A new study has concluded that natural immunity to COVID-19 may provide as much protection as vaccination.
This study was published in The Lancet on February 16. Scientists said this is the first study of its kind that observes data regarding protection due to previous infections of the virus and resistance provided by current mRNA vaccines.
Natural immunity to a virus is acquired from exposure to a disease or pathogen through infection. The CDC reported that this method and vaccine-induced immunity are both ways to create active immunity, in which a body produces antibodies to fight the pathogen or disease in a subsequent infection.
This new research surveyed data from 65 different countries, including the United States, Denmark, France, India, Italy, Netherlands, Nicaragua, and Norway. Scientists used a variety of methods to determine previous infection status, such as testing for antibodies and observing COVID test results.
The study observed that about 46% of the world’s population was infected with the omicron variant of the virus between November 2021 and June 2022.
Scientists reported that resistance to subsequent infection from the virus was highest for the alpha, beta, and delta variants of the virus as well as the original strain and that this rate remained at over 78% after 40 weeks. This rate was lower for the omicron variant, which dropped to just above 36%.
This same rate for previous variants of the virus was observed in terms of hospitalization and deaths.
Irrespective of natural or vaccine immunity, obesity remains one of the most dangerous comorbidities affecting hospitalization or death in COVID-19 cases, as noted by the CDC. Dallas-Fort Worth has one of the highest rates of obesity of any major metro area in the country, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.
Scientists involved in this study believe that their observations may better inform policies that restrict travel or work in terms of vaccination status.
Some countries, including the United States and China, have enforced restrictions on travel due to the virus, prohibiting travel if a passenger has not been immunized, as previously reported by The Dallas Express. Such restrictions have already been lifted.
“It supports the idea that those with a documented infection should be treated similarly to those who have been fully vaccinated with high-quality vaccines,” the study’s authors wrote. “This was implemented, for example, as part of the EU COVID certificate, but not in countries such as the USA,” they continued.
Dr. Marc Siegel, professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, told Fox News that the strongest defense against reinfection is a combination of both natural immunity and vaccines, a combination known as “hybrid immunity,” but did not advocate for voluntary infection.
“This is the reason that I don’t generally recommend the vaccine booster for at least a few months following infection,” said Siegel, according to Fox News.
Dallas County reported that currently, just over 62 percent of the county has had at least one dose of a vaccine. The county maintains that two doses of one of the mRNA vaccines will provide the strongest protection against the virus.
I’m glad to see this news report.
At one time in the recent past, this kind of news would not have been published.
Sure, we’d hate to spread more doubt and suspicion about natural immunity, which was clearly published two years ago…