced an inflammatory response in the lungs and
systemic inflammation in distal tissues. They found that intranasal administration of recombinant IFN-
αresulted in a reduced viral load and alleviation of symptoms [103]. A retrospective cohort study of
446 COVID-19 patients determined that early administration of IFN-α2b was associated with reduced in-
hospital mortality. However, late IFN therapy increased mortality and delayed recovery, revealing that early
administration of interferon therapy is essential for a favorable response [104].
A surprising number of people have neutralizing autoantibodies against type I IFNs, although the underlying
etiology of this phenomenon is not understood. A study using longitudinal profiling of over 600,000 peripheral
blood mononuclear cells and transcriptome sequencing from 54 patients with COVID-19 and 26 controls
found a notable lack of type I IFN-stimulated gene responses in myeloid cells from patients with critical
disease [105]. Neutralizing autoantibodies against type I IFNs were found in 19% of patients with critical
disease, 6% of patients with severe disease, and 0% of patients with moderate disease. Another study based
in Madrid, Spain revealed that 10% of patients with severe COVID-19 disease had autoimmune antibodies
to type I IFNs [106]. Finally, Stertz and Hale (2021) note that, whether due to autoantibodies or perhaps
loss-of-function polymorphisms associated with interferon system genes, deficiencies in interferon production
are associated with as many as 15% of all life-threatening COVID-19 cases [107].
6. Are the methylation strategies for cellular housekeeping generally omitted by vaccine
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Methylation of mRNAs has been evolutionarily devised to control translation of transcripts and therefore
expression of genes by a complex cascade of methylator (writers) and de-methylator (eraser) and reader
proteins. A key methylation of adenosine “N6-methyladenosine (m6A)” in the 5’ UTR of mRNAs regulates
normal cell physiology, the inflammatory response and cancer progression. The role and mechanisms of m6A
in human disease is extensive and excellently covered in other comprehensive reviews [108,109]. Foremost
among these, the SARS-CoV-2 molecular vaccination induces cell stress conditions, as is described by the
elevated NF-κB signaling after vaccination [52,110].
Under conditions of cellular stress which can be induced by a viral infection or disease states such as cancer,
m6A mediates mRNAs to undergo translation preferentially in a cap-independent way [111]. As discussed
previously, this is opposite to the impact of mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, which drives cells toward a cap-
dependenttranslation. Furthermore, under diversified conditions of cellular stress, there is an overwhelming
induction of transcriptome-wide addition of m6A that causes an increased number of mRNAs to possess
5’UTRs enriched with m6A [111].
Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) is the initial mRNA cap binding protein that directs
ribosomes to the cap structure of mRNAs, in order to initiate translation into protein. The dependence
on cap-dependent translation of vaccine mRNAs will consume a surplus of eIF4E availability needed to
translate an unnaturally high number of synthetic mRNAs. However, the cap-independent translation takes
place without requiring eIF4E to be bound to eIF4F. The competition for ribosomes will shift towards the
cap-independent translation of transcripts, since the mRNAs undergoing cap-independent translation are
equipped, apart from internal ribosome entry sites (IRES), with special binding motifs that bind to factors
that actively recruit mRNAs to the ribosome cap-independent translational enhancers (CITEs) [112].
Furthermore, this also means that eIF4E, which is a powerful oncogene regulator and cell proliferation mod-
ulator, will sustain its activities by this competition, for an unnaturally prolonged period of time, trying to
counterbalance the competition between robustly-capped mRNAs in vaccines and IRES-containing mRNAs
[113,65]. This type of condition results in dysregulation of co-transcriptional m6A mRNA modifications and
seriously links to molecular progressions of various cancers [114], as well as creating predisposing conditions
for subsequent viral infections [113].
We next consider the impact of mRNA-vaccination-derived spike protein on the cellular IFN system via
massive exosome production.
7. Exosomes and MicroRNAs
An important communication network among cells consists of extracellular vesicles (EVs) that are constantly
released by one cell and later taken up by another cell, which could be in a distant organ. Small vesicles known
as exosomes, formed inside endosomes, are similar in size to viruses, and are released through exocytosis into
the extracellular space to subsequently circulate throughout the body [115]. Exosomes can deliver a diverse
collection of biologically active molecules, including mRNA, microRNAs, proteins, and lipids [116]. During
a viral infection, infected cells secrete large quantities of exosomes that act as a communication network
among the cells to orchestrate the response to the infection [117].
In a collaborative effort by a team of researchers from Arizona and Connecticut, it was found that people
who were vaccinated with the mRNA vaccines acquired circulating exosomes containing the spike protein by
day 14 following vaccination [118]. They also found that there were no circulating antibodies to the spike
protein fourteen days after the first vaccine. After the second vaccine, however, the number of circulating
spike-containing exosomes increased by up to a factor of 12. Furthermore, antibodies to spike first appeared
on day 14. The exosomes presented spike protein on their surface, which, the authors argued, facilitated
antibody production. When mice were exposed to exosomes derived from vaccinated people, they developed
antibodies to the spike protein. Interestingly, following peak expression, the number of circulating spike-
containing exosomes decreased over time, in step with the decrease in the level of antibodies to the spike
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Exosomes exist as a part of the mRNA decay mechanism in close association under stress conditions with
stress granules (SGs) and P-bodies (PBs) [119,120]. Under conditions of vaccine-mRNA-induced translation,
which could be called “excessive dependence on cap-dependent translation,” there is an obvious resistance
to promotion and assembly of the large decapping complex [65], and therefore resistance against physio-
logical mRNA decay processes [119]. This would mean that the fate of particular synthetic mRNAs that
otherwise would be determined by the common cellular strategy for mRNA turnover involving messenger
ribonucleinproteins (mRNPs) is being omitted [121].
Furthermore, under conditions of over-reliance on cap-dependent translation by the synthetic mRNAs in
SARS-CoV-2 vaccines [65], many native mRNAs holding considerable IRES and specific methylations (m6A)
in their structure will favorably choose cap-independent translation, which is strongly linked to mRNA
decay quality control mechanisms [114]. In this sense, considerable deadenylated mRNA products as well as
products derived from mRNA metabolism (decay) are directly linked to exosome cargoes [121].
A fine example of dependence on cap-dependent translation is described in T-cell acute lymphoblastic
leukaemia (T-ALL). Due to mechanistic target of rapamycin C (mTORC)-1 over-functioning in T-ALL, the
cells are driven completely towards cap-dependent translation [122]. An analogous condition is described by
Kyriakopoulos and McCullough (2021) [65]. Even in this highly aggressive cancerous state, during inhibition
of cap-dependent translation in T-ALL cells, there is a rapid reversion to cap-independent translation [122].
