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February 1, 2023

Can COVID vaccines shed spike proteins – and is that bad?

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Brought to you by The Echo and Cosmos Magazine

They’re the key to a vaccine’s effectiveness, but can they actually cause health problems?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention illustration reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

What is a spike protein?

A spike protein is a tool that helps a virus to enter the cell.

If you look at an illustration of SARS-CoV-2, you will notice all the protruding structures on its extremities. The main job of these spike proteins is to join to receptors – called ACE2 receptors – on the surface of a cell and force the viral genome inside.

Once the viral genome has entered the cell, it hijacks the mechanisms to reproduce itself, which, in turn, causes disease.

The spike protein itself has two main subunits: S1 and S2. S1 is larger and globular and has the responsibility of triggering the cell receptor.

S2 deposits the viral genome into the cell by relying on a key feature of viruses and cell surfaces – both are made out of lipids, also known as fats. Once S1 joined to a cell receptor, S2 helps the lipids in the virus membrane fuse with the cell lipids, which allows the viral genome to sneak in.

In a way, the S1 subunit knocks on the door, and the S2 subunit turns the door handle and opens the door. The viral genome can then go inside.

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that have a halo, or crown-like (corona) appearance when viewed under an electron microscope

The spike protein changes shape once it joins to the cell receptor and drags the two lipid membranes together. If it doesn’t change shape, the lipid membranes won’t fuse, and the virus cannot enter.

There is some evidence that the spike protein can contribute to cellular damage, but this is not the same as the vaccine spike proteins. This is because the protein on the surface of the virus can change shape, but the vaccine spike proteins cannot.

Spike proteins are just one of 29 proteins that the coronavirus needs to survive. All of them need to work together to cause disease.

What is their function in a vaccine?

A vaccine works by putting a low dose of a viral component into the body to teach it what to look out for. This builds up immunity. Putting a whole, live virus into the body could cause disease, so smaller components of the virus that don’t cause disease are often better to use in vaccines.

The spike proteins cover the surface of the coronavirus, so they provide a useful feature for the body to quickly identify. If the body can recognise a spike protein, it will fight off the coronavirus faster if it enters the body at a later date.

Here is an analogy straight from your bathroom: the spike protein is a bit like a toothpaste cap, with the toothpaste inside paralleling the viral genome. We can recognise a toothpaste cap immediately, even if it isn’t on the tube.

Some vaccines will use this whole protein, and others will use mRNA (the ‘m’ is for messenger) to make the protein once inside the body – although the body quickly disposes of the mRNA. In both cases, the spike protein is the only part of the whole virus apparatus that enters the body.

Once the body observes the spike proteins in the vaccine, it will roll out the antibody ‘army’ to attack it. This is what causes side-effects such as fever, headache and fatigue.

However, nobody can catch side-effects from another vaccinated person because an immune response isn’t an infectious disease.

Does the vaccine shed spike proteins?

No. Proteins are extremely fragile and can’t exist outside of cells or very special laboratory conditions. They immediately collapse and degrade when breathed out, so they can’t be transferred from one person to another.

This is one reason why many vaccines must be kept in cold storage. If the vaccine warms up enough outside of the body, their components degrade and are useless.

Likewise, the vaccine can’t shed live virus, either, because there is no live virus in it.

Am I in danger of spike proteins in the vaccine?

No, not at all.

The spike protein in the vaccines is useless without the rest of the viral genome because there is nothing to force its way inside the cell. In fact, the mRNA vaccines have a special molecular clamp that anchors the spike protein to prevent it from changing shape, so the S1 and S2 subunits can’t perform anyway.

This means that, no matter how much of the mRNA encoded spike protein is in your body, it can’t cause disease. It cannot replicate. It cannot invade cells. All it can really do is ‘knock on the door’ of the cell. It can’t open the door, and there is nothing on the other side, anyway.

Back to the toothpaste analogy: what does the cap do in isolation? Nothing. It doesn’t even have a function if it isn’t attached to a tube of toothpaste. No matter how many toothpaste caps are thrown at you, nothing will really happen.

Beyond this, the spike protein cannot cause disease without its 28 protein siblings. A virus is a functioning system that requires a whole factory of protein workers to cause disease. But in the vaccine, there are no proteins to make a virus membrane, no protein to make copies, and no proteins to help it cause damage, or even to help the spike protein change shape.

