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Vaccines versus COVD-19: The great immunity debate

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People who don’t want to get vaccinated will grasp at any new piece of information to justify their reluctance — the latest being some pretty good data suggesting that the natural immunity left after recovering from COVID-19 is stronger over the long run than immunity generated by the Pfizer vaccine.

It’s a finding that’s worth taking seriously — several scientists sent the study to me or mentioned it, and a number of others noted its importance in a news story in Science Magazine.

That’s a terrible reason to skip the vaccine — 100% of people who have “natural immunity” suffered from at least one bout of the disease, putting them at risk of severe illness, lingering symptoms and the prospect of spreading the virus to others. The point of the vaccine, after all, is to cut back on the risk of getting sick at all and to reduce the severity of symptoms if a so-called breakthrough occurs.

But there’s still a lot to be learned and a lot of public-health policy that should be subject to adjustment. The new data, which come out of Israel, show that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control erred by telling people in early August that vaccine-induced immunity is better than immunity acquired from past infection.

People who had two Pfizer shots were about 27 times more likely to get symptomatic COVID-19 and eight times more likely to be hospitalized........

© The Japan Times

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