Last Thursday, Sept. 9, in an interview with CNN, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s top advisor on the COVID-19 pandemic, said he did not have a strong argument for why people infected with the virus and recovered should also be vaccinated.
CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, MD, asked the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases what his opinion was of a recently published report by the Maccabi Health Service in Israel that concluded that natural immunity against the coronavirus conferred longer-lasting protection against the Delta variant than the two doses of Pfizer’s vaccine administered earlier this year.
The CNN interview revolved around President Joe Biden’s recent order that all federal employees and contractors working for the federal government must be vaccinated.
“So, as we talk about vaccine mandates, I get calls all the time, people say, I’ve already had COVID, I’m protected. And now the study says maybe even more protected than the vaccine alone. Should they also get the vaccine? How do you make the case to them?” said Fauci.
“I don’t have a really firm answer for you on that,” Fauci responded.
But the physician pointed out that the Israeli institution’s study did not contemplate the extension of natural protection and opined that it is a matter for debate before making a decision.
“The one thing that paper from Israel didn’t tell you is whether or not—as high as the protection is with natural infection— what’s the durability compared to the durability of a vaccine?,” Fauci stated. “So, I think that is something that we need to sit down and discuss seriously, because you very appropriately pointed out, it is an issue, and there could be an argument for saying what you said.”
While the Maccabi Health Service study does not specify the ‘durability’ mentioned by Dr. Fauci, it does conclude that natural protection is more extensive than that induced by vaccines.
“Natural immunity confers longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, compared to the BNT162b2 two-dose vaccine-induced immunity,” the Israeli study claims.
Same study, different conclusions
The research was conducted between July 1 and August 14, when the Delta variant reportedly hit Israel and studied three groups of people: those who were not infected with COVID but received the double dose; those who were infected but not vaccinated; and those who were infected and received a single dose of Pfizer’s vaccine.
The study results say that the third group studied, those who contracted the disease and received a single dose, also showed a good immune response against the new strain.
Dr. Fauci has on previous occasions dismissed natural protection from the human body as better than protection from vaccines, echoing the results of the study.
According to The Blaze, Fauci said in May during a White House press conference: “Vaccines, actually, at least with regard to SARS-CoV-2 can do better than nature. Vaccination in people previously infected significantly boosts the immune response.”
In an interview, the former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official Scott Gottlieb also referring to the same Israeli study, said that natural immunity should be included in discussions on how to proceed with the pandemic.
“The balance of the evidence demonstrates that natural immunity confers a durable protection, It’s fair to conclude that,” the former FDA official stated, “Natural infection confers robust and durable immunity.”