Wednesday 10 November 2021

Covid-19 & Vitamin D: Vaccinations need Vitamin D

It is not vaccines or vitamin D, 

it must be vaccines and vitamin D

My most recent Blog post described the numbers of cases and deaths in a number of countries during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the disturbing fact that there have been many more Covid-19 cases and deaths during 2021 than during 2020. What has gone wrong? Why has the extensive vaccination process not reduced the numbers? 

The numbers of cases in most European nations are increasing,  with problems illustrated by newspaper headlines.

The increase of cases is disturbing in Germany, but much worse in Austria.

2021. Covid-19 cases per day in Germany

2021. Covid-19 cases per day in Austria

Why is this happening? 

There was until very recently something called 'full vaccination', but this is a term that is now obsolete. It meant two vaccinations, but now a so-called 'booster' dose is essential. However the second vaccination is proving to be effective for a shorter time than following the first vaccination. The six month gap before the 'booster' is being shortened. It is possible that vaccinations will be given at as little as three or four month intervals.

Such a vaccination policy would be a nuisance for the population and very costly for national public health authorities, but on the other hand extremely remunerative for vaccine manufacturers.

Our authorities assume the effectiveness of serial vaccinations. Safety remains uncertain but is likely to remain untested and unrecorded. But the vaccination policy will continue.

The curious of us will ask, "Why is it that vaccination becomes progressively less effective and of shorter duration? Surely we should expect increasing immunity with each vaccination, not decreasing immunity?"

Official UK evidence

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) published its 'COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report Week 42'. In this report we read:

"N antibody levels appear to be lower in individuals who acquire infection following 2 doses of vaccination". 

'N antibodies' are antibodies to the nucleocapsid of the virus, which do not result from the vaccination, but just from Covid-19 itself. Antibodies are one component of immunity.

This statement or finding might be interpreted as suggesting that the vaccination actively damages the immune system, but this is not necessarily the case. However it is certainly of concern that people who have had two vaccinations can become ill with Covid-19 within a few weeks. Obviously something is going wrong with immunity following vaccinations against Covid-19 if they are not preventing infection. The official answer is "We need more vaccinations", but is this sensible? It would be better to understand what is happening. A general principle is that if a medical intervention does not work, then either double the dose or stop and think.

Vaccinations are given whether or not a person vaccinated has had and recovered from Covid-19. It would be interesting to know if previous infection has a negative effect on antibody response to subsequent vaccinations, but we are not informed. There is much about which we are not informed, and so some guess-work is necessary.

Vaccines are designed to produce an immune response, and the inflammatory component of this response seems to be greater with the new genetic inoculations than with traditional vaccines, hence a much higher incidence of untoward inflammatory events. There is actually a very good reason why this leads to decreasing immunity.

The evolution of the immune response 

It is necessary to understand the immune response that has developed during 500 million years of evolution. 

Evolution is full of mysteries, but a critical stage of evolution was the appearance of an intracellular protein that became the key to immunity. This protein is what we now call VDR, which stands for Vitamin D Receptor. It was the evolution of VDR 500 million years ago that was probably the initiator of the Cambrian explosion of advanced life-forms. The development of immunity meant that very primitive animal life, for example plankton, could evolve into more complex forms without being at the total mercy of pre-existing bacteria and viruses. 

And so it is today. Without immunity we would not survive infancy and we would become extinct. Immunity is vital and we have seen the effects of seriously damaged immunity in the recent AIDS pandemic. We must not forget this. We must respect immunity and the need for its optimisation. We must understand it.

The evolution of VDR was critical, but VDR would have had no function had it not been for Vitamin D which had evolved a billion years earlier. 


Plankton at the surface of the oceans were at risk of physical damage by UV from the Sun. They ultimately developed genetically programmed diurnal vertical migration, meaning that they spend the night at the surface and descend deeper in the water during the day. 

But they developed another method of protection from UV, a chemical sunscreen. Starting from the long-chain squalene, otherwise known as shark oil, they became capable of synthesising steroid compounds, a process that is blocked by statin drugs (taken only by humankind in recent years). The important sunscreen steroid became the oil 7-dehydrocholesterol, 7-DHC. This will sound familiar to readers of the Blog. UV converts 7-DHC in the skin into cholecalciferol which we know as vitamin D. Within plankton this physico-chemical process absorbs UV energy and thus protects the plankton from damage. 


