covid-19 infection and how the spike protein is involved in doing harm

Just this morning a journalist sent me a link to a press release about a new paper looking at how SARS-Cov-2 affects the vascular system, & asked me to comment on it for a article. If you’d like to read the actual paper you can find it here, but be aware that it does get complex in places (it’s an in vivo study using hamsters as the host organism). I found it really interesting  – as the researchers say, it “could open the door for new research into more effective therapies.”

The spike proteins are the structures projecting from the virus, and they’re what the immune system learns to recognise (and then attack). SARS-Cov-2 uses them to connect to host cells, before its genetic material is moved into the cell & used to force the cell to make more viruses. The spikes don’t just latch onto cells randomly but bind to a particular receptor protein in the cell membrane called ACE2 (this paper gives a good description of that process). These receptors are common in many tissues & one of those tissues is the cells lining blood vessels & lungs (aka “vascular endothelium”).

We already knew that the virus does a lot of damage via its replication process, because cells are damaged/destroyed when the new virus particles emerge from the cells where they were made. What this paper appears to show is that the spike protein itself can cause damage to those endothelial cells, doing this by lowering the production of the ACE2 protein and interfering with the cell’s mitochondria.

Remember that the researchers used a “pseudovirus” to do this: a modified adenovirus with spike proteins on its surface. The authors note this as a limitation of the study and comment that their findings need to be confirmed in studies using the intact SARS-Cov-2 virus itself. And they say this (my emphasis):

This conclusion suggests that vaccination-generated antibody and/or exogenous antibody against S protein not only protects the host from SARS-CoV-2 infectivity but also inhibits S protein-imposed endothelial injury.

That is, they are highlighting the value of vaccination against the virus, because they feel it would protect against infections in the first place, and against the activity of the spike protein.

Since the Pfizer (& Moderna) vaccines cause the vaccinated individual to produce the spike protein in their own cells, I guess the obvious question is, could this be problematic in the way described in the paper?

Here’s why I think the answer is no.

The vaccine is administered into muscle tissue (it’s an intramuscular injection), not into the bloodstream. When the lipid-enclosed packages containing the vaccine’s mRNA bump into a cell’s membrane, they fuse, letting the mRNA enter the cell. Once inside, each mRNA molecule is used by the cell to manufacture the spike protein. (This happens for only a few days, after which the mRNA is broken down and its parts recycled.)

Some of the spikes move to the cell membrane and project through it – they aren’t floating around loose outside the cell – and fragments of the protein are presented (again on the outside of the cell) by other specialised proteins. Both the protruding spikes and the presented fragments are visible & accessible to cells of the immune system, which interact with them in the process of generating an immune response. Similarly, when a vaccinated cell reaches the end of its life, the proteins & fragments are snaffled up by immune cells, along with the other cellular debris. Once the immune system has recognised and made antibodies to the spike proteins, the antibodies bind to the spikes, which means they can’t attach to other cells. (The New York Times had a really good explainer on this.)

So it’s highly improbable that vaccination would result in a massive flood of spike proteins into the vascular system (bearing in mind that what I described in the last paragraph is happening largely in muscle cells around the immediate vaccination siteA). And – as the authors of the paper itself imply – vaccination-generated antibodies would sweep up any that were released upon the death of the cells producing them.


A While Voices for Freedom would like to suggest that the vaccine makes us “walking spike protein factories”, this is thus hardly the case. Incidentally, the researchers didn’t use “virus-free spike protein” either – did VfF not read the paper before commenting to the Newshub reporter?

15 thoughts on “covid-19 infection and how the spike protein is involved in doing harm”

  • “The spike proteins are the structures projecting from the virus, and they’re what the immune system learns to recognise (and then attack).”
    >No this is just an idea.

    “SARS-Cov-2 uses them to connect to host cells, before its genetic material is moved into the cell & used to force the cell to make more viruses.”
    >No this is also just an idea.

        • No, that’s an actual research paper I’ve referred to; we hare not talking about “just ideas”. The fact that you don’t want to accept that is irrelevant.

          If “it’s just an idea” is the limit of your contributions – as it seems to be – then I suggest that you don’t bother to repeat your efforts as they won’t be approved here in future.

  • Patricia Te Whetu says:

    Can I ask where you obtained your research from, I only ask because I have studied mRNA for 8 months and my finding are definitely not matching with yours. Dr Robert Malone, is the person most qualified to say how mRNA actually works. I have details of mRNA vaccine trials taken out on humans, rats. Even one study was done to prove electromagnetism in people vaccinated with mRNA, proving that it doesn’t stay in the muscle like you say.

    • I’ve linked to sources throughout the blog post.

      I have studied mRNA for 8 months – I suspect that, unless you either have a qualification in molecular biology or genetics, or are enrolled in & studying towards one, then what you are doing is reading about the subject rather than studying it. Dr Malone is not the “person most qualified” to say how mRNA works; that’s been known for almost as long as we’ve known about the nature of DNA & protein synthesis, & it’s something that NZ school students learn the basics of in year 12 biology.

