Natural immunity offers greater COVID protection than vaccines, study finds
(Gray News) - It’s something that has been up for discussion since the start of the pandemic: What provides greater protection from COVID?
A study published this month in the New England Journal of Medicine shared findings that supported natural immunity providing greater protection from COVID infection than multiple vaccinations.
However, getting a COVID-19 vaccination is a safer and more dependable way to build immunity to COVID-19 than getting sick with COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Researchers said they used the Israeli Ministry of Health database from August and September 2021 when the delta variant was dominant. The people in the study included those who had been previously infected with COVID or received a coronavirus vaccine.
The study said it found that COVID protection decreases over time, but the overall protection was higher in those who had COVID than those who received a second vaccine dose.
“Among persons who had been previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 (regardless of whether they had received any dose of vaccine or whether they had received one dose before or after infection), protection against reinfection decreased as the time increased since the last immunity-conferring event. However, this protection was higher than that conferred after the same time had elapsed since receipt of the second dose of the vaccine among previously uninfected persons.”
Researchers said their analysis was based on more than 5.7 million people and the study was approved by the institutional review board at the Sheba Medical Center.
Getting sick with COVID-19 can cause severe illness or death, and scientists can’t reliably predict who will have mild or severe illness. Plus, people who get sick can spread COVID-19 to others.
Even though getting COVID-19 can offer “natural immunity,” the level of protection people get from having COVID-19 may vary depending on how mild or severe their illness was, the time since their infection and their age, the CDC said.
Copyright 2022 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.