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Doubts About Safety of mRNA ‘Genetic Intervention’

The following interview was published on July 17, 2020

Radio Munich talked with German Professor Dr. Stefan Hockertz, is a biologist, pharmacologist and toxicologist, who has raised the alarm about a number of unanswered questions surrounding the current coronavirus crisis, challenging lockdowns, and also pharmaceutical interventions – specifically regarding ethics and safety of the new experimental mRNA vaccine. According the Dr Hockertz, lockdown have never been proven to work, and the rushed nature of new mRNA vaccine may pose an unnecessary risk for countless people. All this and more.

Dr. Stefan Hockertz was director and professor of the Institute for Experimental and Clinical Toxicology at the University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf from 2003 – 2004, and was on the board of directors at Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Environmental Medicine in Hamburg from 1995 – 2002. From 1986 to 2001 he was a researcher at the Fraunhofer Society in Hanover, and has also worked at the University of Hanover. He completed his first training as a biologist in 1985 and is appointed eurotox-registered toxicologist, and qualified as a professor in toxicology and pharmacology at the University of Hamburg, and professor for molecular immunotoxicology at the University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf. Today he is managing partner of tpi consult GmbH, a leading toxicological and pharmacological technology consultancies in Europe.

Listen to this informative discussion with Dr. Hockertz here:

First published in German on July 17, 2020
Translation and speaker: John JJ Jones
Interview: Eva Schmidt


“Prof. Hockertz warns of a million times willful bodily harm”

RADIO MUNICH: Finally, SARS-COV-2 immunity through a saving vaccination, that is what large parts of the population and those in power would like. The pharmaceutical companies receive considerable support in order to advance the goal of a corona vaccination as quickly as possible. But how quickly is ethically justifiable? How many risks are hidden due to the speed? The biologist, pharmacologist and toxicologist Professor STEFAN Hockertz points out a number of unanswered questions and warns against deliberately committing physical injury millions of times if these are not answered in advance.

DR HOCKERTZ: Have a nice day, Ms. Schmidt! I have been a toxicologist and immunologist for 30 years. I originally learned immunology and then went into toxicology. I’ve been in drug development for 30 years, and that includes vaccine development for one. That means, I advise companies that are active in the field of vaccines and develop new vaccines there, but I also work very closely with the Paul Ehrlich Institute, which is responsible for vaccine approval in Germany, so that I am very good at regulating I’m familiar with vaccines, and have been for 30 years.

RM: Very good. We can hardly get a better one. Can you explain to us in a simple way how the current concept of vaccination can be described?

DR. HOCKERTZ: Yes. From my point of view, vaccinations are, and I would like to start off by saying, one of the greatest medical achievements that we have in modern times. They saved us from many, many diseases. We were able to eradicate these diseases as far as possible, like smallpox, for example, by convincing many people to get vaccinated. Seen in this way, my basic attitude towards vaccinations is positive. Up to now, vaccines have been killed or weakened bacteria or viruses; I now call them “pathogens” that should infect a person. With the smallpox that I just mentioned, it was cowpox, a pathogen that was somewhat “attenuated” by an animal, as we say, that is, was weakened. In the case of influenza, it is influenza viruses that are attracted to the chicken egg and then also weakened, to then infect us. When we are vaccinated, we become infected with a weakened pathogen so that our immune system can safely “learn against it” in order to be able to protect us quickly and actively if we are really infected. So far it has been consistently changed, weakened pathogens that we and our immune system have been able to cope with relatively well. This is the principle of vaccination as we have been doing it for many years, and we are doing it successfully. that we and our immune system could cope with relatively well. This is the principle of vaccination as we have been doing it for many years, and we are doing it successfully. that we and our immune system could cope with relatively well. This is the principle of vaccination as we have been doing it for many years, and we are doing it successfully.

RM: With the Sars-Cov-2 vaccination to be developed in a very short time, the pharmaceutical industry is now breaking new ground. What is the new vaccine supposed to do in humans, if it works at some point?