7-dehydrocholesterol, 7-DHC, indicating the bond broken by UV

Vitamin D, cholecalciferol

For a billion years vitamin D had no function and it was merely a waste product of the sunscreen 7-DHC. But by another accident of evolution it became critical because it was able to activate VDR into the major player in the immune process. The Cambrian explosion was initiated.

Understanding our immunity

We know about T-cells that produce tissue immunity and B-cells that produce humoral antibody immunity, but the important process is the rapid escalation of immunity that is essential in response to infection if an optimal effect and recovery is to be achieved. This will also apply to the pseudo-infection of vaccination. The driving force is to switch on the genes that bring about multiplication of the immune cells and their effects, a genetically controlled amplification that can be 75-fold. 

The genes are activated by an intracellular dimer composed of VDR and RXR, Retinoid X Receptor.  However the VDR component must first be activated by 1,25(OH)D, otherwise known as calcitriol, the fully active form of vitamin D that is produced within immune cells. 

Activation of the genes will switch on or increase the production of defensive proteins including antibodies that act within tissue fluids to control and eliminate infection, the purpose of immunity.

The immune cells are able to  increase greatly the synthesis of VDR, but before the gene-activating VDR-RXR dimer can be formed, VDR must be activated, 'unlocked', by 1,25(OH)D which cannot be synthesised de novo. It can only be formed by hydroxylation (addition of an -OH group) of 25(OH)D, the number indicting the point on the molecule to which the -OH group becomes attached. 25(OH)D is the form of Vitamin D that has already been hydroxylated in the liver and which circulates in the blood.

Consumption of Vitamin D and exhaustion of reserves

Too much 1,25(OH)D produced in response to the escalation of immunity could cause subsequent problems of 'hypervitaminosis D', with an excess of calcium in the blood and in the urine. But evolution has solved this problem: the 1,25(OH)D molecule can be used only once, after which it is inactivated by conversion into 24,25(OH)D. The process of escalation of immunity requires a large number of single-use 1,25(OH)D molecules to activate a multitude of VDR molecules. Therefore a constant supply of 1,25(OH)D is essential and so there must be in the blood a good reserve of its immediate precursor 25(OH)D, the circulating form of vitamin D that is also known as calcidiol or calcifediol. 

A serious infection such as Covid-19 will consume significant amounts of 1,25(OH)D, and so we can expect to see a reduction of the blood level of 25(OH)D as a result of such an infection. As far as I am aware, such research has not been performed during the pandemic, or at least not published, despite how simple it would be. 

The magnitude of the inevitable fall in blood level of Vitamin D, 25(OH)D, following vaccination has not been reported. Perhaps it has not been investigated, but if it has been investigated by the pharmaceutical companies, the results will only be published if there is commercial benefit. Obviously, as with Covid-19, a good level of Vitamin D, 25(OH)D, in the blood (greater than 40ng/ml, 100nmol/L) would have sustained the escalation of immunity. But if before the infection or vaccination the blood level had been critically low (less than 20ng/ml, 50nmol/L), then a reduction would have reduced the level to a point that the escalation of the immune process would be halted, with a high risk of significant illness, perhaps critical or fatal.

Figure. The effect on Vitamin D of Covid-19 and Vaccinations in
two hypothetical patients with different pre-illness 25(OH)D levels.
My blood level is slightly above the green line.
The national average is the blue line

The Figure illustrates what I think is happening in respect of Covid-19 and vaccinations. I am suggesting for the point of illustration that an initial episode of Covid-19 will reduce the blood level of vitamin D by 5ng/ml (12.5nmol/L), and there is some in vitro experimental evidence of this. I suggest that the vaccination has a similar impact, reducing blood levels by the same amount. 

If the pre-Covid-19 blood level is good at 40ng/ml, 100nmol/L, then the person illustrated by the green line will be safe. Even after Covid-19 and two vaccinations the blood level will safe at about 30ng/ml, 75nmol/L. The importance of a reserve of 25(OH)D in the blood is of obvious importance.

