NZ Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield recently stated that COVID vaccine immunity is stronger and longer lasting than natural immunity (ie those who have been exposed to SARS CoV-2 and recovered). Is this true? Lets find out!
Martin Harris 16/10/21
…mRNA vaccines also possess some inherent limitations. While side effects such as allergy, renal failure, heart failure, and infarction remain a risk, the vaccine mRNA may also be degraded quickly after administration or cause cytokine storms. This is a substantial challenge for mRNA delivery…Frontiers | Development and Delivery Systems of mRNA Vaccines | Bioengineering and Biotechnology (frontiersin.org)
A credential vs. science
On the science side:
“Natural immunity confers longer-lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant of SCoV2, compared to vaccine-induced immunity.” https://medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.08.24.21262415v1… https://science.org/content/article/having-sars-cov-2-once-confers-much-greater-immunity-vaccine-vaccination-remains-vital
on the Credential side:
MD@tylerblack32 “Natural infection immunity is better than vaccinated immunity” is an anti-vax trope that has existed for *literally* hundreds of years, and has no basis in reality. In fact, Vaccinated immunity is far superior, more reliable, and less dangerous than Infection-based immunity.
Sounds like “Tyler MD” knows his stuff? Here’s his Twitter profile info:
Tyler Black Cat, MD@tylerblack32Suicidologist, emergency psychiatrist and pharmacologist. Data geek, ok, lots of other geek. Views expressed are my own and not my employers’.
I’ll go with the former (science) over mister “my views are my own” and his non-virological credentials.
Aaron Ginn and Seth Stuck, of Rational Ground, cite these studies:
- Harvard study of Israeli data found vaxed were 27 times more likely to get symptomatic COVID infection than those w/ natural immunity. The risk of a vaccine-breakthrough case was 13-times higher for Delta variant, and the risk of hospitalization 8x higher.
- Just 72 of 7,700+ new cases detected during wave starting in May were from people known to have been infected previously – less than 1% of new cases. Vaxed people are 6.7x more likely to be infected than those who had COVID previously.
- Natural immunity conveys much more innate immunity, while the vaccine mainly stimulates adaptive immunity
- “Natural infection induced expansion of larger CD8 T cell clones occupied distinct clusters, likely due to the recognition of a broader set of viral epitopes presented by the virus not seen in the mRNA vaccine.
- Israeli researchers studied 6.3 million Israelis and their COVID status and were able to confirm only one death in the entire country of someone who supposedly already had the virus, and he was over 80 years old.
- French researchers found “No neutralization escape could be feared concerning the two variants of concern [Alpha and Beta]” of those previously infected.
- Austria study found frequency of re-infection caused hospitalization in only 5/14,840 (0.03%) & death in 1/14,840 (0.01%). “Protection against SARS-CoV-2 after natural infection is comparable with the highest available estimates on vaccine efficacies.”
- “Cumulative incidence of COVID-19 was examined among 52k+ employees in an American healthcare system. COVID-19 did not occur in anyone over the [time] of the study among 2,579 individuals previously infected… including 1,359 who did not take the vaccine.”
- In a large study from Denmark, less than 0.7% of people who tested positive for COVID, including those who were asymptomatic, ever tested positive again — a “breakthrough infection” rate similar to that of vaccines.
- Systemic review of all 1.4k COVID reports on PubMed / MedRxiv found “weighted avg risk reduction against reinfection was 90.4% w/ standard deviation of 7.7%.” “similar to protective effect of vax.” “Protection vs reinfection observed for up to 10 months.”
- Another meta-analysis & review of natural immunity looked at 54 studies, from 18 countries, w/records from more than 12M individuals, followed up to 8 months- & those researchers found an average reinfection rate for COVID-recovered patients of just 0.2%.
- “It’s empirically undeniable that natural immunity after COVID infection is superior to vaccine immunity.” (source)
- “Immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection can persist for at least 11 months.” “The protective effect of prior infection (is) similar to 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
- NEJM Study following 12,541 UK healthcare workers for COVID19 re-infection over 31 weeks found that natural immunity held up well over the 6 months of the study, with only two cases of asymptomatic reinfections observed.
- Study (mentioned above) of 1.4k previously infected Cleveland Clinic health care workers found not a single one was re-infected 10 months into pandemic, despite some of these individuals being around COVID-positive patients more than regular population
- 1.6k people in Italy studied for one year after initial infection. Only 5 reinfections. “Natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2 appears to confer a protective effect for at least a year, which is similar to the protection reported in recent vaccine studies.”
- Those “who recover [even] from mild COVID19 have bone-marrow cells that churn out antibodies for decades.” Prior infection creates memory B cells that “patrol blood for reinfection, while bone marrow plasma trickle out antibodies for decades”
- Qatar study analyzed population‐level risk of reinfection. Researchers estimate the risk at 0.66 per 10,000 person-weeks. Most importantly, the study found no evidence of waning of immunity for over seven months of the follow-up period.
- Irish researchers conducted review of 11 cohort studies w/ 600k+ total recovered COVID patients who were followed for over 10 months. Unlike vaccine, after ~4-6 months, they found “no study reporting an increase in the risk of reinfection over time.”