Similarly, a picornavirus infection [123] drives cells towards cap-independent translation due to inhibition of
components of eIF4F complex and pluralism of IRES in viral RNA.
In humans, there is an abundance of mostly asymptomatic picornavirus infections like the Safford Virus with
an over 90% seroprevalence in young children and adults [124]. In either case, whether an apoptotic event
due to a stress-like condition[125] or an mRNA-cap-driven-like carcinomatous effect [126], the miRNA levels
will be increased due to the increased epitranscriptomic functioning and enhanced mRNA decay. Because
of the high demand for gene expression, high levels of certain miRNAs will be expected to be contained in
exosomes via P bodies [127].
Also, under conditions of overwhelming production of spike protein due to SARS-CoV-2 molecular vacci-
nation, it would of course be expected that a significant proportion of over-abundant intra-cellular spike
proteins would also be exported via exosome cargoes [128].
A seminal paper by a research team in India investigated the role of exosomes in the cellular response to
internally synthesized SARS-CoV-2 spike protein [50]. They wrote in the abstract:
“We propose that SARS-CoV-2 gene product, Spike, is able to modify the host exosomal cargo, which gets
transported to distant uninfected tissues and organs and can initiate a catastrophic immune cascade within
Central Nervous System (CNS).”
Their experiments involved growing human HEK293T cells in culture and exposing them to SARS-CoV-2
spike gene plasmids, which induced synthesis of spike protein within the cells. They found experimentally
that these cells released abundant exosomes housing spike protein along with specific microRNAs. They then
harvested the exosomes and transferred them to a cell culture of human microglia (the immune cells that are
resident in the brain). They showed that the microglia readily took up the exosomes and responded to the
microRNAs by initiating an acute inflammatory response. The role of microglia in causing neuroinflammation
in various viral diseases, such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV),
and Dengue, is well established. They proposed that long-distance cell-cell communication via exosomes
could be the mechanism by which neurological symptoms become manifest in severe cases of COVID-19.
In further exploration, the authors identified two microRNAs that were present in high concentrations in
the exosomes: miR-148a and miR-590. They proposed a specific mechanism by which these two microRNAs
would specifically disrupt type I interferon signaling, through suppression of two critical proteins that con-
trol the pathway: ubiquitin specific peptidase 33 (USP33) and IRF9. Phosphorylated STAT1 and STAT2
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heterodimers require IRF9 in order to bind IFN-stimulated response elements, and therefore IRF9 plays an
essential role in the signaling response. The authors showed experimentally that microglia exposed to the
exosomes extracted from the HEK293 culture had a 50% decrease in cellular expression of USP33 and a 60%
decrease in IRF9. They further found that miR-148a specifically blocks USP33 and miR-590 specifically
blocks IRF9. USP33 removes ubiquitin from IRF9, and in so doing it protects it from degradation. Thus,
the two microRNAs together conspire to interfere with IRF9, thus blocking receptor response to type I
A study by de Gonzalo-Calvo et. al. (2021) looked at the microRNA profile in the blood of COVID-19
patients and their quantitative variance based upon disease severity [129]. Multiple miRNAs were found
to be up- and down-regulated. Among these was miR-148a-3p, the guide strand precursor to miR-148a.
However, miR-148a itself was not among the microRNAs catalogued as excessive or deficient in their study,
nor was miR-590. It appears from these findings that miR148a and miR-590 and their inflammatory effects
are unique to vaccination-induced spike protein production.
Tracer studies have shown that, following injection into the arm muscle, the mRNA in mRNA vaccines is
carried into the lymph system by immune cells and ultimately accumulates in the spleen in high concentra-
tions [130]. Other studies have shown that stressed immune cells in the spleen release large quantities of
exosomes that travel to the brain stem nuclei along the vagus nerve (as reviewed in Seneff and Nigh (2021)
[81]). The vagus nerve is the 10th cranial nerve and it enters the brainstem near the larynx. The superior
and recurrent laryngeal nerves are branches of the vagus that innervate structures involved in swallowing
and speaking. Lesions in these nerves cause vocal cord paralysis associated with difficulty swallowing (dys-
phagia) difficulty speaking (dysphonia) and/or shortness of breath (dyspnea) [131,132]. We will return to
these specific pathologies in our review of VAERS data below.
HEK293 cells were originally derived from cultures taken from the kidney of a human fetus several decades
ago and immortalized through infection with adenovirus DNA. While they were extracted from the kidney,
the cells show through their protein expression profile that they are likely to be of neuronal origin [133].
This suggests that neurons in the vagus nerve would respond similarly to the spike protein. Thus, the
available evidence strongly suggests that endogenously produced spike protein creates a different microRNA
profile than does natural infection with SARS-CoV-2, and those differences entail a potentially wide range
of deleterious effects.
A central point of our analysis below is the important distinction between the impact of vaccination versus
natural infection on type I IFN. While vaccination actively suppresses its production, natural infection
promotes type I IFN production very early in the disease cycle. Those with preexisting conditions often
exhibit impaired type I IFN signaling, which leads to more severe, critical, and even fatal COVID-19. If
the impairment induced by the vaccine is maintained as antibody levels wane over time, this could lead to
a situation where the vaccine causes a more severe disease expression than would have been the case in the
absence of the vaccine.
Another expected consequence of suppressing type I IFN would be reactivation of preexisting, chronic viral
infections, as described in the next section.
8. Reactivation of Varicella-zoster
Type I IFN receptor signaling in CD8+ T cells is critical for the generation of effector and memory cells in
response to a viral infection [134]. CD8+ T cells can block reactivation of latent herpes infection in sensory
neurons [135]. If type I IFN signaling is impaired, as happens following vaccination but not following natural
infection with SARS-CoV-2, CD8+ T cells’ ability to keep herpes in check would also be impaired. Might
this be the mechanism at work in response to the vaccines?
