• What About COVID-19 Vaccination For The 10 Million Americans Taking Immune Suppressive Drugs?

    Posted May 20, 2021: by Bill Sardi

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    An estimated 10 million Americans take immune suppressive drugs to quell autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, Graves’ disease, inflammatory bowel disease.  Over $1 billion of immune suppressive drugs are sold annually to control symptoms of these body-against-itself autoimmune diseases and to prevent organ transplant rejection.  These vulnerable patients were supposed to be screened by a doctor before inoculation with COVID-19 vaccines.  But they have been indiscriminately immunized.

    True, RNA vaccines don’t expose these patients to actual viruses like common vaccines do.  Antibodies are produced by genetic stimulation of antigens rather than by a viral particle.  But there is question whether the vaccine will adversely affect these patients and take them on a hell ride, or worse.

    Data in this report

    In this report, readers need to distinguish flu data from COVID-19 data; and COVID-19 infection from COVID-19 vaccination data; and COVID-19 infection and/or immunization among immune compromised organ donors, the latter group being of greatest concern.

    Works for the flu

    The current advice for patients with autoimmune disorders is that vaccination against the flu will still produce some immunity among patients with autoimmune diseases.  Medically immune- suppressed patients are advised they can safely receive flu shots because some antibodies are produced.

    But what about RNA vaccines for COVID-19 infection among immune-suppressed patients?  There is sparse data available on this topic.  Modern medicine is flying blind here.

    COVID-19 vaccination maybe not for patients taking immune suppressive medications

    In a small non-peer reviewed study of 133 fully vaccinated individuals for COVID-19 with RNA vaccines who were taking immunosuppressive medications, antibody levels and virus neutralization was three times lower than in individuals not taking these medications!

    One of the co-authors in that study reassuringly said: “most patients in the study were able to mount antibody responses in response to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.”

    But the troubling study results showed:

    • A 10-fold reduction in patients who used corticosteroids regularly.
    • A 36-fold reduction in patients who use B cell inhibitors.
    • More modest antibody reductions in patients using certain drugs (TNF inhibitors, methotrexate and sulfasalazine, JAK inhibitors and IL-12/23 inhibitors).

    A review of 30 published studies involving immune-suppressive drugs concluded the use of immune suppressive drugs “can reduce mortality and prevent being placed on ventilators” among patients with COVID-19 infection.  But that report only pertains to patients already under a doctor’s care (likely in the ICU) who were not initially taking an immune-suppressive drug for a chronic autoimmune disease or for organ rejection.

    Another study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases also showed immunosuppression did not elevate risk for mortality, ventilator use or length of stay in the hospital.  But again, that study doesn’t pertain to immune suppressed patients who have been immunized against COVID-19.

    COVID-19 RNA vaccines and drugs and autoimmune disease

    There is some contrary data showing autoimmune disease patients taking COVID-19 RNA vaccines do develop antibodies, though antibody counts are lower.

    But another study shows 26% of patients with rheumatic disease had no detectable antibody response following RNA vaccination!   For organ transplant patients taking immune suppressive drugs, 57% had no antibody response even after two doses of COVID-19 RNA vaccine!

    Dr. Fauci sticks his foot in his mouth again

    Last December, 2020, Anthony Fauci, the nation’s infectious disease “expert,” said:

    “Patients with compromised immune systems, whether due to chemotherapy or a bone marrow transplant, should plan to be vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) when they have the chance… It is clear that if you are on immunosuppressant agents, history tells us that you are not going to have as robust a response as if you had an intact immune system that was not being compromised.  But some degree of immunity is better than no degree of immunity. So, for me, it would be recommended that these people do get vaccinated.”

    But Fauci was flying by the seat of his pants when he said that.  Dr. Fauci is extrapolating data from flu vaccine studies  These RNA vaccines are completely foreign and new.  This isn’t the flu, it is COVID-19, an engineered-to-kill virus that underwent gain-of-function testing in a laboratory.

    A report published in Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety reveals any use of an immune suppressive drug among COVID-19 patients increased the risk for death by 187%!

    Immune suppressive drugs can also produce symptoms that resemble COVID-19.  So, this topic can be very confusing.

    Vaccination among immune compromised patients and the flu

    Experience with flu vaccination may be instructive.  Failure of flu vaccines is associated with advanced age and use of immunosuppression drugs.

    Epidemiological data produced during the 2009 influenza pandemic have confirmed that immunocompromised patients remain at high risk of influenza-associated complications, namely viral and bacterial pneumonia, hospitalization and even death.

    The immunogenicity of the influenza vaccine is reduced overall in immunocompromised patients, although a significant clinical protection from influenza is expected to be obtained with vaccination.  Health authorities conclude influenza vaccination is safe in immunocompromised patients.

    But then again, there is this study among AIDS patients (no vaccine): “In immunocompromised patients, influenza is associated with a high rate of bacterial pneumonia, other opportunistic respiratory infections, hospitalization and even death.”  (Source: Excess Mortality Due To Pneumonia Or Influenza During Influenza Seasons Among Persons With Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Archives Internal Medicine 161(3), 441–446, 2001).

    What about organ transplant patients on anti-rejection drugs?

    The news media is now reporting that the 10+ million Americans taking immune-suppressing drugs for organ transplant rejection may not develop adequate antibodies following RNA vaccination.

