April 20, 2024

A German man who voluntarily received 217 coronavirus jabs over 29 months showed “no signs” of having been infected with the virus that causes Covid-19 and had not suffered from any vaccine-related side effects, according to a study published in the medical journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.

The 62-year-old, from Magdeburg, Germany, whom doctors described as “hypervaccinated”, said he had had the large number of vaccines for “private reasons”, according to the researchers from University of Erlangen-Nuremberg who examined him.

According to the news magazine Spiegel, the man’s vaccine spree had sparked a criminal investigation against him for suspected fraud, after suspicions he had run a scam to sell the vaccine certificates to people who did not want to get the jab.

The initial reports relating to the study, which gave scant information, had sparked widespread speculation, with suggestions that the man was suffering from paranoid hypochondria, that he possibly had a needle fixation, or he was a doctor who might have been administering vaccines to patients himself. There were also questions as to whether he had financed the jabs out of his own pocket, or received medical authorisation to receive them.

Later reports confirmed the criminal investigation against the man, who was accused of getting so many doses in order to be able to collect the stamped and signed vaccination cards, which could then be forged and sold on to people who did not want to be vaccinated and so faced extensive restrictions at the height of the pandemic.

A public prosecutor in Magdeburg had opened an investigation into the fraud allegations but no criminal charges were actually filed, authorities confirmed to the researchers.

The academics contacted the man after reading about him in a newspaper report. He accepted their request to study his body’s response to the multiple jabs.

“We then contacted him and invited him to undergo various tests in Erlangen,” Dr Kilian Schober said. “He was very interested in doing so.”

They vaccinated him for the 217th time for the purpose of the study, the researchers said.

The research team said it had seen official confirmation for 134 of the vaccinations, which included eight different vaccines, including various mRNA vaccines. They looked at previous blood tests the man had given over multiple years and also examined blood samples as he went on to receive further vaccines.

Confirmation of 130 of the vaccines, within a nine-month timeframe, came from the public prosecutor’s investigation against the man, Spiegel reported.

“The observation that no noticeable side effects were triggered in spite of this extraordinary hypervaccination indicates that the drugs have a good degree of tolerability,” Schober said.

The researchers found that his immune system was fully functional.

Certain immune cells and antibodies against the virus that causes Covid-19 (Sars-CoV-2) were present in considerably higher levels compared with people who had received just three vaccines, the team reported.

“Overall, we did not find any indication for a weaker immune response, rather the contrary,” said one of the leading study authors, Katharina Kocher.

Further tests showed the reaction of the man’s immune system to other viruses remained unchanged – proof, the researchers said, that his immune system had not been damaged by having to respond to so many vaccinations.

The researchers said that even though further details about the man or his motives would not be made public, he had effectively served the common good by demonstrating “how well tolerated the vaccines generally are”. However, they warned the public against following the man’s example, saying that excessive vaccinations were not in general advisable and could cause unpleasant and unnecessary side effects. The fact that the man – who never contracted the coronavirus – tolerated so many jabs so well did not mean that would translate into the rest of the population.

Prof Dr Andreas Radbruch, an immunologist and president of the European Federation of the Immunological Associations of Experts (EFIS), who was not involved in the study, said that hypervaccination would not increase a person’s protection beyond the point at which their immunological memory was satiated.

“The vaccine is absorbed by the antibodies before it can trigger an immune response. Beyond a certain level of concentration of antibodies, the immune system closes off and no more new antibodies are made,” he told German media. “Once someone has enough antibodies, you cannot increase their protection with further vaccinations.”

Germany’s standing commission on vaccination, Stiko, advises that a person’s basic immunity is reached after three episodes of contact with a pathogen, such as one vaccine and two infections, or vice versa. In Germany, those considered at risk and everyone over the age of 60 is advised to get a top-up coronavirus vaccine every autumn.

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