Shingles is an increasingly common condition caused by reactivation of latent herpes zoster viruses (HZV),
which also causes chicken pox in childhood. In a systematic review, Katsikas et al., (2021) identified 91 cases
of herpes zoster occurring an average of 5.8 days following mRNA vaccination [136]. While acknowledging
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that causality is not yet confirmed, “Herpes zoster is possibly a condition physicians and other healthcare
professionals may expect to see in patients receiving COVID-19 vaccines” [136]. In a letter to the editor pub-
lished in September 20201, Fathy et al. (2021) reported on 672 cases of skin reactions that were presumably
vaccine-related, including 40 cases of herpes zoster and/or herpes simplex reactivation [137]. These cases
had been reported to the American Academy of Dermatology and the International League of Dermatologic
Societies’ COVID-19 Dermatology Registry, established specifically to track dermatological sequalae from
the vaccines. There are multiple additional case reports of herpes zoster reactivation following COVID-19
vaccination in the literature [138,139]. Llad´o et al. (2021) noted that 51 of 52 reports of reactivated herpes
zoster infections happened following mRNA vaccination [140]. Herpes zoster itself also interferes with IFN-α
signaling in infected cells both through interfering with STAT2 phosphorylation and through facilitating
IRF9 degradation [141].
An additional case of viral reactivation is noteworthy as well. It involved an 82-year-old woman who had
acquired a hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection in 2007. A strong increase in HCV load occurred a few days
after vaccination with an mRNA Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, along with an appearance of jaundice. She died
three weeks after vaccination from liver failure [142].
9. Impaired DNA Repair and Adaptive Immunity
The immune system and the DNA repair system are the two primary systems that higher organisms rely
on for defense against diverse threats, and they share common elements. Loss of function of key DNA
repair proteins leads to defects in repair that inhibit the production of functional B and T cells, resulting in
immunodeficiency. Non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) repair plays a critical role in lymphocyte-specific
V(D)J recombination, which is essential for producing the highly diverse repertoire of B-cell antibodies in
response to antigen exposure [143]. Impaired DNA repair is also a direct pathway towards cancer.
A seminal study conducted by researchers in Shanghai, China monitored several parameters associated with
immune function in a cohort of patients by conducting single-cell mRNA sequencing of peripheral blood
mononuclear cells (PBMCs) harvested from the patients before and 28 days after the first inoculation of a
COVID-19 vaccine based on a weakened version of the virus [52]. While these vaccines are different from the
mRNA vaccines, they also work by injecting the contents of the vaccine into the deltoid muscle, bypassing
the mucosal and vascular barriers. The authors found consistent alteration of gene expression following
vaccination in many different immune cell types. Observed increases in NF-κB signaling and reduced type I
IFN responses were further confirmed by biological assays. Consistent with other studies, they found that
STAT2 and IRF7 were significantly downregulated 28 days after vaccination, indicative of impaired type
I IFN responses. They wrote: “Together, these data suggested that after vaccination, at least by day 28,
other than generation of neutralizing antibodies, people’s immune systems, including those of lymphocytes
and monocytes, were perhaps in a more vulnerable state.” [52].
These authors also identified disturbing changes in gene expression that would imply impaired ability to
repair DNA. Up to 60% of the total transcriptional activity in growing cells involves the transcription of
ribosomal DNA (rDNA) to produce ribosomal RNA (rRNA). The enzyme that transcribes ribosomal DNA
into RNA is RNA polymerase I (Pol I). Pol I also monitors rDNA integrity and influences cell survival
[144]. During transcription, RNA polymerases (RNAPs) actively scan DNA to find bulky lesions (double-
strand breaks) and trigger their repair. In growing eukaryotic cells, most transcription involves synthesis
of ribosomal RNA by Pol I. Thus, Pol I promotes survival following DNA damage [144]. Many of the
downregulated genes identified by Liu et al. (2021) were linked to the cell cycle, telomere maintenance, and
both promoter opening and transcription of POL I, indicative of impaired DNA repair processes [52]
One of the gene sets that were suppressed was due to “deposition of new CENPA [centromere protein A]
containing nucleosomes at the centromere.” Newly synthesized CENPA is deposited in nucleosomes at the
centromere during late telophase/early G1 phase of the cell cycle. This points to arrest of the cell cycle
in G1 phase as a characteristic feature of the response to the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. Arrest of
pluripotent embryonic stem cells in the G1 phase (prior to replication initiation) would result in impaired
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self-renewal and maintenance of pluripotency [145].
Two checkpoint proteins crucially involved in DNA repair and adaptive immunity are BRCA1 and 53BP1,
which facilitate both homologous recombination (HR) and NHEJ, the two primary repair processes [146,147].
In an in vitro experiment on human cells, the SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike protein was specifically shown to
enter the nucleus and hinder the recruitment of these two repair proteins to the site of a double-strand break
[143]. The authors summarized their findings by saying, “Mechanistically, we found that the spike protein
localizes in the nucleus and inhibits DNA damage repair by impeding key DNA repair protein BRCA1 and
53BP1 recruitment to the damage site.”
Another mechanism by which the mRNA vaccines could interfere with DNA repair is through miR-148. This
microRNA has been shown to downregulate HR in the G1 phase of the cell cycle [148]. As was mentioned
earlier in this paper, this was one of the two microRNAs found in exosomes released by human cells following
spike protein synthesis in the experiments by Mishra and Banerjea (2021) [50].
10. Immune Thrombocytopenia
Immune thrombocytopenia is an autoimmune disorder, where the immune system attacks circulating
platelets. Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) has been associated with several vaccinations, including
measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), hepatitis A, varicella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DPT), oral polio and
influenza [149]. While there is broad awareness that the adenovirus DNA-based vaccines can cause vaccine-
induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) [150], the mRNA vaccines are not without risk to
VITT, as case studies have been published documenting such occurrences, including life threatening and fatal
cerebral venous sinus thrombosis [151-153]. The mechanism is believed to involve VITT antibodies binding to
platelet factor 4 (PF4) and forming immune complexes that induce platelet activation. Subsequent clotting
cascades cause the formation of diffuse microclots in the brain, lungs, liver, legs and elsewhere, associated
with a dramatic drop in platelet count (Kelton et al., 2021). The reaction to the vaccine has been described
as being very similar to heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), except that heparin administration is
notably not involved [154].
It has been shown that the mRNA vaccines elicit primarily an immunoglobulin G (IgG) immune response,
with lesser amounts of IgA induced [155], and even less IgM production [156]. The amount of IgG antibodies
produced is comparable to the response seen in severe cases of COVID-19. It is IgG antibodies in complex
with heparin that induce HIT. One can hypothesize that IgG complexed with the spike protein and PF4 is
the complex that induces VITT in response to mRNA vaccines. It has in fact been shown experimentally
that the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein binds to PF4 [157].
