Q: Please discuss concerns with antibody enhancement and vaccine enhanced diseases with the COVID vaccine.
The aim of any vaccine is for the body to make antibodies that neutralize the virus before it has a chance to get into the cells of the body. It is possible for the body to make antibodies that, instead of neutralizing the invader, enable the virus to enter the cells at an increased rate and, therefore, increase disease potential. This can happen with vaccines and viruses. Vaccine makers were very conscious of this possibility when they set out to make the vaccine and, as a result, made sure that the protein that would be made in the body from the vaccine was of a particular shape so as not to produce antibody dependent enhancement (ADE). There has been no evidence that antibody enhancement is occurring with the current round of vaccines and SARS-CoV-2. If ADE were occurring, you would see worse disease in those vaccinated compared to those not vaccinated. In reality were are seeing the opposite. Currently, in the US greater than 90% of the severe cases of COVID-19 being admitted to the ICU are patients who have not received the vaccine.
Response by Roger Seheult, MD, Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine and Assistant Clinical Professor at the School of Medicine and Allied Health at Loma Linda University