- Emory University study found that most recovered patients produced durable antibodies, memory B cells, and durable polyfunctional CD4 and CD8 T cells, which target multiple parts of the virus. NI “may persist long-term in recovered COVID-19 patients.”
- Antibodies wane slower among those with prior infection. “In vaccinated subjects, antibody titers decreased by up to 40% each subsequent month while in convalescents they decreased by less than 5% per month.” In response to the notion that “Not everyone gets Natural Immunity – and it wanes.”
- Activation-induced marker assays identified specific T-helper cells and central memory T-cells in 80% of participants at a 12-month follow-up.”/
- An in-vitro study in Singapore found the immunity against SARS-CoV-2 to last even 17 years later from SARS-1-infected patients who never even had COVID-19.
- When examining survivors of the Spanish Flu, scientists found that they were still immune 90 years later. “To this day, people who survived the 1918 flu pandemic carry antibodies that can remember and neutralise the murderous strain.”
- “Immunity to the Coronavirus may last years. Blood samples from recovered patients suggest a powerful, long-lasting immune response.”
- “Following a typical case of COVID19, Tcells not only persist but continuously differentiate in a coordinated fashion well into convalescence into a state characteristic of long-lived, self-renewing memory… Tcells are less prone to evasion by variants”
- “memory B cells in those w/ prior infection “express increasingly broad & potent antibodies – resistant to mutations found in variants.” “memory antibodies selected by natural infection have greater potency & breadth than antibodies elicited by vax”
- Back to that massive Israeli study of real-world data… “This analysis demonstrated that natural immunity affords longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization due to the delta variant.”
- Johns Hopkins studied ~1k healthcare workers & found 4.4x elevated risk of “clinically significant” side-effects following vax of those w/ prior COVID. “Prior COVID was associated w/ increased odds of clinically significant symptoms following dose 1”
- “A prior COVID-19 infection was associated with an 8% increase in the risk of having any side effects after the first vaccine dose.” “a prior COVID-19 infection was associated with the risk of experiencing a severe side effect requiring hospital care”
- “in individuals with a pre-existing immunity against COVID, 2nd vax dose not only failed to boost humoral immunity but determines a contraction of the spike-specific T cell response.”
- “Systemic side-effects were more common (1·6 times after the first dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and 2·9 times after the first dose of BNT162b2) among individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection than among those without known past infection.”
- The risk of death from the vaccine is statistically small, but it exists nonetheless. It’s therefore immoral & illogical to force those who already have robust & durable immunity to take a vaccine with real and serious potential side effects.
- “Hyperviscosity is likely to occur in any recipient who has previous COVID19. Screening for possible previous COVID-19 before COVID-19 vaccination might be necessary for prevention of unwanted blood thrombohemostasis adverse effect.”
- Requiring the immune to get vaxed unnecessarily exposes them to risk of adverse reactions, including thrombosis & myocardial inflammation, neurologic injury, & possibly death. These side effects also appear more predominant in male patients.
- “COVID Vaccination is associated with two-fold higher odds of gout flare (adjusted odds ratio 1.99; 95% CI 1.01 to 3.89).”
- “underlying activation due to infection or exposure, in synergy with a vaccination, could lead to overstimulation of the immune response.”
- “When a vax reactivates immune response in recently infected persons, the tissues harboring the persisting viral antigen are targeted, inflamed and damaged by the immune response.”
- We only prevent 1 asymptomatic re-infection for every 833 people w/ natural immunity we vax. But ~1 in 11 COVID-recovered experience clinically significant side effects. This means: to prevent a single asymptomatic case, we hurt ~75
- “Many healthcare workers, especially those who have heroically worked through pandemic, already have natural immunity. FDA’s refusal to acknowledge this & provide recognition of immunity status through history or antibody status is not evidence-based.”
- “I feel really confident that if this virus acts like every other virus that we know, once you get infected, get better, clear the virus, then you’ll have immunity that will protect you against re-infection.” – Dr. Anthony Fauci
- “Policymakers should include natural immunity… as evidence of immunity equal to that of vaccination. That immunity should be given the same societal status as vax-inducted immunity”
- “Rushing to implement mandatory vax protocols ignores available scientific data, basic principles of immunology and elementary norms… coercive mandates violate basic principles of medical ethics… It is wrong to risk harming healthy people.”
- “When you get a virus & fight it off, your immune system encodes that info & builds immunity. This is what one would call virology/immunology 101. It’s what you read in every textbook. It’s been taught in 9th-grade cell biology for probably 80 years.”
- “Natural Infection is the mother of all vaccines.” Dr. Anthony Fauci, 2018
- The CDC even provides for some level of acceptance of Natural Immunity when it comes to entering its own facilities…
- The U.S. Military Health System allows for medical exemptions for existing immunity (e.g., by serologic antibody test, documentation of previous infection or natural infection presumed).
- “it is medically unnecessary to get a Covid-19 vaccine (if you have Natural Immunity) — and it violates medical ethics to order unnecessary procedures.”