The underlying mechanism behind HIT has been well studied, including through the use of humanized
mouse models. Interestingly, human platelets, but not mouse platelets, express the FcγRIIA receptor, which
responds to PF4/heparin/IgG complexes through a tyrosine phosphorylation cascade to induce platelet
activation. Upon activation, platelets release granules and generate procoagulant microparticles. They also
take up calcium, activate protein kinase C, clump together into microthrombi, and launch a cell death
cascade via calpain activation. These activated platelets release PF4 into the extracellular space, supporting
a vicious cycle, as this additional PF4 also binds to heparin and IgG antibody to further promote platelet
activation. Thus, FcγRIIA is central to the disease process [158].
Studies on mice engineered to express the human FcγRIIA receptor have shown that these transgenic mice
are far more susceptible to thrombocytopenia than their wild type counterparts [159]. It has been proposed
that platelets may serve an important role in the clearance of antibody-antigen complexes by trapping the
antigen in thrombi and/or carrying them into the spleen for removal by immune cells. Platelets are obviously
rapidly consumed in the process, which then results in low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia).
Platelets normally circulate with an average lifespan of only five to nine days, so they are constantly syn-
thesized in the bone marrow and cleared in the spleen. Antibody-bound platelets, subsequent to platelet
activation via Fcγreceptors, migrate to the spleen where they are trapped and removed through phagocy-
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tosis by macrophages [160]. Fully one third of the body’s total platelets are found in the spleen. Since the
mRNA vaccines are carried into the spleen by immune cells initially attracted to the injection site in the
arm muscle, there is tremendous opportunity for the release of spike-protein-containing exosomes by vaccine-
infected macrophages in the spleen. One can speculate that platelet activation following the formation of
a P4F/IgG/spike protein complex in the spleen is part of the mechanism that attempts to clear the toxic
spike protein.
We mentioned earlier that one of the two microRNAs highly expressed in exosomes released by human cells
exposed to the spike protein was miR-148a. miR-148a has been shown experimentally to suppress expression
of a protein that plays a central role in regulating FcγRIIA expression on platelets. This protein, called
T-cell ubiquitin ligand-2 (TULA-2), specifically inhibits activity of the platelet Fcγreceptor. miR-148a
targets TULA-2 mRNA and downregulates its expression. Thus, miR-148a, present in exosomes released
by macrophages that are compelled by the vaccine to synthesize spike protein, acts to increase the risk of
thrombocytopenia in response to immune complexes formed by spike antigen and IgG antibodies produced
against spike.
11. ΠΠΑΡ-α, Συλφατιδε ανδ Λιvερ Δισεασε
As we have already stated, an experiment by Mishra and Banerjea (2021) demonstrated that the spike
protein induces the release of exosomes containing microRNAs that specifically interfere with IRF9 synthesis
[50]. In this section we will show that one of the consequences of suppression of IRF9 would be reduced
synthesis of sulfatide in the liver, mediated by the nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor
Sulfatides are major mammalian serum sphingoglycolipids which are synthesized and secreted mainly from
the liver [161]. They are the only sulfonated lipids in the body. Sulfatides are formed by a two-step process
involving the conversion of ceramide to galactocerebroside and its subsequent sulfation. Sulfatide is expressed
on the surface of platelets, erythrocytes and lymphocytes. Serum sulfatides exert both anti-coagulative and
anti-platelet-activation functions. The enzyme in the liver that synthesizes sulfatide, cerebroside sulfotrans-
ferase, has specifically been found to be induced by activation of PPAR-αin mice [162]. Therefore, reduced
expression of PPAR-αleads to sulfatide deficiency.
PPAR-αligands exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic effects, whereas PPAR-αdeficiency leads to
hepatic steatosis, steatohepatitis, steatofibrosis, and liver cancer [163]. In 2019, a seminal experiment was
conducted by a team of researchers in Japan on mice with a defective gene for PPAR-α[161]. These
mice, when fed a high cholesterol diet, were susceptible to excess triglyceride accumulation and exacerbated
inflammation and oxidative stress in the liver, along with increased levels of coagulation factors. The mice
also manifested with decreased levels of sulfatides in both the liver and the serum. The authors hypothesized
that cholesterol overload exerts its toxic effects in part by enhancing thrombosis, following abnormal hepatic
lipid metabolism and oxidative stress. They showed that PPAR-αcan attenuate these toxic effects through
transcriptional regulation of coagulation factors and upregulation of sulfatide synthesis, in addition to its
effects in ameliorating liver disease. They proposed that therapies such as fibrates aimed at activating
PPAR-αmight prevent high-cholesterol-diet-induced cardiovascular disease.
Tracer studies have shown that the mRNA from mRNA vaccines migrates preferentially to the liver and
spleen, reaching higher concentration there than in any other organs [130]. Thus, there is potential for
suppression of IRF9 in the liver by the vaccine. IRF9 is highly expressed in hepatocytes, where it interacts
with PPAR-α, activating PPAR-αtarget genes. A study on IRF9 knockout mice showed that these mice
developed steatosis and hepatic insulin resistance when exposed to a high-fat diet. In contrast, adenoviral-
mediated hepatic IRF9 overexpression in obese mice improved insulin sensitivity and ameliorated steatosis
and inflammation [164].
Multiple case reports in the research literature describe liver damage following mRNA vaccines [165-167]. A
plausible factor leading to these outcomes is the suppression of PPAR-αthrough downregulation of IRF9,
and subsequently decreased sulfatide synthesis in the liver.
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12. Guillain Barr´e Syndrome and Other Neurological Conditions
GBS is an acute inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy associated with long-lasting morbidity and a signi-
ficant risk of mortality [168]. The disease involves an autoimmune attack on the nerves associated with the
release of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
GBS is often associated with autoantibodies to sulfatide and other sphingolipids [169]. Activated T cells
produce cytokines in response to antigen presentation by macrophages, and these cytokines can induce auto-
antibody production through epitope spreading [170]. The antibodies, in turn, induce complement activation,
which causes demyelination and axonal damage, leading to severe injury to peripheral neurons [171]. The
spike protein has been shown to bind to heparan sulfate, which is a sulfated amino-sugar complex resembling
the sulfated galactose in sulfatide [172]. Thus, it is conceivable that spike also binds to sulfatide, and this
might trigger an immune reaction to the spike-sulfatide complex.
