Virtual VDC
January 11, 2023

Public Health
Attendance: 675
Count Me In! Click Here to Register

Live Long and Prosper:
The Dawn of the Antibodies-as-Vaccines Era

James E Crowe, Jr., MD

Director, Vanderbilt Vaccine Center
Professor, Pediatrics and Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology
Ann Scott Carell Chair

Clubhouse Location:
A Zoom screen near you
Agenda: (all times Eastern time zone)
6:25pm — Grab a beer, soda, or a glass of wine from the fridge and get online
6:30pm — Meeting called to order in the usual way (ear muffs optional)
6:40pm — This is the part where some really excellent science is presented
7:30pm — Q & A
7:45pm — Adjourn, already dreaming of next month's program

Dear Vaccineers,
Happy New Year!

First, THANK YOU to everyone who suggested topics for the Spring 2023 season of the VDC. Because of y'all we now have the following programs scheduled: January (see above), March (the currently ongoing, flu-caused avian genocide), April (WHO plans for a Pandemic Treaty so we can all do it Better Next Time), and May (how to save tiny tot lives on a global scale by vaccinating microhumans for rubella and diptheria). This leaves only February unaccounted for so far. Fingers crossed for February!!

But first ... JANUARY!

Since this is the traditional "out with the old, in with the new," time of year, VDC member-in-good-standing Kelsey Coy suggested that I start the year off by asking Dr. James Crowe -- who previously presented to us in February 2019 BC (Before Covid) -- for an AC (After Covid) update on how Lessons Learned from the pandemic may or may not have adjusted his thinking about a novel approach to disease protection. And he said YES!

So, as a reminder ....

Vaccines work because if you give someone a shot/spray/drink of something that is successfully able to imitate a faux invasion of influenza, chickenpox, Diphtheria, covid, etc., their immune system will transition from Defcon 5 (Clueless; lowest level of readiness) to Defcon 4 (Double Take; increased intelligence and strengthened security), and prepare to leap at a moment's notice straight to Defcon 1 (Cocked Pistol; nuclear war imminent) in order to act with Extreme Prejudice when any ACTUAL influenza, chickenpox, Diptheria, SARS-CoV-2, etc. virions attempt a covert or overt attack.

That shot/spray/drink might contain a weakened version of the real deal (e.g. measles, tetanus), a killed version of the real deal (e.g. polio), or just some essential bits and bobs of the real deal (e.g. whooping cough, covid) but, in all cases, the underlying goal is the same … to generate active immunity by using a pretend bad guy to prompt your body into being capable, on very short notice, of gearing up to generate buckets and buckets of antibodies against the real bad guy when it shows up.

But what if, instead of going to all that trouble to create active immunity by prodding a person's body into pumping out oodles of antibodies against Dread Disease du Jour (DDdJ) ... what if you made PASSIVE immunity your goal and simply inject them with oodles of antibodies to DDdJ?

Would that even work?

Well, yes….

Assuming that you ever spent time as a fetus, you know from personal experience that passive immunity works just fine since you yourself were born chock full of antibodies your bio-mom handed you in utero (#bestbirthdaypresentever).

But, per your own neonatal experience, passive immunity only lasts a few weeks/months at best so, in the grown-up world, how often would someone require a top-up of new antibodies to keep passive immunity working?

And how would you even go about growing antibodies in vast enough quantities for the commercial market?

Oh, and if those hurdles are overcome does that mean that passive immunity is getting ready to disrupt vaccine technology and doom the poultry industry*?

Interesting questions all.

If the science needed to address these questions and pursue the answers interests you – and why wouldn't it? – come to the January meeting of the Vaccine Dinner Club and hear more about it from Dr. Crowe!

Hope you'll join us online at the Club on January 11,
Your friendly neighborhood Vaccine Dinner Club Goddess

*the poultry industry LOVES the vaccine industry because most traditional vaccines are grown in eggs.