DR. HOCKERTZ: I have to admit that making a vaccine can be very difficult. You will have noticed, if we ever specialize in influenza, that the influenza vaccine from the year 2020, which you have now been given, is roughly from the information in 2018, at most 2019. It’s not because the researchers didn’t know what the 2020 influenza virus looks like, it’s because it’s so difficult and it takes so long to make the vaccine. I was just saying: It’s about the chicken egg, that’s where it has to be dressed. In other words, a very, very tedious and costly, especially lengthy production that takes 1 to 2 years to complete – just the production. That’s how you are, a long time ago, by the way, came up with an alternative method – the German company Curevac has been working on this topic for 12 years (without having obtained successful approval so far) – namely a system that only imitates the genetic information of a virus. And this genetic information – in this case it should be messenger RNA, i.e. 1-stranded RNA – is transported into the cell via a vector system or carrier, similar to a truck that I put on it. It’s a completely new approach. And that is now very important information: There is not a single vaccine worldwide on this basis that has been approved. So there is not a single vaccine based on virus mRNA or virus DNA that is transported into a human cell via a vector in order to be read there. It’s a completely new vaccine. For whom research is worthwhile – there is no question about that – because it makes it relatively easy to produce genetic material. It’s easy and it’s quick.

And now I speak as a toxicologist. The question that arises is: if I want to develop such a new vaccination strategy (and that’s it), then I have to know very well about that vaccination strategy. I need to know about the distribution of this vaccine in the body, about its function (pharmacodynamics), and especially about any side effects that may occur. And they are varied when I transport genetic material from a virus into a human cell. Ultimately, this can be done via enzymes – there is, for example, an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase – which is able to reproduce these ribonucleic acids, which I have now received virally from the laboratory table into my cell. That is possible. And this would then lead to

And that needs to be checked. And now we have the situation with this new vaccination strategy that we have been informed about Sars-Cov-2 for about 3 months, and that around this time, in these 3 months, development work was carried out that all of these We are told that already has risks under control and eliminated. Because the Paul Ehrlich Institute, together with an ethics committee of the University of Tübingen, has allowed 168 people to be treated with this vaccine on a trial basis. I do not think that this is right, ethically unjustifiable, because in these 3 months it was simply not possible to collect the necessary data for the safety of this vaccine.

RM: I was just about to ask whether there are ethics councils on the agenda, not just from the University of Tübingen but from the Federal Republic of Germany and worldwide, to discuss this – yes, genetic manipulation. In Germany we are not even so generous with genetic manipulation with plants and animals. Or are we not talking about genetic manipulation here?

DR. HOCKERTZ: If I may go into this question, I am confronted with a tremendous mystery, and ultimately it also completely calls into question all of our work in the area of ​​regulatory affairs, the approval of vaccines. Yes, the question arises: under what ethical aspect was this clinical study even approved? And there I know a statement made by a member of the Tübingen ethics committee who actually only said: “Well, when I eat a steak, I also ingest genetic material from the cow. That doesn’t hurt me either. ”

RM: Oh.

DR. HOCKERTZ: There is a difference, and I can now say it without any emotion, whether I take genetic material orally, digest it in the stomach and then excrete it again, or whether I get it intramuscularly with an artificial transport system so that it is directly – protected – comes into my cell and can be read there. I am saying this so clearly because I have a feeling that many people who also have to decide which clinical studies to conduct on a Sars-Cov-2 vaccine have been exposed to common sense. I asked the Paul Ehrlich Institute how I keep asking various institutions because I want to understand scientifically what is happening there. I want to hear arguments. And I asked the Paul Ehrlich Institute: What has happened in these 3 months, which, based on all of our experience as toxicologists, pharmacologists and immunologists, will definitely take 5 to 6 years? What has been done there in 3 months that can otherwise only be done in 5 years? To ensure the safety of a vaccine, a completely new vaccination strategy, about which we know far too little. And I haven’t received an answer yet. And I added to this question – and maybe that is a good answer to your question too: “I am of the opinion that we should by no means sacrifice our science, our ethics and our regulatory requirements for the political declarations of intent by ministers and chancellor.”And that’s exactly what happens.