As described in the previous section, impaired sulfatide synthesis in the liver due to suppression of IRF9 will
lead to systemic sulfatide deficiency over time. Sulfatide deficiency can have major impact in the brain and
nervous system. Twenty percent of the galactolipids found in the myelin sheath are sulfatides. Sulfatide is
a major component of the nervous system, found in especially high concentrations in the myelin sheath in
both the peripheral and the central nervous system. Deficiencies in sulfatide can lead to muscle weakness,
tremors, and ataxia [173], which are common symptoms of GBS. Chronic neuroinflammation mediated by
microglia and astrocytes in the brain leads to dramatic losses of brain sulfatide, and brain deficiencies in
sulfatide are a major feature of Alzheimer’s disease [174]. Mice with a defect in the ability to synthesize
sulfatide from ceramide show an impaired ability to maintain the health of axons as they age. Over time,
they develop redundant, uncompacted and degenerating myelin sheaths as well as deteriorating structure at
the nodes of Ranvier in the axons, causing the loss of a functionally competent axoglial junction [175].
Angiotensin II (Ang II), in addition to its profound effects on cardiovascular disease, also plays a role in
inflammation in the brain leading to neurodegenerative disease [176]. The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein contains
a unique furin cleavage site not found in SARS-CoV, which allows the extracellular enzyme furin to detach
the S1 segment of the spike protein and release it into circulation [177]. S1 has been shown to cross the blood-
brain barrier in mice [178]. S1 contains the receptor binding domain that binds to ACE2 receptors, disabling
them. When ACE2 receptor signaling is reduced, Ang II synthesis is increased. Neurons in the brain possess
ACE2 receptors that would be susceptible to disruption by S1 released from spike-containing exosomes or
spike-producing cells that had taken up the nanoparticles in the vaccines. Ang II enhances TLR4-mediated
signaling in microglia, inducing microglial activation and increasing the production of reactive oxygen species
leading to tissue damage, within the paraventricular nucleus in the brain [179].
Overexpression of Ang II is a causal factor in neurodegeneration of the optic nerve, causing optic neuritis,
which can result in severe irreversible visual loss [180]. Multiple case reports have described cases of optic
neuropathy appearing shortly after mRNA vaccination for COVID-19 [181,182]. Other debilitating neurolo-
gical conditions are also appearing shortly after vaccination, where a causal relationship is suspected. A case
study based in Europe tracking neurological symptoms following COVID-19 vaccination identified 21 cases
developing within a median of 11 days post-vaccination. The cases had diverse diagnoses including cere-
bral venous sinus thrombosis, nervous system demyelinating diseases, inflammatory peripheral neuropathies,
myositis, myasthenia, limbic encephalitis, and giant cell arteritis [183]. Khayat-Khoei (2021) describe
a case series of 7 patients, ages ranging from 24 to 64, presenting with demyelinating disease within 21 days
of a first or second mRNA vaccination [184]. Four had a prior history of (controlled) MS, while three were
previously healthy.
Hearing loss and tinnitus are also known rare side effects of COVID-19. A case study involved a series of ten
COVID-19 patients who suffered from audiovestibular symptoms such as hearing loss, vestibular dysfunction
and tinnitus [185]. The authors demonstrated that human inner ear tissue expresses ACE2, furin and the
transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2), which facilitates viral entry. They also showed that SARS-
CoV-2 can infect specific human inner ear cell types.
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Another study evaluating the potential for the SARS-CoV-2 virus to infect the ear specifically examined
expression of the receptor ACE2 and the enzymes furin and TM-PRSS2 various types of cells in the middle
and inner ears of mice. They found that ACE2 and furin were “diffusely present in the eustachian tube,
middle ear spaces, and cochlea, suggesting that these tissues are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
[186]. Tinnitus is positively associated with hypertension, which is induced by elevated levels of Ang II [187].
Headache is a very common adverse reaction to the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, particularly for people who
are already susceptible to headaches. In a study based on a questionnaire involving 171 participants, the
incidence of headaches was found to be 20.5% after the first vaccine, rising to 45.6% after the second shot
[188]. A case study described a 37-year-old woman suffering from a debilitating migraine attack lasting for
11 days following the second Pfizer/BioNtech mRNA vaccine [189].
Steroids are often used as adjunct therapy to treat migraine [190]. Dexamethasone and other steroids stimu-
late PPAR-αreceptors in the liver through the steroid receptor, thus offsetting the effects of IRF9 suppression
[191]. A theory for the origins of migraine involves altered processing of sensory input in the brainstem,
primarily trigeminal neurons [192]. The trigeminal nerve is in close proximity to the vagus nerve in the brain-
stem, so spike-carrying exosomes could easily reach it along the vagal route. Magnetic resonance imaging
has revealed that structural changes in the trigeminal nerve reflecting aberrant microstructure and demyeli-
nation are a characteristic feature of people who suffer from frequent migraine headaches [193]. A potential
factor linked to either SARS-CoV-2 infection or mRNA vaccination is an excessive level of Ang II in the
brainstem due to spike inhibition of ACE2 receptors. ACE inhibitors and Ang II receptor antagonists have
become popular drugs to treat migraine headaches off-label [194,195]. Migraine headache could thus arise
from both the spike protein’s disruption of ACE2 receptors and the destruction of the myelin sheath covering
critical facial nerves through a microglial inflammatory response and loss of sulfatide. The source of that
spike protein could be either exogenous or endogenous.
13. Bell’s Palsy
Bell’s palsy is a common cranial neuropathy causing unilateral facial paralysis. Even in the Phase III clinical
trials, Bell’s palsy stood out, with seven cases appearing in the treatment arm as compared to only one in the
placebo group [196,197]. A case study reported in the literature involved a 36-year-old man who developed
weakness in the left arm one day after vaccination, progressing to numbness and tingling in the arm and
subsequent symptoms of Bell’s palsy over the next few days. A common cause of Bell’s palsy is reactivation
of herpes simplex virus infection centered around the geniculate ganglion [198]. This, in turn, can be caused
by disruption of type I IFN signaling.
14. Myocarditis
There has been considerable media attention devoted to the fact that COVID-19 vaccines cause myocarditis
and pericarditis, with an increased risk in particular for men below the age of 30 [197,200]. Myocarditis is
associated with platelet activation, so this could be one factor at play in the response to the vaccines [201].
However, another factor could be related to exosomes released by macrophages infected with the mRNA
vaccines, and the specific microRNAs found in those exosomes.
A study involving patients suffering from severe COVID-19 disease looked specifically at the expression of
circulating microRNAs compared to patients suffering from influenza and to healthy controls. One microRNA
that was consistently upregulated in association with COVID-19 was miR-155, and the authors suggested
that it might be a predictor of chronic myocardial damage and inflammation. By contrast, influenza infection
was not associated with increased miR-155 expression. They concluded: “Our study identified significantly
altered levels of cardiac-associated miRs in COVID-19 patients indicating a strong association of COVID-19
with cardiovascular ailments and respective biomarkers” [202].
