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Storing own covid saliva for use as a "booster"?

by kuudes1 min read14th Jan 20227 comments

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Covid-19
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I am considering to freeze my saliva if/when I get omicron, in order to later inject the frozen covid+ saliva into my nose some 6-12 weeks from recovery in order to boost my immunity against covid for longer. What do you people see as ups and downs of this approach?


The main reason for this is that I presume here in Finland they may limit covid vaccine availability after third dose, as both here and for instance in UK some people in medical community have talked that vaccinations after booster should be limited for some reason. If there are further boosters available, those seem clearly preferable over infection.

Rationale is that since your body has recovered from covid, it should have learned how to combat covid with immune system. With reintroducing the same infection I would hope to at least reset the antibody count to slow waning of immunity. Otherwise I have understood antibody count will wane so that you get omicron again in 6-10 months.

I am not a doctor nor a biochemist. I have asked from 2 doctor friends of mine and they saw no large reasons against this, but one of them reminded me that I should not inject the contents but indeed put it in my nose.


My planned procedure is:

  1. Wash hands
  2. Write on ziploc/minigrip bag: BIOHAZARD, COVID+ SALIVA, <name> <date>
  3. Collect saliva into a clean cup
  4. Pour the saliva into the bag
  5. Clean the bag from outside with a napkin
  6. Wash hands
  7. Put the bag inside another similar bag upside down
  8. Wipe the second bag with a napkin
  9. Wash hands
  10. Put the second bag inside third bag again upside down compared to the previous bag
  11. Wipe the third bag with a napkin
  12. Put the bag collection into back of a regular freezer (-18 C)

My plan of disposal of the bags with or without use is to burn them in my fireplace. Alternative plan is to put it into regular trash after first keeping it in direct sunlight for a day.


Main pros and cons I have figured out:

  • easy to obtain
  • longer immunity
  • icky, weird
  • live virus inoculation seems potentially harmful

So, sanity check time. What do you see as ups and downs in this approach? Go, no go?

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2 Answers

Yay! Atleast someone has the guts to  do science the old way like  E Jenner.

I suspectthat freezing may just kill the virus. However a dead virus can also  give immunity if there is an adjuvant. "The viruses are soaked in beta-propiolactone, which deactivates them by binding to their genes, while leaving other viral particles intact. The resulting inactivated viruses are then mixed with the aluminium-based adjuvant Alhydroxiquim-II."  From  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covaxin

While the above dead virus vaccine is injected to be useful, it is possible that even just a nasal spray may be effective if there is an adjuvant and the peptides are present. See https://www.radvac.org/ .

I think this is probably not a good idea. You are proposing to expose your body to a certain (modulo your success in freezing etc.) exposure of a virus to avoid the risks of possible exposure of that virus in the future. That doesn't seem like a great trade in most circumstances. It's not impossible that it's OK, but probably very sensitive to a particular set of assumptions about likelihood of and expected severity of reinfection at various points (itself dependent on how much and what variant of the virus is circulating then) and also on how future vaccination waves are / aren't handled or permitted.

Thanks! In case more boosters will be allowed, indeed then of course one should not expose oneself to live virus on purpose. So the usage decision is a separate from storage decision, as in potential usage time we will likely have much better information on if or when we will get permission for new vaccine doses.

One notable point is that if you have survived the virus before, the frozen virus is the exactly same virus, variant etc, because it is taken from you. Therefore I would understand your body should have a good immunity against that specific virus given your body beat it already.

4 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 4:19 PM

I don't have any insight into the biochemistry or anything, but I don't get why you wouldn't just spit directly into the bag rather than cup -> bag

You are going to be freezing a lot of other microorganisms in your sample. Some of them could be harmful when introduced to nasal cavity at the wrong time. 

If the goal is to get exposed to COVID shortly after recovering from, it seems simpler and more fun to just live your life like it's 2019 and get exposed the normal way? Best case, you don't get COVID again; worst case you get COVID again like you're wanting.

https://xkcd.com/2557/

The point is that 1) after omicron recedes, there won't be much infection going around for a while, local spread should go near zero; and 2) if you get infected from your own previous illness, it is guaranteed your body has defeated that specific pathogen (variants, mutations) and should – given you still have immunity as you have recovered – be able to defeat it again, better than random other person's variant. Your own previous illness should be safer for you than random other person's random illness.

So if I don't get ill but remain immunonaive aside vaccine, surely then I will just enjoy my infection-free life until the next wave. But if I get infected, and there is not likely new vaccine doses available, I have interest on keeping my immunity against infection high with repeated infections the body has learned to repel. That way the next wave in around 2022-08 should have much lower probability to give me an actual infection.