After analyzing numbers from California’s prison system, a group of researchers discovered that inmates who received one of the bivalent COVID-19 boosters had a higher infection rate than inmates who have remained unvaccinated against the virus. Interestingly, according to the journal Cureus, where the peer-reviewed study was published, the author has asked the journal to retract the article, as first reported by The Epoch Times.

The study, which underwent peer review on Aug. 16 and was subsequently published in Cureus on Sept. 4, lists five authors. According to The Epoch Times, Luke Ko, listed as the study’s corresponding author, said in an email that he’s a 17-year-old high school student and, while others are listed as co-authors, he was the paper’s sole author.

It is unclear why Ko, a public supporter of the “CDC’s recommendation to get updated mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to better protect against currently circulating variants,” is seeking to have the paper retracted. Nonetheless, Graham Parker-Finger, director of publishing and customer success for Cureus, confirmed that Ko had asked the journal to retract the article, a request they have denied. Parker-Finger told The Epoch Times via email:


“I can confirm that we were contacted by the corresponding author with a request to retract. However, we have determined that there is no basis for retraction, and therefore, it will remain published.”


The study focused on the rate of COVID-19 infections from January to July 2023 across 33 California state prisons consisting of a primarily male population of 96,201 inmates. It divided inmates into three groups: those who received a bivalent shot, those who were vaccinated but had not received a bivalent, and those who received no shots whatsoever. Not shocking to those of us who are aware of the long-term dangers of the gene-damaging mRNA jabs, the study found the following:


“A significant 41.9% of the infections during our 6-month study were bivalent vaccine ‘breakthrough’ infections (1,187 infections were in bivalent-vaccinated individuals out of 2,835 infections during these six months, or 1,187/2,835). An even greater 75% are breakthrough infections if defined as infections in those who completed two shots of the monovalent series.”


Conversely, 568 of the 2,835 infections during the six-month study were among the unvaccinated. The research also revealed from inmate vaccination records that 36,609 individuals had received a bivalent vaccine, introduced in the fall of 2022, while 20,889 received no COVID-19 jab. The study concluded the infection rate among the never-vaccinated group was 2.7 percent. Meanwhile, the bivalent vaccinated group infection rate was higher, at 3.2 percent. The Epoch Times reported that for unclear reasons, the researchers excluded the third group —inmates who received a COVID-19 vaccine but not a bivalent.

Insisting that he made “significant errors” (that, apparently, Cureus peer reviewers did not find), Mr. Ko told The Epoch Times that the study’s other authors—all associated with California Correctional Healthcare Services and all in support of the CDC’s recommendation to get updated mRNA jabs against various variants—share his desire to have the paper retracted. Ko, who told The Epoch Times that he used ChatGPT for analyzing the data in his study, commented that the other authors “had only given verbal commitments to serve as mentors.” He added, “They were not given the chance to validate the data I entered, particularly the incorrect figures related to COVID-19 cases in prison. Furthermore, they did not have the opportunity to review the final draft of the paper, which was submitted to [sic] without their approval.”

Despite the study’s determination that inmates vaccinated with a bivalent were more likely to become infected than those altogether unvaccinated, the study author(s) wholeheartedly support vaccination to control COVID-19. The authors concluded that the absolute difference in infection rates between the vaccinated and unvaccinated is inconsequential. Notwithstanding the need for further research to understand the reasons behind these findings that author Ko seeks to retract, the paper explains, “This study underscores the importance of developing vaccines targeting residual COVID-19 infections, especially regarding evolving COVID-19 variants.”

Cureus’s refusal to retract the study proving the bivalents fail to protect against COVID-19 is a step in the right direction. Remember, as far back as August 2021, a study from Harvard established the parallel that the higher a nation’s vaccination rate, the higher its infection rate. For those still on the fence, please read the latest by Geert Vanden Bossche, who shares his grave concern over the rapid pace at which new emerging variants are now succeeding each other. Importantly, Vanden Bossche notes that “if not constrained by selective immune pressure, variants with steadily increasing infectivity can lead to higher rates of asymptomatic transmission among COVID-19 vaccinees and compete for dominance.” Undoubtedly, the situation is extremely concerning. Thus, good job, Cureus, for not retracting Ko’s study.

Based in San Francisco, Cureus is a Springer Nature journal “leveraging the power of an online, crowdsourced community platform to share and promote published medical knowledge around the world.” Springer Nature Group was created in May 2015 through the combination of Nature Publishing Group, Macmillan Education, and Springer Science+Business Media. The principal shareholders of Springer Nature are Holtzbrinck Publishing Group and BC Partners. Open Access and indexed in PubMed Central, Web of Science, Google Scholar, and more—with credible peer review required—Cureus states on its website:


“Cureus publishes all credible medical science applicable to the global healthcare community. Article credibility is determined by favorable commentary from trusted peer reviewers that includes substantial critical feedback confirming the absence of fatal scientific and methodological flaws.”


Perhaps Cureus realizes that straightforward data on the disastrous COVID-19 jabs is imperative. One can only hope. After all, with the recent CIA bribery fiasco tied to COVID origins, other papers—a recent Cleveland Clinic study found that the risk of COVID-19 increases with the number of vaccine doses received—and observational data indicating the effectiveness of the deadly mRNA jabs plunges over time, the sooner we can stop this unprecedented madness, the better.



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Tracy Beanz & Michelle Edwards

Tracy Beanz is an investigative journalist with a focus on corruption. She is known for her unbiased, in-depth coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. She hosts the Dark to Light podcast, found on all major video and podcasting platforms. She is a bi-weekly guest on the Joe Pags Radio Show, has been on Steve Bannon’s WarRoom and is a frequent guest on Emerald Robinson’s show. Tracy is Editor-in-chief at