A study comparing 300 patients with cardiovascular disease to healthy controls showed a statistically sig-
nificant increase in circulating levels of miR-155 in the patients compared to controls. Furthermore, those
with more highly constricted arteries (according to a Gensini score) had higher levels than those with lesser
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disease [203].
Importantly, exosomes play a role in inflammation in association with heart disease. During myocardial
infarction, miR-155 is sharply upregulated in macrophages in the heart muscle and released into the extra-
cellular milieu within exosomes. These exosomes are delivered to fibroblasts, and miR-155 downregulates
proteins in the fibroblasts that protect from inflammation and promote fibroblast proliferation. The resulting
impairment leads to cardiac rupture [204].
We have already discussed how the S1 segment of the spike protein can be cleaved by furin and released into
circulation. It binds to ACE2 receptors through its receptor binding domain (RBD), and this inhibits their
function. Because ACE2 degrades Ang II, disabling ACE2 leads directly to overexpression of Ang II, further
enhancing risk to cardiovascular disease. AngII-induced vasoconstriction is an independent mechanism to
induce permanent myocardial injury even when coronary obstruction is not present. Repeated episodes of
sudden constriction of a cardiac artery due to Ang II can eventually lead to heart failure or sudden death
ACE2 suppression had already been seen in studies on the original SARS-CoV virus. An autopsy study
on patients succumbing to SARS-CoV revealed an important role for ACE2 inhibition in promoting heart
damage. SARS-CoV viral RNA was detected in 35% of 20 autopsied human heart samples taken from
patients who died. There was a marked increase in macrophage infiltration associated with myocardial
damage in the patients whose hearts were infected with SARS-CoV. Importantly, the presence of SARS-
CoV in the heart was associated with marked reduction in ACE2 protein expression [206].
15. Considerations Regarding the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)
The Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is an imperfect
but valuable resource for identifying potential adverse reactions to vaccines. Established through collabo-
ration between the CDC and FDA, VAERS is “a national early warning system to detect possible safety
problems in U.S.-licensed vaccines.” According to the CDC it is “especially useful for detecting unusual or
unexpected patterns of adverse event reporting that might indicate a possible safety problem with a vac-
cine.” ( Even the CDC recognizes that adverse events reported to VAERS
represent “only a small fraction of actual adverse events [207]. A widely cited report noted that less than 1%
of all vaccine-related adverse events are reported to VAERS [208]. That assertion, though, has no citation
so the basis for the claim is unclear. Rose (2021) published a much more sophisticated analysis of VAERS
data to offer an estimate of underreporting by a factor of 31 [209]. While it is impossible to determine
underreporting with precision, the available evidence is that underreporting very strongly characterizes the
VAERS data. The information presented below should be understood in that light.
15.1 VAERS Signal for Immune Suppression, Thrombocytopenia and Neurodegeneration
All of the tabulations on the number of reports for a specific condition mentioned in this subsection are
based on a probe of the VAERS database online tool,, on November 29,
2021 and include all reports for any COVID-19 vaccine but restricted to the US population.
Over the 31-year history of VAERS, there were a total of 9,153 deaths reported in association with any
vaccine, and 7,114 (78%) of those deaths were linked to COVID-19 vaccines. Importantly, only 14% of
VAERS-reported deaths as of June 2021 could have vaccination ruled out as a cause [210]. This strongly
suggests that these unprecedented vaccines exhibit unusual mechanisms of toxicity that go well beyond what
is seen with more traditional vaccines.
A shocking 96% of all cases linking Bell’s palsy to any vaccine since 1990 were linked to COVID-19 vaccines
(3,197 out of 3,331 cases). There were 760 reports of Guillain Barr´e Syndrome (GBS) for COVD-19 vaccines.
Over 100 cases of optic neuritis or optic neuropathy were listed. A total of 8,298 reports linked migraine
headache to COVID-19. There were 52 cases of Herpes zoster oticus linked to COVID-19 vaccines. This is
basically a case of herpes affecting the cranial nerves near the ears. Hearing loss is a characteristic symptom
of Herpes zoster oticus, and it can become permanent [211,212]. As of November 19, 2021, there were 12,204
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cases where ”tinnitus” was mentioned. Deafness is of course much more serious and therefore less common,
and yet it also has a striking number of hits, coming in at 2,662 cases.
There were 653 VAERS reports linking the COVID-19 vaccines to thrombocytopenia. This is to be compared
with 774 cases reported for all the other vaccines over the 31-year period from 1990 to 2021.
The VAERS database includes many terms related to liver dysfunction, and there were around 2,000 reports
in VAERS for various liver-related terms linked to COVID-19 vaccines, such as hepatomegaly (73 cases),
hepatic steatosis (105 cases) hepatic enzyme increased (338 cases), liver disorder (71 cases), liver injury (44
cases), hepatic pain (91 cases) and hepatitis (62 cases).
There were 4,650 cases with dysphagia, 1,697 cases of dysphonia, and 37,132 cases of dyspnea in reaction
to COVID vaccines. As reviewed previously in this paper, a likely cause is vagus nerve damage due to
inflammation induced by exposure to exosomes containing the spike protein and the associated microRNAs.
In addition, there were 13,789 reports of syncope. Vasovagal syncope is the most common type of syncope
among all age groups [213]. 67,682 cases of nausea and 26,630 cases of vomiting may reflect damage to vagal
neurocircuits that play a central role in inducing nausea and vomiting in response to various insults [214].
Table 1. Number of events in the VAERS database from 1990 to December 12, 2021, where several terms
indicating cancer occurred in association with COVID-19 vaccines or with all other vaccines, along with the
ratio between the two counts. Counts were restricted to data from the United States. Note that counts for
all the other vaccines are totals for 31 years, whereas the COVID-19 counts are for a single class of vaccines
over less than one year.
