Initially when I heard the news that Pfizer had a vaccine that was 90% effective I was very excited, thinking finally all of this 2020 Coronavirus madness was coming to an end. I figured that 90% success rate was great!

A friend of mine in-boxed me the above video earlier this week. I finally took some time out to view it and it really peaked my curiosity on the subject. I did some research to gain a better understanding of the following: the life cycle of the coronavirus infection, ACE2 variance among African Americans groups, common threads or characteristics of African American Covid-19 patients that are hospitalized or have died and the new Pfizer vaccine and how it is intended to compact the virus in our bodies.

 I have discovered the following:

1)The life cycle of Covid 19 in host cells; begins its life cycle when S protein binds to the cellular receptor ACE2. After receptor binding, the conformation change in the S protein facilitates viral envelope fusion with the cell membrane through the endosomal pathway. Then Covid 19 virus releases RNA into the host cell. RNA or mRNA is a messenger strand that gives the cell instructions on how to make a piece of the spike protein ( pointy knobs on surface of virus) from the covid 19 virus. 

There is a lot more that can be told about the life cycle of the covid 19 virus once it is in the body but the most important part to remember here is that it begins by being ushered into to your cell by the ACE2 receptor. Then once the virus is inside your cells it releases RNA which gives the cell instructions on duplicating the virus. 

2) African Americans genetically have significantly less ACE2 receptors as compared to Caucasians. There are pros and cons to this discovery. First, since we have fewer ACT2 receptors for the virus to bind with it is unlikely that we will actually be infected by the virus in the same way that Caucasians are being infected. In fact, African Americans are somewhat immune to the coronavirus duplicating itself because of this fact. However, African Americans that have conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, asthma, and heart disease, are more at risk of complications and death after contracting COVID 19 then any other ethnic group for one reason. We genetically have less ACE2 receptors. The virus responds differently inside the body of African Americans. Once COVID-19 is in our body there is an induced reduction in ACE2, which leads to an overactivation of the RAS pathway. The RAS pathway is primarily responsible for blood pressure control. The common thread that many African American COVID 19 patients have that were either hospitalized or have died is hypertension and vitamin D deficiency. When the RAS pathway is overactivated then it negatively effects the organ functions including the heart, lungs, kidneys and immune system. African Americans are dying from COVID 19 related complications but not from the infection itself. African Americans are dying due to the RAS pathway being hijacked by something within the virus chemistry.  It is thought that the coronavirus contains a mixture of bat virus and some other unknown source.  

The Pfizer vaccine is said to consist of messenger RNA (mRNA). that carries instructions for making the virus’s spike protein, which it uses to gain entry to cells. It is said that the mRNA is synthetic, not extracted from the actual virus. If they have made a synthetic mRNA which has instructions for making the virus, wouldn’t there be a possibility that this synthetic mRNA if injected could also trigger the RAS pathway?

On it stated that they did clinical trials with approximately 45,000 people. Only 10% or 4500 African American people participated in the clinical trials. Half of the 45,000 people were in a placebo group (not given the vaccine). Therefore, not many African American people have actually been tested on this nearly full proof vaccine. Earlier I mentioned that 90% seemed great but if 10% of African Americans were in the clinical trials and the vaccine was 90% effective who was in that 10% ineffective? Us perhaps? I have to ponder this question since strangely 90% +10% =100%. 

My concluding thoughts are that perhaps, this Pfizer vaccine was not designed for African American people. I certainly would take great precaution in taking this one. Lastly, we as a people need to indulge more in sunlight which produces vitamin D. Vitamin D helps to preserve your immune system. Also eating healthy, addressing your medical needs and behaving in a way that minimizes the opportunity of entry for this virus is key.during this pandemic. 

Written by Dr. Kimberly Smith

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