Last month in an article
in the journal Cell Host & Microbe
, Fauci wrote that vaccines against respiratory viruses generally provide “decidedly suboptimal” protection against infection and rarely produce durable, protective immunity. The reason is that most of these viruses, such as influenza, which causes the flu, and SARS-CoV-2, have short incubation periods during which they infect the respiratory mucosa and rapidly replicate there without spreading systemically. Moreover, according to Fauci, the human immune system has evolved to tolerate respiratory viruses during short intervals of mucosal viral replication. This leads to illness and onward transmission without eliciting a systemic immune response.
These factors negate the effectiveness of vaccines, which typically rely on systemic responses to viral exposures. Respiratory viruses that replicate rapidly in the mucosa cause short-duration illnesses and transmission to others all before the immunologic defenses put in place by vaccines can be brought to bear. Vaccines against the influenza virus that causes the flu, for example, have averaged only 40 percent effectiveness against infection over the last 17 influenza seasons
, ranging from 10 to 60 percent. And, as Fauci acknowledged, “the duration of vaccine-elicited immunity is measured only in months.”
But the mandates he continued to promote when he knew the shots gave limited protection had disastrous effects.