However, if the pre-Covid-19 blood level is only 20ng/ml, 50nmol/L, the successive immunological actions will reduce the blood level of the individual illustrated by the blue line to below the very critical level of 10ng/ml, 25nmol/L. Critical or fatal illness is likely to be the result, but susceptibility to illness will extend beyond Covid-19.

The blood levels used are not arbitrary. They are very clear from a recent study from Israel that will be the subject of my text Blog post. About half of the UK population is likely to have blood level of vitmain D less than 20ng/ml, 50nmol/L.

The proposal

My proposal is that the decline of immunity following vaccinations is not because of a 'poisoning' of immunity, but because the reservoir of Vitamin D as 25(OH)D within the blood becomes exhausted by the immune responses to successive vaccinations.

The investigation of this would be very simple. Blood would be taken for Vitamin D measurement immediately before vaccination and one month later. The two samples would be analysed together, following the second blood test. Previous Covid-19 would need to be recorded, and of course the dose of any vitamin D supplement taken. 

This simple study could be undertaken in any public health vaccination centre. Ethical approval would be needed but I can envisage no conflict with ethics and what is in the best interests of individuals and the population. My view is that it has been unethical to withhold Vitamin D during this pandemic, contrasting with the official narrative that Vitamin D is of no value in the management of Covid-19. 

In some respects it is too late for serial readings with more than one vaccination. However it would be very interesting to determine blood levels of vitamin D both before and after a booster vaccination. I would predict very low Vitamin D levels.

A further study would be a randomised trial of the effect of a single large dose of Vitamin D perhaps 100,000 units, which is a months requirement, given two weeks before vaccination, giving time for it to be hydroxylated in the liver to 25(OH)D, calcifediol, the blood form and immediate precursor of 1,25(OH)D. The outcome measures would be symptoms or illness following vaccination, and also the antibody response to the vaccination.

The response

The question is whether there is any official interest in exploring disappointments with the vaccination programme, and the fact that there have been more Covid-19 cases and deaths in 2021 compared to 2020, a feature in most if not all nations. Media reports are interesting. 

The increase of Covid-19 cases and deaths in 2021 suggests that the vaccines are failing, but factual reports of this are immediately dismissed as misinformation.

The problems go beyond Covid-19 in that we are now hearing reports of increasing pressures from hospital admissions in greater numbers than are seasonal, and that most are not Covid-19. If admissions due to other conditions are increasing, it is likely that we are faced with impaired immunity due to exhaustion of body stores of Vitamin D in turn resulting from the vaccination programme. This could be corrected very easily and very rapidly.

We are also hearing official reports of excess deaths from cardiovascular disease in recent weeks. Why should this suddenly occur? Could this serious phenomenon be result of the vaccination programme? Is it the direct result of exhaustion of Vitamin D reserves due to the effects of the vaccination process? Could it be stopped by finding and correcting VItamin D deficiency? The challenge is urgent and the problem must not be witheld from the population.

Vitamin D in its metabolic forms has been very successfully ignored by official bodies during the pandemic of Covid-19. Evidence of benefit has been side-lined for the flimsiest of reasons and without any debate. The reason for this has been to protect the vaccine roll-out. The vaccines in use have still not been licensed and are still being used under Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA). This is dependent on there being no alternative prevention or treatment, resulting in the burial not just of Vitamin D but also ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. 

At present new antiviral drugs are being tested and roll-out is anticipated in late 2021 0r early 2022. One is molnupiravir, produced by Merck and with anticipated price of  $700 per dose, about 10,000 times the price of a capsule of vitamin D. The other is manufactured by Pfizer. As the medicines must be given early in the corse of the illness, rationing on financial grounds is going be challenging.

If new anti-virals can now be used, why not Vitamin D and others? The EUAs can hardly be withdrawn at this stage as more than four billion people have now been vaccinated against Covid-19. If EUAs have become logistically irrelevant, Vitamin D can be given officially without causing the EUAs to be revoked.

It is time for Vitamin D to be released from its imprisonment.