The immune protection offered by the COVID-19 vaccines is not as strong as the immune response created by the body after a SARS-CoV-2 infection, according to a new Israeli study.
“We continue to underestimate the importance of natural infection immunity … especially when [infection] is recent. And when you bolster that with one dose of vaccine, you take it to levels you can’t possibly match with any vaccine in the world right now,” declared scientist Eric Topol from Scripps Research.
The study looked at medical records from 1 June to 14 August from the Maccabi Healthcare Services database. “It’s a textbook example of how natural immunity is really better than vaccination. To my knowledge, it’s the first time [this] has really been shown in the context of COVID-19,” added immunology researcher Charlotte Thålin. The study is the largest one to analyze the difference between vaccine-created and natural immunity. The differences were significant, with vaccinated people 6 to 13 times more likely to get the virus compared to unvaccinated persons that were previously infected. There were also no deaths recorded for the group that was analyzed in the study. Therefore there is no comparison for death rates in vaccinated people and unvaccinated ones. It is also worth noting that natural immunity is not foolproof either, and a second infection can often prove to be more severe.
Nevertheless, despite the results of the study, it is crucial to remember that getting infected on purpose is not a solution. While recovery can lead to stronger immune protection, it’s worth remembering that the disease can also lead to irreversible damage on our bodies, or worse, to death. “What we don’t want people to say is: ‘All right, I should go out and get infected, I should have an infection party.’ Because somebody could die,” concluded immunologist Michel Nussenzweig.