For some reason, our public health establishment has been obsessed with covid vaccination, pretty much to the exclusion of all else. As a result, insufficient attention has been paid to treatment of the disease, and the natural immunity acquired by contracting covid has been downplayed. This last is a mystery, since the point of a vaccine is to mimic (in a harmless way) getting a disease in order to prompt the body to produce the antibodies that the actual disease would generate.
Now, the CDC has quietly published a study that finds natural immunity to be several times as effective as vaccination in preventing future covid infections and hospitalizations:
Rates among vaccinated persons without a previous COVID-19 diagnosis were consistently higher than rates among unvaccinated persons with a history of COVID-19 (3.1-fold higher [95% CI = 2.6–3.7] in California and 1.9-fold higher [95% CI = 1.5–2.3] in New York) and rates among vaccinated persons with a history of COVID-19 (3.6-fold higher [95% CI = 2.9–4.3] in California and 2.8-fold higher [95% CI = 2.1–3.4] in New York).
During October 3–16, compared with hospitalization rates among unvaccinated persons without a previous COVID-19 diagnosis, hospitalization rates were 19.8-fold lower (95% CI = 18.2–21.4) among vaccinated persons without a previous COVID-19 diagnosis, 55.3-fold lower (95% CI = 27.3–83.3) among unvaccinated persons with a previous COVID-19 diagnosis, and 57.5-fold lower (95% CI = 29.2–85.8) among vaccinated persons with a previous COVID-19 diagnosis.
The authors of the study are quick to advocate for vaccination as the “safest” way to avoid future covid infections, which I suppose is correct. But in view of this study’s findings, and similar data from around the world, there is no rational basis for, e.g., requiring vaccine passports without also recognizing the efficacy of natural immunity.
I don’t understand the unique focus on vaccination to the exclusion of all else, but to say the least, it is unscientific.
A neurosurgeon friend who pointed me to this study has a question:
The study was completed on November 20th — right before Omicron, and it took 2 months for them to release this result. Usually, the MMWR is pretty rapid in their turnaround of studies and papers (it is meant for rapid communication). And, since they looked at the results on a weekly basis — it was becoming abundantly clear that natural immunity was outperforming vax in MID-SUMMER, when many were facing employment mandates! So why the long delay? Is it coincidence that this result was released shortly AFTER SCOTUS decisions? Perhaps they were afraid that this study would prejudice the result?
Interesting. The CDC is a hopelessly politicized agency, in my opinion, so anything is possible. In any event, the agency seems, at long last, to have recognized the obvious fact that natural immunity exists and is powerful.