    A doctor and organ transplant patient himself on immune suppressant drugs went ahead and got immunized with an RNA vaccine and found he had no antibodies post immunization.   More than half of all organ transplant patients produced no antibodies at all (see below).

    Close to 40,000 Americans receive organ transplants annually and are placed on anti-rejection drugs.

    TNF (tumor necrosis factor) inhibitors

    TNF (tumor necrosis factor(+) inhibitor drugs are commonly used for autoimmune or immune-compromised patients.

    TNF, tumor necrosis (death) factor, is a small protein that activates the immune system, in particular white blood cells known as macrophages that literally ingest bacteria, viruses and tumor cells.  Macrophages release TNF.  TNF is also a pyrogen (activates fever).

    Over-active TNF induces inflammation and accompanying pain.

    TNF-αlpha blockers (etanercept/Enbrel, infliximab/Remicade-Avsola and adalimumab/Humira) are generally associated with an increased risk of infection compared with conventional therapy.  This includes eruption of dormant tuberculosis.  TB is a bacterial lung infection with symptoms similar to those of COVID-19.

    Also, the risk for lymphoma, pneumonia and other parasitic infections is increased with TNF inhibitors.  Because of this, pharmaceutical TNF inhibiting drugs carry a BLACK BOX warning on their labels.

    Can dietary supplements quell TNF?

    A class of natural molecules called polyphenols, commonly found in tea leaves, coffee beans, grapes (wine), and spices (cinnamon, turmeric) are potent TNF inhibitors.

    The most frequently consumed polyphenols as dietary supplements are resveratrol (grapes), quercetin (apple peel, onions), catechin (tea leaves), caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid (coffee bean), cinnamaldehyde (cinnamon), and curcumin (turmeric spice).

    Polyphenols in a certain dosage range provide health benefits.  For example, teetotalers do not experience a decline in mortality for coronary artery disease due to abstention from alcohol.  Modest consumption of polyphenol-rich wine reduces coronary artery disease mortality rates.

    The grape-derived polyphenols in wine provide health benefits, but only in a range of 3-5 glasses of wine providing 60 milligrams of polyphenol per glass.  That would be 3-5 glasses or 180-300 milligrams of polyphenols.  Even then, that is to the point of inebriation.

    As more polyphenols are consumed, the health benefits vanish.  In fact, excessive polyphenols may be toxic to organs such as the heart, and impair the immune system.

    For example, the increased consumption of polyphenols from chocolate, alcohol (wine), and other sources during the Christmas holiday parties has been linked the sudden irregularities in heartbeat.

    Consumers who overdose on polyphenols may experience anxiety reactions, skin rash, flu-like symptoms (could be mistaken for COVID-19), Achilles’ heel tendonitis and a more concerning problem – – lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system).

    The bulk of the scientific literature regarding polyphenols points to modest doses providing optimal health benefits.  This is evidence of hormesis, that a small amount of a “toxin” can activate the body’s defenses rather than the polyphenols themselves producing an effect.

    Excessive polyphenols may over-inhibit TNF and impair immunity

    Some avid supplement users are getting into trouble by mega-dosing on polyphenols.

    My experience is with resveratrol, a red wine polyphenol, and other similar polyphenols (fisetin, quercetin) which are combined in a nutraceutical I formulated – Longevinex®.

    By utilizing three polyphenols molecular synergism is achieved and a more demonstrative biological effect can be achieved at a far lower dose.  The three polyphenols in Longevinex® provide only 175 milligrams of polyphenols but exert a genetic effect that is 9-fold greater than plain resveratrol.

    I rarely had to answer questions about Longevinex® side effects until another polyphenol, curcumin (from turmeric spice) was widely marketed on the radio and many consumers began taking Longevinex® + curcumin.   It is among these consumers that I began to hear of side effects, the anxiety, fast heart rate, flu-like symptoms and skin rash as well as Achilles’ heel tendonitis, and another more concerning problem, lymphoma.

    Curcumin is a very potent TNF inhibitor.  Most brands of curcumin are provided in excessive doses – – 500 to 1000 milligrams.  The companies that market these products, working on a mistaken “more is better” idea, are oblivious to potential side effects, and over-dose consumers, especially when combined with other polyphenol supplements and/or wine drinking.

    Anecdotally, a couple of cases of lymphoma vanished after I advised Longevinex® users to cease taking accompanying curcumin.

    Like wine, it is not wise to over-do polyphenol supplements.

    For example, the polyphenols in Longevinex® have been carefully formulated to avoid overdosage and achieve hormesis.  By combining polyphenols (resveratrol, quercetin, fisetin), molecular synergism is achieved and lower doses actually produced a more demonstrative effect.  Additionally, unlike any other polyphenol product, even when overdosed, the human equivalent of 2800 milligrams of Longevinex® did not induce expected toxicity because of counter-balancing nutrients in the formula.  Furthermore, for assurance of safety and any concerns over potential toxicity, Longevinex successfully passed animal and human toxicity testing, the only polyphenol product to do so.

    Bottom line: Immune compromised patients, particularly organ transplant patients, receiving TNF inhibiting drugs may be wise to avoid mega-dose natural TNF inhibitors like curcumin and other polyphenols.  Such a combination may complicate immunization against COVID-19.

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