Amid China’s race to develop a vaccine for the CCP virus, specialists recently told Chinese state-run media about the risks of an adverse reaction known as antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), but within hours, the report was removed and reposts were scrubbed from the internet.
The human body generates antibodies after contracting a virus. Scientists have found that some viruses can manifest ADE, meaning antibodies triggered by the first infection could connect the second viral strain to receptors on immune cells—thereby allowing the virus to enter immune cells.
This could potentially trigger a patient who is infected by one strain of a virus to suffer a more serious recurrence of the disease if they are infected by a second strain later on.
As vaccines work by containing toxins or surface proteins of a bacteria or virus, which stimulate the body’s immune system to recognize the pathogen as a threat and produce antibodies to destroy it, the potential for ADE is often considered when designing vaccines.
An unnamed specialist from the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center said, “Our latest research found out that novel coronavirus has ADE phenomenon, and the percentage is not small.”
Virologist and professor at Hong Kong University Jin Dong-yan also told Yicai that the CCP virus might have ADE. He cited recent cases of recovered patients who later tested positive for COVID-19 again as proof of the phenomenon.
He cited one particular case in the United States. According to the Nevada Independent, a 25-year-old Nevada resident tested positive for COVID-19 again on June 6, 48 days after his first positive test. The two virus samples from the patient in April and June are different, and the patient had severe symptoms after the second infection.
“The patient had antibodies when he was in severe condition [during the second infection], meaning the symptoms might be caused by his immune system. There’s the possibility of ADE,” Jin said.
On Aug. 31, China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Gao Fu responded to Yicai’s report and said it’s still unclear whether the CCP virus manifested ADE.
The study also warned that as “certain vaccine designs are more likely to induce ADE immune responses than others,” researchers should “proceed with caution” in developing vaccines for COVID-19.
Despite the lack of concrete research, the Chinese regime is moving ahead with COVID-19 vaccine trials. Chinese state-run media Xinhua reported on Aug. 28 that three Chinese companies were performing phase 3 clinical trials, with one manufacturer testing on more than 30,000 people in countries in the Middle East, South America, and Southeast Asia.
Chinese state-run companies and the army also mandated some employees and soldiers to take part in trials for the vaccine.
U.S.-based China affairs commentator and former medical doctor Tang Jingyuan said the Chinese regime’s push was irresponsible and akin to treating Chinese citizens “as lab mice.”
“The Chinese regime is eager to be the first one to have an approved vaccine. It needs to use the vaccine as a political tool to win the support from developing countries, as well as to compete with the developed countries,” Tang said.
The Yicai report triggered a heated online discussion in China before it was taken down.
“The Chinese regime doesn’t want public opinion to ruin its plan. This is likely the reason why authorities quickly removed the article,” Tang added.