      While Dr Malone is often described in social media as the “inventor” of mRNA vaccines, that’s not correct. He did some work in the 1980s on looking at how mRNA could be taken up by cells, but that’s a far cry from actually developing a vaccine. In fact, much of the groundwork for the current mRNA vaccines was done over the last couple of decades by Katalin Kariko ( and her collaborator, Drew Weissman ( This is the paper that led directly to the Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA vaccine:

      Even one study was done to prove electromagnetism in people vaccinated with mRNA, – I would be most interested in seeing this study. Please could you provide a link to support the claim?

  • Alison, I appreciate when scientists keep their mind open to the fact that science is Not perfect and scientific ‘truths’ are always evolving.
    What’s your take on these peer reviewed scientific articles proving that the biotech vaccine for covid-19 does enter the nucleus of DNA?,experimental%20substitute%20for%20primary%20hepatocytes

    • This is the title of the first paper you’ve linked to:
      Identification of Characteristic Genomic Markers in Human Hepatoma HuH-7 and Huh7.5.1-8 Cell Lines
      It says nothing at all about covid or covid vaccines, but is looking at mutation rates in cell lineages regularly used in research. It’s important to know that these lineages are from liver cancers; they are not normal cells.

      The second is an in-vitro study using liver cells. For a viral RNA strand to be incorporated into the nucleus, the viral genome needs to include 2 enzymes, reverse transcriptase & an integrase. These are found in retroviruses (like HIV) but not in coronaviruses. In mammalian cells LINEs – transposons – can reverse transcribe, but they do this with their own sequences, & the most common of the LINE transposons is effectively inactive in normal cells (but not in tumour cells).
      This study used very high concentrations of the vaccine – micrograms – given that they were using only a couple of hundred thousand cells. This is not a close model for what would happen in an actual human. They also use a cell line discussed in the first paper, which is a cancer-cell-derived lineage where LINEs are overexpressed. I would suggest that this introduces bias into the work. There’s also a certain amount of speculation, in that they don’t show that the specific transposon LINE-1 was involved, they only hypothesise about potential mechanisms.

      The authors also say this:
      “At this stage, we do not know if DNA reverse transcribed from BNT162b2 is integrated into the cell genome. Further studies are needed to demonstrate the effect of BNT162b2 on genomic integrity, including whole genome sequencing of cells exposed to BNT162b2, as well as tissues from human subjects who received BNT162b2 vaccination.”
      In other words, they don’t actually know if anything of significance is actually happening.

      More detail here:

  • HI Alison,
    Forgive me as this comment is off topic. Just curious if you have been following any more of “Dr” Sam Bailey’s content. I’ve just been looking into her to see if there has been any criticism regarding her work, and your blog came out near the top! It’s a shame there is so few critics as she has quite a large audience who she is misleading.

    She has dived deeper into the tinfoil brigade, and is now spreading Aids/hiv denial, and even going so far as claiming viruses don’t even exist. She has quite a large audience she is misleading for coffee donations and book sales. You did such a great job debunking her covid content, so I thought you might want to consider checking it out and addressing the danger of falling for this clap trap. I’m just a layman, but I know clap trap when I see it, but her audience seem to be blinded by her charisma.


  • Hi Alison,

    I have done some further digging and found that “DR” Bailey’s view on viruses have in fact been addressed. Dr Roger Watson, who has a PHD in biochemistry wrote this article for the daily sceptic.

    As you’ll see he references your blog post in support as part of his argument against Dr Bailey.

    Dr Bailey in turn replies to Dr Watson here.

    She also addresses your blog, and in my opinion derisively in this video here

    She boastfully claims she has contacted Dr Watson and you where you have declined to have a “debate” with her.

    Dr Watson has taken a significant amount of criticism under the comments section of the article, no doubt from her supporters. You can see his email in the comments if you’d like to get in contact with him. I thought it was a really good article exposing her, BUT I’d really like to see Dr Watson and yourself address her response, (I don’t mean giving her a platform or debate, that is of course your choice, I just mean addressing her pseudo-science claptrap) which I thought was tinged with sneering, patronisation and condescension.

    It would be great if you and Dr Watson do this, in however you see fit, but of course I understand you may not want to boost her profile too by engaging further with her.

    I understand you may not want to keep this comment posted on your blog, so I’d appreciate a quick message read/received via email if ok.


    • Thanks, Nemo. I don’t actually want to boost her profile any further, but I appreciate the information you’ve provided here.

      For the record, I was never offered a “debate”, not that I’d bother given all the problems inherent in such events. What I was offered was a phone conversation, which I declined & in turn offered to continue an email exchange. (The benefit of the latter being that both parties have an electronic copy of what was said.)

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