RM: But we now know that it is being tested. We now know that people have already received a vaccination that works according to this new method. Do you already know the results, or is it all too new?

DR. HOCKERTZ: There is the question: what is a result? On the one hand, of course, we look to see whether this vaccination, i.e. the transport of viral DNA into our own cells, causes a change in our genetic structure, our reading device, up to and including the possibility that this mRNA becomes independent. The rationale behind this is that these cells, our cells, should produce viral material in order to be recognized by our immune system. The original problem would be that we can basically only measure antibodies. And that would be proof that this vaccination also works. But we have an immune system that has many different modes of action. And one mode of action are, for example, cytotoxic T cells (killer cells) which now recognize and kill our virus-infected cells. And these killer cells they are very difficult to prove. So we already have a problem with the rationale of the approach, when we work with viral DNA, of showing whether this vaccination really works. It works when I detect antibodies. But if I can’t detect an antibody, it doesn’t mean it didn’t work – it could also be that killer cells were activated. This is a general problem that we know again and again from other vaccinations. When we vaccinate against hepatitis, we always have a number of patients in whom we cannot detect antibodies, although they have protection. It works when I detect antibodies. But if I can’t detect an antibody, it doesn’t mean it didn’t work – it could also be that killer cells were activated. This is a general problem that we know again and again from other vaccinations. When we vaccinate against hepatitis, we always have a number of patients in whom we cannot detect antibodies, although they have protection. It works when I detect antibodies. But if I can’t detect an antibody, it doesn’t mean it didn’t work – it could also be that killer cells were activated. This is a general problem that we know again and again from other vaccinations. When we vaccinate against hepatitis, we always have a number of patients in whom we cannot detect antibodies, although they have protection.

But that is not the danger behind it. I want to dwell here on the dangers that were not looked at. So if experiments are carried out on people now, in this case there are now 168 healthy ones, Test persons – you have to keep in mind that we are dealing with healthy people to whom we give something so that they do not get sick in the future, that is the intention of a vaccination. This means that our requirements for this vaccine must be significantly higher than, for example, requirements for therapeutic treatment. With therapeutic treatment, people are already sick and in case of doubt they can die if I don’t treat them, so I can accept major side effects and major problems as part of the risk assessment. But if I do a risk assessment for a vaccine, then it should hardly harm people, because I give it to a healthy person who only possibly can get sick. The risk assessment of a vaccine must be significantly higher.

What is the risk of this vaccine if I give it to people? The transportation system I was talking about is contaminated . In the pharmacological sense, it is already called contaminated when it is 99% pure. Even if I only have 1% contamination, then such a preparation is already “dirty”.

RM: What does it mean exactly? Where is the pollution coming from? Is that the active material? Or what is the impurity?

DR. HOCKERTZ: The active material, ie the RNA, can be produced relatively cleanly. But this must be protected because our body has very active systems to kill or destroy this material extracellularly. That also makes sense because the body wants to protect itself from free RNA being in the body. For example, if cells were to break, RNA would also be released. That is why the RNA that is now being produced in the laboratory has to be packaged in a carrier system. And these are nanosomes or liposomes, these are lipids, these are envelopes, and these are to be regarded as an impurity per se, because they are a type of dosage form. And from our experience, these nanosomes, liposomes, are very difficult to actually produce highly pure.

Why does the whole thing have to be extremely pure? Because we don’t have a so-called no-effect level in the immune system. That means that we don’t have an area in the immune system where we say the immune system doesn’t recognize that, that is subliminal. That means we have to look very carefully at what we are offering the immune system together with a genetic material. That takes time, that requires toxicological expertise. And in my opinion that has not happened so far due to lack of time.

