A recent study from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) alleged that it could be possible to develop vaccines transmittable to uninoculated individuals. Amid the threats of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Virus (COVID-19), the report has raised concerns over the already doubted vaccines developed to counter the disease.

The paper from Johns Hopkins University (reuploaded here, currently unavailable on its website) introduced that there is available technology scientists can employ to innovate vaccines for “the event of a grave public health threat.” The idea is that vaccination coverage could be bolstered by a fraction of inoculated individuals within a community.

“The vision is that a small number of individuals in the target population could be vaccinated, and the vaccine strain would then circulate in the population much like a pathogenic virus,” the report stated.

The technology at present, according to the university’s report, is only applied to animals since they are the primary source of infectious diseases, making it a priority for the vaccination system to start with them. 

It was the world’s first self-propagating virus that recognized itself and acted as a vaccine that caused immune suppression. We could call it AIDS for rabbits!

“Self-spreading vaccines have already been used to infect wild rabbits with myxomatosis and to spread Sin Nombre virus in rodent populations,” JHU provided. “Additional work is targeting Ebola virus in apes and bats, Lassa virus in rats, and bovine tuberculosis in badgers.”

Self-spreading vaccines come in two versions: recombinant vector vaccines and live viral vaccines. The former seems to resemble the now rolling CCP Virus vaccination. Hence, inducing the hypothesis from viewers that there is no need to get protected from the CCP Virus anymore because pharmaceutical companies have already secretly used the technology in their product, and the inoculated population is no longer insignificant. 

However, Reuters has dismissed the possibility in a post released on Wednesday, May 5. 

“While the possibility of researchers creating self-disseminating vaccines has been discussed in scientific literature, this is not something that has been rolled out in humans,” Reuters wrote in a fact check. “It would involve genetically engineering a vaccine so immunity spreads through an animal population like a disease, rather than the disease itself spreading.”

Additionally, the risks involved in facilitating self-spreading vaccines could be vastly destructive for scientists to push forward the idea. 

“Once released, scientists will no longer be in control of the virus. It could mutate, as viruses naturally do. It may jump species. It will cross borders. There will be unexpected outcomes and unintended consequences. There always are,” the outlet mentioned in the report from The Bulletin

As for the current CCP Virus vaccines already being rolled out, Reuters stated, “this is not possible,” as the vaccine will have to be “alive” for it to be transmissive, the capacity which none of the vaccines has. 

Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes, chief of the infectious diseases division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, one of the world’s top teaching hospitals, wrote to Reuters. He explained that the mRNA products from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna “contain only instructions for making spike protein and are incapable of generating virus particles, so nothing can be shed.”

Even the JHU report did not mention that self-spreading vaccines in humans had been successfully innovated. It only claimed that there are “challenges” that hinder the process and may take researchers more years of study to achieve it. 

“Although there are substantial technical challenges in genetically engineering viruses, synthetic biology tools such as CRISPR/Cas9 are likely to aid researchers in overcoming these hurdles in the coming years.”

It could be a possibility, but it definitely is not that science has come up with transmissive vaccines, especially for the CCP Virus, or even deceitfully rolling it out in public yet.

When experts from both sides of an issue conflict in their understanding, how are we, the public, to respond?