Researchers found natural exposure to COVID-19 (Chinese Communist Party virus) creates much better immunity to the Delta strain than receiving two doses of the experimental vaccine.
A new Israeli study reignited debate about how little importance health professionals place on naturally acquired immunity compared to vaccination during the pandemic.
The research team found immunized individuals were nearly six times more likely to have a Delta variant infection, and seven times more likely to have symptomatic disease, than those who acquired immunity from a previous CCP virus infection.
A sample population of 700,000 people was divided into multiple groups. These included those who were never infected and received two Pfizer doses, previously infected and completely unvaccinated, and previously infected and had one vaccine dose. Results were recorded between June 1 and Aug. 14, 2021.
Four outcomes were assessed including CCP virus infection, symptomatic disease, CCP virus-related hospitalization, and death. The retrospective observational study was uploaded to the Medrxiv website, and not peer-reviewed at the time of publication.
“Advantageous protection afforded by natural immunity that this analysis demonstrates could be explained by the more extensive immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 (CCP virus) proteins than that generated by the anti-spike protein immune activation conferred by the vaccine,” the study report said.
Researchers also discovered those who receive a single vaccine dose and recover from previous infection, had extra protection. However, long-term protection from a third booster dose is still unknown.
“This study demonstrated that natural immunity confers longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 (CCP virus), compared to the BioNTech/Pfizer two-dose vaccine-induced immunity,” the report said.
Scripps Research cardiologist Eric Topol believes the report highlights the lack of importance the medical community places on “natural infection immunity,” especially when infection is recent.
“[This was] the largest real-world analysis comparing natural immunity–gained from an earlier infection–to the protection provided by one of the most potent vaccines currently in use showed that reinfections were much less common,” Bloomberg reported.