RM: That’s the one problem. Now I would like to summarize it again in very simple words, and please tell me whether I have understood correctly: This RNA vaccine is transported into the cells, these cells change in such a way that they are then mainly recognized by our immune system that action will be taken against them. But now these are the body’s own cells. How do I know how far these reproduce?

DR. HOCKERTZ: It is unknown. That’s exactly a question I’m asking: to what extent do we actually have this genetic material from the virus under control. Basically, we do nothing other than imitate a virus infection, but by calling a gene snippet “artifactic”, we transport a gene snippet into the cell. We do not know what exactly happens to this gene snippet. We have hopes there . We have the hope that this snippet of genes will be read by the ribosomes, and that proteins will be produced and shown again on the surface of the cell, faking a virus-infected cell. After that, this gene snippet should be switched off and not reappear. This is our hope but that has not been proven. Therefore, the questions are indeed allowed, we ask: What happens to the genetic material which I with an artificial transport system in a human cell into it transported? For the first time. That has never been done before. What happens to the material? Is that being duplicated? It is biologically possible for it to reproduce. Will it be built into a plasmid? That is also theoretically possible .

RM: What does that mean?

DR. HOCKERTZ: This means that it is then still present outside the nucleus as a gene snippet, and yes, it continues to be inherited becomes. Do these gene snippets only get into the muscle cells? Or are they so well protected that they can eventually get into the germ line – that is, into the woman’s egg cells and the man’s sperm cells? Then this gene snippet would even be inherited for our offspring. None of that has been clarified. I am only requesting that this be done in lengthy, complex examinations that I am familiar with. But when I hear from our politicians that by the end of this year we will have this vaccine made available to 80 million people, then a horror scenario opens up to me where I say: none of these questions have been answered at all, and could not cannot be answered at all because we have only been able to work on the topic for 3 or 4 months.

RM: You work in drug testing. I would now like to know the normal procedure, before Corona, from you, how such a development normally works. You can certainly tell me: How large must the number of subjects be? Is a double-blind study being carried out, i.e. the highest current scientific standard? And then: How long do you have to test for effects or side effects? And when and how can they even show themselves?

DR. HOCKERTZ: Every vaccine development, and every development of a drug, begins with preclinical development, i.e. everything that goes before takes place with humans in order to ensure the safety of such a product before it even comes into contact with humans. These are regulatory studies on cell cultures, then also on animals, in order to show early on: How is the vaccine distributed in the body? We don’t even look at the effect at first. At first we only look for security. In a second aspect, the effect is also looked at. Animals are also vaccinated accordingly and then a look is taken: With which test system can I prove the success of this vaccination? What proof of effectiveness can I carry out? With a new active principle, these preclinical investigations take about 3 to 4 years, depending on how stringently these studies are carried out and how often they have to be repeated. Only then do we get a permit, usually after 3 to 4 years, to allow a first experiment on humans. We call this a phase 1 study, and it is usually relatively small in order to keep the risk for humans relatively low. That is mostly only 20 to 30 subjects, and not 160, as is now the case. These 20 to 30 subjects are given this vaccine, but they are only examined briefly and it is checked: What kind of one do I have acute difficulty – do you develop a fever or other side effects? I can’t even pay attention to long-term effects in this phase 1 study. But in this area I look at which acute side effects can occur there. If these are already too big, that’s the end of this vaccine again. If they are justifiable, i.e. maybe just reddening of the skin at the puncture site, then I can continue for the time being, but of course still with a high risk. That is why we then go into a so-called phase 2 and phase 3 clinical study.

