Professor Nikolai Petrovsky is considered one of Australia’s foremost vaccine developers.
Petrovsky is a professor and researcher at Flinders University and an expert in the fields of immunology, endocrinology and vaccine development. He has developed a number of vaccines over his distinguished career.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 ‘vaccine’ roll-out and imposition of mandates Petrovsky voiced his concerns at the mass use of mRNA technology.
Speaking recently to South Australian senator Alex Antic, Petrovsky explained why his research team have steered clear of mRNA use in vaccine development – a technology he describes as a ‘gene therapy’.
‘mRNA was never thought of or introduced to be a vaccine technology. It is a gene therapy technology. It was rolled out by a number of companies and they went into human trials with it as a gene therapy where unfortunately it had failings. One of them being if you’re going to give a gene therapy you have to produce or replace that protein indefinately.
‘The mRNA gets the cells to express the protein for weeks, now we know at least months, but almost certainly not for 10 or 20 years, so you’re going to have to have multiple doses.
‘It was only in the last five years or so that companies, particularly Moderna re-purposed it and said ‘we think we can maybe make a vaccine with it’. And at that point we [ie. Petrovsky’s team] said we better look at this technology and access it ourselves, because maybe we need to be at the cutting edge and move over [to mRNA].
So we developed our own mRNA vaccines, we tested them. Ultimately we decided no, it’s too early, it’s not effective enough, there’s too many unknowns, particularly on the safety side. It’s going to take 10 or 15 years to collect the safety data… For a pandemic you want something reliable, that’s certain, and recombinant proteins are the only way to achieve that.
‘We put it [mRNA] to the side, and said maybe in 10 or 15 years it will be ready for ‘prime time’ – or maybe not, maybe it won’t work, but it isn’t ready now.
‘Many of us in the field came to the same conclusion, so we were the most stunned of all when 12 months later they’re saying ‘give it to everyone, give it to the whole world’s population’.
‘As vaccinologists we’re all discussing this in meetings… this is super scary. I don’t think the people who were driving this, the politicians, some of these public health people, have a clue what they’re doing. They are rolling out a completely experimental treatment where we have no understanding of what it’s going to do, or what it might do, and they’re proposing to give it to not just a limited number of people, but they’re proposing to give it to everyone on the planet, and then work out what does it do and what might it do.
‘This has never happened in human history. It’s the most insane experiment, because you’re putting the whole population of the world potentially at risk. And then you go ‘I hope it goes well, I hope in ten years not everyone on the planet keels over. Hopefully that won’t happen, but there’s no guarantees, because this has never been done before. This is a completely new technology.
‘So when I see something like, you know in the recent months, mRNA vaccines are inducing this antibody called IGG4. No other vaccines induce IGG4. What’s IGG4? I know IGG4 because I work in the allergy field, so IGG4 is an unusual antibody because it’s not designed to protect you against viruses – quite the opposite. It’s an antibody that’s designed to switch off the immune system. If you have a protein in your body that doesn’t go away, to me it doesn’t look like a good thing because IGG4 is not a great antiviral antibody, you need IGG3 for that. Our vaccine fortunately makes lots of IGG3 which is the antibody you want if you want to fight a virus.’
‘Is it possible that we will see other things emerge?’ asked Antic.
‘I think it’s inevtiable that we will. Again, this is a completely different technology to what we’ve ever used before. Like all new technologies you never ceased to be surprised by what you didn’t know, or didn’t expect.’
At the time of writing, the New Zealand Ministry of Health is encouraging all people aged 30 and over to get their mRNA ‘booster’. The new bivalent booster for the original strain of COVID and the Omicron variant contains equal parts of mRNA.