Cancer Reports to
Counts COVID-19
vaccines Counts All other vaccines
Ratio: COVID-19
vaccines/ All other
Breast 147 49 3.00
Prostate 32 13 2.46
Lung 82 46 1.78
Colorectal/Colon 30 7 5.00
Ovarian 24 7 3.43
Uterine 11 5 2.20
Uterine leiomyoma 80 12 6.67
Lymphoma (subtype
not identified)
52 47 1.11
B-cell lymphoma 19 3 6.33
Follicular lymphoma 13 1 13.00
Metastasis 13 7 1.86
Glioblastoma 16 3 5.33
Brain neoplasm 22 34 0.65
Neoplasm (unspecified) 71 82 0.87
Hepatic 40 8 5.00
Pancreatic 27 6 4.50
Prostate 23 13 1.77
Squamous cell
carcinoma (not
33 25 1.32
Total 735 368 2.00
15.2 VAERS Signal for Cancer
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Cancer is a disease generally understood to take months or, more commonly, years to progress from an initial
malignant transformation in a cell to development of a clinically recognized condition. Since VAERS reports
of adverse events are happening primarily within the first month or even the first few days after vaccination
[209], it seems likely that the acceleration of cancer progression following vaccines would be a difficult signal
to recognize. Furthermore, most people do not expect cancer to be an adverse event that could be caused by
a vaccine. However, as we have outlined in our paper, if the mRNA vaccinations are leading to widespread
dysregulation of oncogene controls, cell cycle regulation, and apoptosis, then VAERS reports should reflect
an increase in reports of cancer, relative to the other vaccines.
This is in fact what VAERS reports reflect, and dramatically so. Table 1 illustrates events involving the
most common cancers reported to VAERS in the US, cancers either newly identified or stable disease newly
progressing. It compares reports related to COVID-19 vaccination to reports related to all other vaccinations
over the 31-year history of VAERS information collection. To obtain this table, we searched the online re-
source,, for search terms indicating cancer, such as “cancer,” “carcinoma,”
“mass,” “neoplasm,” etc., and summed over all hits related to a particular organ, such as “lung.” These
data were collected on December 12, 2021.
Notably, there were three times as many reports of breast cancer following a COVID-19 vaccine, and more
than six times the number of reports of B-cell lymphoma. All but one of the cases of follicular lymphoma
were associated with COVID-19 vaccines. Pancreatic carcinoma was more than three times as high.
This cannot be explained by reference to a disproportionately large number of people receiving an mRNA
vaccination in the past year compared to all other vaccinations. The total number of people receiving
a non-COVID-19 vaccination is unknown, but over the 31 years history of reports VAERS contains it is
unquestionably many orders of magnitude larger than the number receiving an mRNA vaccination in the
past year. Overall, in the above table, twice as many cancer reports to VAERS are related to a COVID-19
vaccination compared to those related to all other vaccines. That, in our opinion, constitutes a signal in
urgent need of investigation.
16. Discussion
There has been an unwavering message about the safety and efficacy of mRNA vaccinations against SARS-
CoV-2 from the public health apparatus in the US and around the globe. The efficacy is increasingly in
doubt, as shown in a recent letter to the Lancet Regional Health by G¨
unter Kampf [215]. Kampf provided
data showing that the vaccinated are now as likely as the unvaccinated to spread disease. He concluded:
“It appears to be grossly negligent to ignore the vaccinated population as a possible and relevant source of
transmission when deciding about public health control measures.”
In this paper we call attention to three very important aspects of the safety profile of these vaccinations.
First is the extensively documented subversion of innate immunity, primarily via suppression of IFN-αand
its associated signaling cascade. This suppression will have a wide range of consequences, not the least
of which include the reactivation of latent viral infections and the reduced ability to effectively combat
future infections. Second is the dysregulation of the system for both preventing and detecting genetically
driven malignant transformation within cells and the consequent potential for vaccination to promote those
transformations. Third, mRNA vaccination potentially disrupts intracellular communication carried out by
exosomes, and induces cells taking up spike mRNA to produce high levels of spike-carrying exosomes, with
potentially serious inflammatory consequences. Should any of these potentials be fully realized, the impact
on billions of people around the world could be enormous and could contribute to both the short-term and
long-term disease burden our health care system faces.
Given the current rapidly expanding awareness of the multiple roles of G4s in regulation of mRNA translation
and clearance through stress granules, the increase in pG4s due to enrichment of GC content as a consequence
of codon optimization has unknown but likely far-reaching consequences. Specific analytical evaluation of
the safety of these constructs in vaccines is urgently needed, including mass spectrometry for identification of
cryptic expression and immunoprecipitation studies to evaluate the potential for disturbance of or interference
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with the essential activities of RNA and DNA binding proteins.
17. Conclusions
It is imperative that worldwide administration of the mRNA vaccinations be stopped immediately until
further studies are conducted to determine the extent of the potential pathological consequences outlined
in this paper. It is not possible for these vaccinations to be considered part of a public health campaign
without a detailed analysis of the human impact of the potential collateral damage. It is also imperative
that VAERS and other monitoring system be optimized to detect signals related to the health consequences
of mRNA vaccination we have outlined. We believe the upgraded VAERS monitoring system described in
the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Inc. study, but unfortunately not supported by the CDC, would be a
valuable start in this regard [208].
In the end, we are not exaggerating to say that billions of lives are at stake. We call on the public health
institutions to demonstrate, with evidence, why the issues discussed in this paper are not relevant to public
health, or to acknowledge that they are and to act accordingly. Until our public health institutions do
what is right in this regard, we encourage all individuals to make their own health care decisions with this
information as a contributing factor in those decisions.
Author Contributions: S.S., G.N and A.K. all contributed substantially to the writing of the original
draft. P.M. participated in the process of editorial revisions.
Funding: This research was funded in part by Quanta Computers, Inc., Taipei, Taiwan, under the auspices
of the Qmulus project.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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Operation Warp Speed brought to market in the United States two mRNA vaccines, produced by Pfizer and Moderna. Interim data suggested high efficacy for both of these vaccines, which helped legitimize Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA. However, the exceptionally rapid movement of these vaccines through controlled trials and into mass deployment raises multiple safety concerns. In this review we first describe the technology underlying these vaccines in detail. We then review both components of and the intended biological response to these vaccines, including production of the spike protein itself, and their potential relationship to a wide range of both acute and long-term induced pathologies, such as blood disorders, neurodegenerative diseases and autoimmune diseases. Among these potential induced pathologies, we discuss the relevance of prion-protein-related amino acid sequences within the spike protein. We also present a brief review of studies supporting the potential for spike protein "shedding", transmission of the protein from a vaccinated to an unvaccinated person, resulting in symptoms induced in the latter. We finish by addressing a common point of debate, namely, whether or not these vaccines could modify the DNA of those receiving the vaccination. While there are no studies demonstrating definitively that this is happening, we provide a plausible scenario, supported by previously established pathways for transformation and transport of genetic material, whereby injected mRNA could ultimately be incorporated into germ cell DNA for transgenerational transmission. We conclude with our recommendations regarding surveillance that will help to clarify the long-term effects of these experimental drugs and allow us to better assess the true risk/benefit ratio of these novel technologies.