The phase 3 clinical study is then the blind or double-blind study you mentioned. That is, always provided with a placebo, where neither the test person nor the doctor know which test person has received the actual vaccine and which has not. This is to protect us from interpreting too much – that’s how we are, humanly – data that we expect, but that we can actually evaluate the effectiveness but also the safety of this vaccine completely free of evaluation, only statistically. A follow-up period for these vaccines is usually 2 years. This is roughly the time in which you can see whether long-term damage can actually occur, so-called vaccination damage. This follow-up period is usually set for 2 years to show that you are really on the safe side, that you are not harming people, but only using the vaccination. That means: If you add up all the time, phase 1, 2 and 3 studies, double-blind, together with the preclinical, we would have a total time horizon of around 8 years, after which we would go from the first preclinical examination to for approval of the vaccine state-of-the-art can actually make this available to people with a clear conscience.

RM: Is there actually something like reviews for pharmaceutical studies , as with scientific studies or other scientific publications? So that others can then check this development and research?

DR. HOCKERTZ: It is desirable in the field of science to keep reflecting our own data that we have with other science, and that the whole thing takes place peer-reviewed . This is sometimes difficult to do for reasons of confidentiality, because that’s how I’m competing. In the case of vaccine development, however, something like this is basically common, because of course we want and have to make use of the broad knowledge of science in order to guarantee the safety of people.

RM: So in this case not really?

DR. HOCKERTZ: In this case, when we address the Corona case, there is no diversity of opinion anyway. We have had to experience this painfully in the last 4 months. That opinions are not only not heard but also suppressed. As the last, very current example, I can now quote a podcast by Markus Langemann / Langemann Medien, which I ran 3 days ago, and which was banned from Youtube today and was deleted. This is not a diversity of opinion.

RM: Now another question, because you mentioned the competition in the pharmaceutical industry earlier: Where is the furthest development now? Who is the one who’s already testing? And do the others stop right now because it’s too late anyway? Or how does it work in the normal pharmaceutical business?

DR. HOCKERTZ: The market, especially for the Sars-Cov-2 vaccination, is so huge that the 1 company cannot guarantee that it would be hopelessly overdone. Look, the BMI (Federal Ministry of the Interior) and Mr. Spahn have already announced that they have already ordered 80 million vaccine doses from a vaccine that has not yet been approved. It has to be produced, it has to be properly packaged, according to good manufacturing practice. It has to be safe and orderly, and always understandable. I am aware of the Moderna company that they are already conducting clinical studies on test subjects, I will leave out the word “voluntary” test subjects – they are test subjects. I’m not sure where they come from, there is a lot to read in the literature that they are supposed to be soldiers, and maybe it’s not that far when it comes to voluntariness. In Germany, it is the company Curevac and the company Biontech that have been dealing with this issue for many years – and that’s perfectly fine – to get market share here by making this vaccine available at an early stage. But with the comprehensive necessity, as it is conveyed to us through politics – a very important point – is conveyed by rulers, who even talk about forced vaccinations, the market is so huge that there is more space than just one company. This means that even if Moderna is now starting the clinical studies and can also show initial successes, other companies will continue to work on the topic and follow suit, because the market is basically still big enough for many, many companies. Especially because there may be a compulsory ordinance that 80 million people or 83 million people in Germany should be vaccinated – the subject is not off the table. And of course that holds other companies will continue to work on the topic and follow suit, because the market is basically still big enough for many, many companies. Especially because there may be a compulsory ordinance that 80 million people or 83 million people in Germany should be vaccinated – the subject is not off the table. And of course that holds other companies will continue to work on the topic and follow suit, because the market is basically still big enough for many, many companies. Especially because there may be a compulsory ordinance that 80 million people or 83 million people in Germany should be vaccinated – the subject is not off the table. And of course that holds especially high risks, if I may say so. If I only vaccinate a few people and accept a percentage of the vaccine damage, then that still has to be given a very careful risk assessment, but you can make and estimate such a risk assessment and then think about it, that is ethical reasonable or not. But if I, and I follow the numbers – I am now often asked: where do the numbers actually come from – then I follow the figures given by a Mr. Gates, whom I don’t like to quote, but in that case I’ll do it – If we assume that even 5%, and that is a relatively small number of people who are vaccinated, show vaccine damage, then for 80 million people that is 4 million people who show vaccine damage. If I am responsible for this vaccine damage because I made the first examinations far too short, then that is 4 million people who were deliberately physically injured. I can of course reduce vaccination damage or reduce the risk of vaccination damage if I only do this long enough and sensibly state-of-the-art testing of this vaccine according to the regulatory requirements. If I don’t, then resolution is involved. Then this is willful assault. If I talk about 80 million people – these are also numbers that come from this corner – with a death rate from vaccination of 0.1%, then I have to answer: 80,000 deaths from vaccination if I have 80 million people vaccinate. That’s a number we can’t really imagine, 80,000 dead.

