@fribbledom Probably pretty soon. Isn't the COVID-19 vaccine actually a virus?


Some are based on inactivated forms of the virus.

In all honesty it was just a joke, though. I don't expect this to ever happen, as there's no money in it 😒

@fribbledom Open-Source Virus Movement. Pretty sure it'll be a thing.

@fribbledom @Starcake It also isn't controllable, so it could be dangerous.

@josias @fribbledom @Starcake could also be bad for those with compromised immune systems.

@Starcake @fribbledom I think they’re more like the container for the virus without the virus parts inside

@allenu @fribbledom

The way I read this is that these companies are designing the COVID-19 vaccine to basically infect cells and deposit genes. Isn't that exactly what viruses do?

"Unlike traditional vaccines, which use live viruses, dead ones, or bits of the shells that viruses come cloaked in to train the body’s immune system, the new shots use messenger RNA—the short-lived middleman molecule that, in our cells, conveys copies of genes to where they can guide the making of proteins.

The message the mRNA vaccine adds to people’s cells is borrowed from the coronavirus itself—the instructions for the crown-like protein, called spike, that it uses to enter cells."



That's the case for the mRNA based vaccines like BioNTech or Moderna. Other vaccines like AstraZeneca's are based on weakened or inactivated forms of the virus.


@fribbledom @Starcake @allenu So, mRNA is coded algorithmic instructions while traditional vaccines are ML training data?

@Starcake @allenu @fribbledom

Well yes and no.

It infects cells, but it doesn't reproduce and it doesn't actually damage the cells.

Viruses infect the cells, make them create more viruses, then kill the host cells and proceed to infect even more cells.

And this is an important distinction between the vaccine and the actual virus.

@chrispanag @allenu @fribbledom I understand that. I said the COVID-19 vaccine is "like" a virus, not "the same as" a virus.

The way they're going about it, I can't help but wonder if the vaccine might mutate and replicate.

The idea of viral vaccines really isn't that far fetched if they're already using viral "technology".

@fribbledom this would be nearly impossible. Basically, because if it spreads, it has to replicate. And every single time that virus replicates, it has a small chance of becoming malignant instead (esp because RNA has terrible stability compared to DNA, and even DNA mutation = cancer). An exponential chance of having happened, with each viral generation. And as soon as that happens, the malignant version is *better* at reproducing itself and spreading than the vaccine version, because... it doesn’t care about keeping you safe. And now you just have another (very expensive) deadly virus.

@fribbledom and okay, say that that’s an exaggeration and instead of basing the vaccine on a dangerous virus like a coronavirus, it’s a very gentle virus like attenuated cowpox, only giving most people a bad cold (and killing some small percentage; any replicating virus will be severe for an immunosuppressed person). Since it’s not based on the more dangerous virus, the part of the vaccine-virus that is providing the recognition to the immune system isn’t itself critical to said virus’ survival, and so it will get rid of it. Viruses don’t keep bits that aren’t positive adaptations for long; RNA replication is too volatile.

@fribbledom I mean, take this with grain of salt I’m not an expert at all

@gws @fribbledom should I have added a winking smiley to make it more obvious?

@fribbledom (sarcasm) No money in that. You wouldn't want your medicine to heal people for free 😉 we are not communists.


Vaccine development takes a vert long time, is hella expensive (Billions) and only has a small chance of being successful.

This is no money making business. Without Bill Gates and other rich people pumping their fortune into the research there would be none.

@simon I kinda to the point that commercial funding is necessary for healthcare research.

Especially for covid where:

1) companies got huge grants from governments to start research;
2) they don't bear the long term risks of the vaccine;

Why can't we lift their patents and allow anybody to synthesise the vaccines (especially in the developing word).

Apart from the COVID case its a question whether can we finance vaccine research via public money.


> Why can't we lift their patents and allow anybody to synthesise the vaccines (especially in the developing word).
Because it is really difficult. You can't just create a factory for that out of nothing.

The few companies that are capable of producing the Vaccines are actually cooperating. But you need the expertise as well, not just the production capability.

The bottom line is, making the vaccines free for anybody will most likely not change anything. Everyone able to produce the vaccines is already producing them or preparing to do so.

The whole swine flu necrosis thing also happened because someone made a vaccine in a slightly different way (although it cannot be determined exactly what the cause it). And the mRNA vaccines are even more 'fragile' and difficult to handle.

@simon maybe let me rephrase the argument from the gird post. If we had magical possibility to make a self replicating vaccine, the such a product would not make any sense in modern commercial world. As you could send it only once (and then it would spread). And that was the sarcasm.

Apparently Hungary and Russia are working on joint production of Sputnik so there is a possibility to ramp up production (it's a different technology and maybe the governments are lying though).

@simon Also I still believe that situation where the public paus for development of the vaccine, then pays commercial price for it, and bears full risk of long term side effect is well situation good for shareholders but bad deal for the public.

@fribbledom that's what a virus is. A virus induces an immune response that develops the antibodies in order to fight off that virus. A vaccine does exactly the same thing, usually not as good. The obvious down side of the original virus being that you get sick.

In general in the natural evolution of viruses there is going to be a trade off. Either it replicates really fast which generally makes you really sick really quickly, and can narrow it's chance to spread. Or it replicates slowly which doesn't make you as sick, but gives your body a chance to fight it off, and more chance for you to infect others. Low impact viruses with high infectivity are essentially the natural equivalent to a vaccine. They help you develop immunity. There are MUCH worse things out there.

@fribbledom The live polio vaccine was contagious :)
It was part of the whole strategy when they lacked the systems and tools to actually track and assess coverage, they would make assumptions about how many people would be vaccinated by each dose in a particular area. Particularly in areas of dense habitation or poor sanitation, basically the places where polio spread the fastest anyway.

@feonixrift @fribbledom Ah! I thought they had stopped using because of fears it might de-attenuate or something when we were nearly at polio-extinction a decade or so ago.

@fribbledom Do you want the movie answer as to never or the scientific one?

@fribbledom movie answer is also book answer: see “I Am Legend”. (Mutates unexpectedly causing other issues.)
Science answer: allergic reactions if supported by the method of transmission.

@fribbledom You joke, but we can in theory change the environment to increase evolutionary pressure on diseases to be less lethal: ted.com/talks/paul_ewald_can_w

@fribbledom The Polio vaccine is a great answer.

If you want to do the same with other creatures: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_dri

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