- “Requiring vax for people with natural immunity has no scientific support… to argue dogmatically that they must get vaccinated has zero clinical outcome data to back it. As a matter of fact, we have data to the contrary.”
- Seeing a counter argument that “natural immunity is variable.” So is vax… But besides that… “The immune systems of more than 95% of people who recovered from COVID19 had durable memories of the virus up to eight months after infection.”
- “Reinfection (for those with natural immunity) was an uncommon event (absolute rate 0%-1.1%), with no study reporting an increase in the risk of reinfection over time.”
- “subjects previously infected with ancestral variant SARS-CoV-2 produce antibodies that cross-neutralize emerging VOCs with high potency.” “potent against 23 variants, including variants of concern”
“Misinfographic”: Immunology.org says this…
Wow, that’s so slick and professional looking so it must be true. Look harder. Do you trust this Infographic? No sources, no hard data, no links or references. And some crafty wording. “Could; may; still to be learnt (don’t you love that little admission?); most…” And don’t you love “Reduces chance of spreading to others”. Not prevents. This pretty little “misinfographic” is very deceptive. Not only that, but the claim of “long term protection” directly contradicts the real-world evidence that the effectiveness of the mRNA jabs decline rapidly. Thus any long term benefits rely on regular booster shots.
Pro Vaccine site Nebraska Medicine says:
Natural immunity fades more quickly than vaccine immunity
Studies are ongoing to evaluate the full duration of protective immunity, including the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.COVID-19 natural immunity versus vaccination | Nebraska Medicine Omaha, NE
That language again: “can decay” (not “will decay”) “studies are ongoing…” (another admission that We The People are the trial guinea pigs). The one glaring omission (once again as with the previous infographic) in Nebraska Medicine’s article is that long term effectiveness of the mRNA vaccines is only achieved with subsequent booster shots.
Vaccinating people who have had covid-19: why doesn’t natural immunity count in the US?
As more US employers, local governments, and educational institutions issue vaccine mandates that make no exception for those who have had covid-19,8 questions remain about the science and ethics of treating this group of people as equally vulnerable to the virus—or as equally threatening to those vulnerable to covid-19—and to what extent politics has played a role.
“Starting from back in November, we’ve had a lot of really important studies that showed us that memory B cells and memory T cells were forming in response to natural infection,” says Gandhi. Studies are also showing, she says, that these memory cells will respond by producing antibodies to the variants at hand.91011
Gandhi included a list of some 20 references on natural immunity to covid in a long Twitter thread supporting the durability of both vaccine and infection induced immunity.12 “I stopped adding papers to it in December because it was getting so long,” she tells The BMJ.
But the studies kept coming. A National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded study from La Jolla Institute for Immunology found “durable immune responses” in 95% of the 200 participants up to eight months after infection.13
One of the largest studies to date, published in Science in February 2021, found that although antibodies declined over 8 months, memory B cells increased over time, and the half life of memory CD8+ and CD4+ T cells suggests a steady presence.9
Real world data have also been supportive.14 Several studies (in Qatar,15 England,16 Israel,17 and the US18) have found infection rates at equally low levels among people who are fully vaccinated and those who have previously had covid-19. Cleveland Clinic surveyed its more than 50 000 employees to compare four groups based on history of SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination status.18 Not one of over 1300 unvaccinated employees who had been previously infected tested positive during the five months of the study. Researchers concluded that that cohort “are unlikely to benefit from covid-19 vaccination.” In Israel, researchers accessed a database of the entire population to compare the efficacy of vaccination with previous infection and found nearly identical numbers. “Our results question the need to vaccinate previously infected individuals,” they concluded.17
As covid cases surged in Israel this summer, the Ministry of Health reported the numbers by immunity status. Between 5 July and 3 August, just 1% of weekly new cases were in people who had previously had covid-19. Given that 6% of the population are previously infected and unvaccinated, “these numbers look very low,” says Dvir Aran, a biomedical data scientist at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology, who has been analysing Israeli data on vaccine effectiveness and provided weekly ministry reports to The BMJ. While Aran is cautious about drawing definitive conclusions, he acknowledged “the data suggest that the recovered have better protection than people who were vaccinated.”
But as the delta variant and rising case counts have the US on edge, renewed vaccination incentives and mandates apply regardless of infection history.8 To attend Harvard University or a Foo Fighters concert or enter indoor venues in San Francisco and New York City, you need proof of vaccination. The ire being directed at people who are unvaccinated is also indiscriminate—and emanating from America’s highest office. In a recent speech to federal intelligence employees who, along with all federal workers, will be required to get vaccinated or submit to regular testing, President Biden left no room for those questioning the public health necessity or personal benefit of vaccinating people who have had covid-19: “We have a pandemic because of the unvaccinated … So, get vaccinated. If you haven’t, you’re not nearly as smart as I said you were.”…READ FULL ARTICE
While Bloomfield cannot said to be telling porkies outright, he is presumably well informed of the pros and cons of the Natural Immunity versus mRNA Vaccine debate. Unsurprisingly, Bloomfield promotes the pro-vax stance at the expense of compelling data to support natural immunity. Clearly, political agendas outweigh scientific objectivity.
Informed choice? Only if you are informed. Martin