Perhaps this can be imagined by saying: This is the city of Konstanz or the city of Bamberg that is being wiped out.

RM: And these are the normal mortality rates with a vaccination?

DR. HOCKERTZ: It’s hard to say, it varies from vaccination to vaccination. When we talk about pneumococcal or meningococcal vaccinations, for example (meningococcal vaccinations are better there), then I have an increased mortality rate in particular, e.g. when people are struggling with another infection at the same time. This is always a great difficulty with forced vaccinations anyway, that I have to look at each individual case anamnestically: Does this person currently have an infection? Does the other have problems with the immune system? Because a vaccination always puts a strain on the immune system. If we look at the meningococcal vaccination, then it is certainly risky. Here, too, we have mortality rates that should be well below 1 lie, so 0.001 percent, but it depends on the anamnesis of the people. We see a sad example of how high mortality rates from meningococcal vaccinations can be in connection with Corona: In Bergamo, 35,000 people – data from the ISS in Italy – were forcibly vaccinated in January after a meningococcal epidemic in January. That alone was basically a mistake, because this vaccination naturally goes hand in hand with the flu season, i.e. a time when we keep coming into contact with viruses – whether flu viruses or coronaviruses, which cause both respiratory diseases. It should be avoided. And every third semester student learns that meningococcal vaccination is risky, especially if there is a risk of contracting another viral infection. Obviously this has now happened, and we will see the result in Bergamo: very, very high death rates among people – from Corona, as was said. I say: with Corona – but ultimately caused by this negligent implementation of a forced vaccination against meningococci. This means that a basic death rate / danger rate actually depends on the type of vaccination, as well as the short- and long-term vaccine damage that can occur. But we know that we have to be very careful with people, because we are making great demands on their immune system through the vaccination, and therefore have to be very careful in development. And I demand this care. And this care is obviously not being done at the moment. The point is actually that we try again and again, now also at Paul-Ehrlich, to access scientific data, scientific statements of the acting and advisory institutions, we always ask – we ask: Please give us dates, please give us arguments, with which we can grapple so that we can also reflect our view against it. Wewant to go into the scientific discourse. But we don’t get anything.

RM: But you are usually in constant contact with the Paul Ehrlich Institute, right?

DR. HOCKERTZ: I have a lot of exchanges with the Paul Ehrlich Institute, and I know a number of people there. I am deliberately not giving names now. But I’ve been told a lot, a lot, by many people: “It’s a catastrophe, what’s going on here,” they tell me. “The way we are influenced is a disaster. How this vaccine is supposed to get approved here is a disaster. We can’t support that. ”Then I say:“ Yes, go outside! Say it! Speak up! “And then there is always a very big fear:” No, I can’t do that, then I’ll be rid of my job. ”

RM: Where do these fears come from? – You heard Prof. STEFAN Hockertz, toxicologist and pharmacologist. From 1986 to 2001 he carried out research at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Hannover, from 2000 to 2001 he was a private lecturer for toxicology and pharmacology at the University of Hamburg, and from 2001 to 2004 professor for molecular immunotoxicology, as well as long-term chairman of the Institute for Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University Hospital Eppendorf.

The manuscript of the interview can be found on our website at:

Here is the transcribed interview with thanks to Julius Voigt: as PDF

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