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Since nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccines strongly activate T follicular helper cells, it is important to explore the possible impact of approved SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines on neoplasms affecting this cell type. Herein, we report and discuss unexpected rapid progression of lymphomatous lesions after administration of a BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine booster in a man recently diagnosed with AITL.
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Codon optimization describes the process used to increase protein production by use of alternative but synonymous codon changes. In SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines codon optimizations can result in differential secondary conformations that inevitably affect a protein’s function with significant consequences to the cell. Importantly, when codon optimization increases the GC content of synthetic mRNAs, there can be an inevitable enrichment of G-quartets which potentially form G-quadruplex structures. The emerging G-quadruplexes are favorable binding sites of RNA binding proteins like helicases that inevitably affect epigenetic reprogramming of the cell by altering transcription, translation and replication. In this study, we performed a RNAfold analysis to investigate alterations in secondary structures of mRNAs in SARS-CoV-2 vaccines due to codon optimization. We show a significant increase in the GC content of mRNAs in vaccines as compared to native SARS-CoV-2 RNA sequences encoding the spike protein. As the GC enrichment leads to more G-quadruplex structure formations, these may contribute to potential pathological processes initiated by SARS-CoV-2 molecular vaccination.
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Background COVID-19 is a pandemic respiratory and vascular disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus. There is a growing number of sensory deficits associated with COVID-19 and molecular mechanisms underlying these deficits are incompletely understood. Methods We report a series of ten COVID-19 patients with audiovestibular symptoms such as hearing loss, vestibular dysfunction and tinnitus. To investigate the causal relationship between SARS-CoV-2 and audiovestibular dysfunction, we examine human inner ear tissue, human inner ear in vitro cellular models, and mouse inner ear tissue. Results We demonstrate that adult human inner ear tissue co-expresses the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor for SARS-CoV-2 virus, and the transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) and FURIN cofactors required for virus entry. Furthermore, hair cells and Schwann cells in explanted human vestibular tissue can be infected by SARS-CoV-2, as demonstrated by confocal microscopy. We establish three human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived in vitro models of the inner ear for infection: two-dimensional otic prosensory cells (OPCs) and Schwann cell precursors (SCPs), and three-dimensional inner ear organoids. Both OPCs and SCPs express ACE2, TMPRSS2, and FURIN, with lower ACE2 and FURIN expression in SCPs. OPCs are permissive to SARS-CoV-2 infection; lower infection rates exist in isogenic SCPs. The inner ear organoids show that hair cells express ACE2 and are targets for SARS-CoV-2. Conclusions Our results provide mechanistic explanations of audiovestibular dysfunction in COVID-19 patients and introduce hiPSC-derived systems for studying infectious human otologic disease.
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Large-scale COVID-19 vaccinations are currently underway in many countries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we report, besides generation of neutralizing antibodies, consistent alterations in hemoglobin A1c, serum sodium and potassium levels, coagulation profiles, and renal functions in healthy volunteers after vaccination with an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. Similar changes had also been reported in COVID-19 patients, suggesting that vaccination mimicked an infection. Single-cell mRNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) before and 28 days after the first inoculation also revealed consistent alterations in gene expression of many different immune cell types. Reduction of CD8 ⁺ T cells and increase in classic monocyte contents were exemplary. Moreover, scRNA-seq revealed increased NF-κB signaling and reduced type I interferon responses, which were confirmed by biological assays and also had been reported to occur after SARS-CoV-2 infection with aggravating symptoms. Altogether, our study recommends additional caution when vaccinating people with pre-existing clinical conditions, including diabetes, electrolyte imbalances, renal dysfunction, and coagulation disorders.
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Background: Population-based studies suggest SARS-CoV-2 vaccines may trigger immune-mediated thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) raising concerns for other autoimmune responses. We aimed to characterize neurological autoimmunity after SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations. Methods: In this single-center prospective case study we report patients with neurological autoimmunity in temporal association (≤6 weeks) with SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations and without other triggers. Clinical, laboratory, and imaging data were collected with a median follow-up of 49 days. Results: In the study period 232,603 inhabitants from the main catchment area of our hospital (Rhein-Neckar-Kreis, county) received SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations. We identified 21 cases (new onset n=17, flares n=4), diagnosed a median of 11 days (range: 3-23) following SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations (BNT162b2 n=12, ChAdOx1 n=8, mRNA-1273 n=1). Cases included VITT with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (n=3), central nervous system demyelinating diseases (n=8), inflammatory peripheral neuropathies (n=4), myositis (n=3), myasthenia (n=1), limbic encephalitis (n=1) and giant cell arteritis (n=1). Patients were predominantly female (ratio: 3.2:1) and median age at diagnosis was 50 years (range: 22-86). Therapy included administration of steroids (n=15), intravenous immunoglobulins in patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome or VITT (n=4), plasma exchange in cases unresponsive to steroids (n=3) and anticoagulation in VITT. Outcomes were favorable with partial and complete remissions achieved in 71% and 24%, respectively. Two patients received their second vaccination without further aggravation of autoimmune symptoms under low-dose immunosuppressants. Conclusions: In this study we characterize various neurological autoimmune disorders encountered following SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations. Given assumed low incidence and mostly favorable outcome of autoimmune reponses, benefits of vaccinations outweigh the comparatively small risks.
Adenoviral vector vaccines are effective against SARS-CoV-2 but have been associated with a rare side effect termed vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT). Here, we discuss our understanding of how vaccine-induced antibodies to platelet factor 4 (PF4) form immune complexes that activate platelets and trigger the thrombotic events seen in VITT. Here, John Kelton and colleagues provide an overview of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), a very rare complication that has been observed following vaccination with adenoviral vector-based COVID-19 vaccines.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes severe acute respiratory syndrome. mRNA vaccines directed at the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein resulted in development of Abs and protective immunity. To determine the mechanism, we analyzed the kinetics of induction of circulating exosomes with SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and Ab following vaccination of healthy individuals. Results demonstrated induction of circulating exosomes expressing spike protein on day 14 after vaccination followed by Abs 14 d after the second dose. Exosomes with spike protein, Abs to SARS-CoV-2 spike, and T cells secreting IFN-γ and TNF-α increased following the booster dose. Transmission electron microscopy of exosomes also demonstrated spike protein Ags on their surface. Exosomes with spike protein and Abs decreased in parallel after four months. These results demonstrate an important role of circulating exosomes with spike protein for effective immunization following mRNA-based vaccination. This is further documented by induction of humoral and cellular immune responses in mice immunized with exosomes carrying spike protein.