Thursday 2 December 2021

Malevolent Designer News - A Little Victory for Creationism's Divine Malevolence

Image: Murray Robertson, (CC-BY 4.0)
COVID-19 Delta variant may have increased ability to evade vaccine-induced immunity | PLoS

It looks like Creationism's divine malevolence, the mythical designer god they believe created everything, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and without whom no genetic change is possible, has scored a minor victory in its arms race with human medical science. - if you believe that Creationists nonsense.

In a study by Emma Thomson, Brian Willett, and colleagues at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, UK, published in PLOS Pathogens today, the authors show that the δ variant may be slightly better at evading the antibodies produced by the vaccines than the original type against which the vaccines were developed.

According to information supplied by PLOS ahead of publication:
[The study] suggests that COVID-19 Delta variant may be more successful at evading the protective response of vaccines.

Mutations change the shape of the COVID-19 spike protein, preventing antibody recognition and enabling the virus to escape vaccine-induced immunity; however, the extent to which vaccine recipients are immune from the Delta variant is unknown. To quantify the capacity of different variants (Alpha, Beta and Delta) to evade protective immune response in vaccines, researchers analyzed serum samples collected from healthy people who had received either the Pfizer or Astra Zeneca vaccine. 156 people had received two doses and 50 people had received one dose. They exposed SARS-CoV-2 proteins in a virus model system to sera from vaccinated people and observed the antibody response, measuring how effectively antibodies prevented each variant from infecting cells (virus neutralization). The researchers found that vaccines conferred protection from all COVID-19 variants but noted reduced antibody neutralization of both the Beta and Delta variants. Across all vaccinated individuals, the Delta variant reduced the immune response in recipients of both the Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccine 4.31 and 5.11-fold respectively. The study was not designed to measure vaccine efficacy directly, although it was in keeping with recent findings from Public Health England of slightly lower vaccine effectiveness against the Delta variant than previous variants. It also did not report on serological study of people who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
In the summary to their open access paper, the authors say:
Author summary
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is likely to have emerged following a cross-species jump from bats to humans in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019. As the virus has evolved to adapt to humans, new viral variants have emerged that incorporate mutations in the “spike” gene. The spike protein is expressed on the surface of the virus, it facilitates entry into human cells and is the main target of neutralising antibodies. Mutations change the shape of the spike protein, preventing antibody recognition and enabling the virus to escape from the immunity induced by vaccination. Using samples collected from vaccinated people as part of the COVID-19 Deployed Vaccine Cohort Study (DOVE), we assessed the capacity of different variants (alpha, beta and delta) to evade the protective immune response in recipients of the Astra Zeneca ChAdOx1 and Pfizer BNT162b2 vaccines, both of which are based on the early Wuhan virus spike gene. We noted a reduction in neutralisation of both the beta and delta variants by vaccine sera from recipients of both vaccines. While vaccines remain highly effective at preventing severe infection and death, ongoing monitoring of vaccine effectiveness is indicated as the virus continues to evolve over time, especially in vulnerable groups. [My emphasis]
It really is time the Deception Institute and its functionaries such as Michael J Behe, came clean on the issue of these viruses, especially in view of the devastation caused by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. They need to say whether they will conceded that these viruses and their mutations are, as real scientists say, the result of an undirected, unintelligent, amoral natural process, which lets their beloved god off the hook so far as responsibility for the deaths and destruction are concerned, or whether they are going to continue to portray this putative designer god as the pestilential malevolence as it is currently portrayed by the intelligent [sic] design industry.

Of course, that would conceed that science is right about evolution being the creative natural process and so undermine their continuing efforts to destroy public confidence in science as a prelude to teaching their creationist myths as science in schools and eventually installing an extreme right-wing fundamentalist theocracy in the USA and elsewhere.

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