With the molecular clamp keeping the proteins at bay, it is more like one lone worker in handcuffs – functionally useless.

So even though the spike proteins on the virus membrane may contribute to the disease, the isolated clamped proteins in the vaccine simply can’t behave the same.

All it can do is trigger an immune response, but it cannot cause disease.

This article was originally published on Cosmos Magazine and was written by Deborah Devis. Deborah Devis is a science journalist at Cosmos. She has a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (Honours) in biology and philosophy from the University of Sydney, and a PhD in plant molecular genetics from the University of Adelaide.

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  1. I’m sure those people with signs about shedding spike proteins won’t read this. There not prepared to do real research, especially the concept about not causing the disease and the reality that there are more than one type of spike proteins, not just the Covid one. Have their heads stuck up you no where.

  2. Am I in danger of spike proteins in the vaccine?

    With no long-term data, let’s re-visit this question and article in 3, 5 and 7 yrs time.

  3. I agree Steve – I think Ms Devis needs to do her research – like there’s only been 7.83 billion doses of covid vaccine administered as of today the 26th of November. The truth will come out…

  4. Dear Rod,
    Yes, I have read every Cosmos article published in the Echo.
    But the whole debate about whether or not the spike protein sheds is irrelevant to the question about what is happening to “vaccinated” people who either die or have serious adverse events from the injection of this gene therapy. The CDC now lists “vaccinated” deaths as “unvaccinated”, if you happen to die within 14 days of the injected gene therapy, despite the fact that most of these deaths happen during the first 14 days! Their deaths are counted as “unvaccinated” deaths due to covid breakthrough infections!
    Since the beginning of the pandemic, the CDC has recommended a PCR test cycle threshold (CT) of 40. Scientific consensus, has long been that a CT over 35 will produce 97% false positives, rendering the test useless. Since mid-May 2021, the CDC finally lowered its recommended CT count 28 or less for the “vaccinated” only. However if you are “unvaccinated”, your PCR test is still to be run at a CT of 40. If you cannot see the deception going on here, you are still hypnotised by the covid narrative, relentlessly pushed since March 2020 by governments and the the mainstream media. In Italy groups of people holding placards with photographs of their loved ones demonstrating in front of injection clinics.
    This does not deter the hypnotised brave ones to get injected. And I have seen a dozen or so young athletes collapsing on sports fields and sporting arenas, and a racing driver about to open the champagne bottle collapsing with heart problems, some of these young athletes dying then or shortly afterwards. I am beginning to wonder when people are going to wake up, but I am heartened to see many millions of people worldwide “vaccinated” or not coming out to demonstrate against this imposed tiranny. I do not derive any pleasure from seeing people dying needlessly when proven medicines are available and are now employed succesfully in many countries.

    • You keep calling the mRNA vaccines “gene therapy” indicating that you have no idea what you are talking about. mRNA vaccines instruct your cell to make a spike protein for your immune system to then respond to. This doesn’t alter your genome. This is exactly how any virus replicates itself inside your cells. Do you consider having the flu to be “gene therapy”? This was all in the article which you claim to have read.

      Secondly, vaccine deaths are rare and your Facebook numbers conflate deaths that occur after vaccination twitch deaths caused by vaccination.


      Thirdly, it takes about two weeks for a full immune response from the vaccines. So deaths from Covid within 2 weeks of vaccination being listed as unvaccinated isn’t as misleading as you think it is – assuming that’s even true. I couldn’t find a source on that.

      Fourthly “scientific consensus” for 97% false positive from PCR testing is a made up figure. The reality is they are reliable, widely used but their are guidelines.


      I’m going to assume that “people dying needlessly when proven medicines are available and are now employed succesfully in many countries” refers to vaccines – which are effective at reducing your risk of contracting, spreading, being hospitalized or dying from Covid. But I know you’re probably talking about Ivermectin which is absolutely not a viable treatment for Covid 19 unless you trust Craig Kelly for medical advice more than the entire medical profession.


      Seriously, stop getting medical advice from conspiracy theorists, and stop sharing misinformation on the internet.


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