Health professionals from the United States have recently pushed for recognizing natural immunity as a more robust and durable barrier against COVID-19 compared to vaccine-induced immunity.
According to a statement released by Dr. Manish Joshi, Dr. Thaddeus Bartter, and Dr. Anita Joshi, there is still doubt cast by media outlets and scientific journals, including self-proclaimed health experts and public policy messaging, about the protection of natural immunity against COVID-19. This doubt is still present despite the growing body of literature that supports the conclusion.
The health professionals emphasized in their statement that immunity against the virus is generated through infection. They cited recent studies that showed seropositive individuals—or those who contracted COVID-19 and survived—had a lower risk of re-infection than their seronegative counterparts.
They highlighted a study where it was found that “prior infection decreased risk of symptomatic re-infection by 93%.” Another study exhibited that the risk of infection was significantly lower (0.3%) in seropositive patients than their seronegative counterparts (3%).
The health professionals also put forward the findings of a recent study showing that COVID-19 infection induces long-lived bone marrow plasma cells in humans and may even mean that new antibodies are also being created.
Dr. Manish Joshi, Dr. Thaddeus Bartter, and Dr. Anita Joshi point out that while there is already proof that previous infection to COVID-19 builds immunity, there is no such finding concerning vaccine-induced immunity. They also stress the ongoing breakthrough infections in the United States, Iceland, and Israel, notwithstanding their high vaccination rates.
The health professionals conclude that persons who have previously contracted COVID-19 may not need the vaccine after all because their bodies can already “generate neutralizing antibodies that either prevent or mitigate both infection and transmission.” They also impliedly raise the question of whether vaccines—including similar booster shots and COVID-19 pills—are needed to combat the pandemic.