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Study: COVID recovery gave Israelis longer-lasting Delta defense than vaccines

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Natural immunity from contracting coronavirus provided Israelis with longer-lasting protection against the Delta variant than two shots of the Pfizer vaccine given early this year, new Israeli research suggests.

The study by Maccabi Healthcare Service looked at individuals who had either gotten two shots of the vaccine by the end of February or tested positive for COVID-19 by that time.

It compared 46,035 Maccabi members who caught the coronavirus at some point during the pandemic and the same number of double-vaccinated people.

People who had two vaccine shots had a six-fold higher chance of getting infected with Delta than patients who hadn’t been vaccinated but previously contracted the coronavirus, according to the research.

The study, published online but not yet peer reviewed, is the largest of its kind. It doesn’t take booster shots — now widely given in Israel — into account, but given that most of the world is still giving a two-dose regimen, has international relevance.

But experts are stressing that the results shouldn’t be interpreted as discouragement from vaccinating. Immunologist Prof. Cyrille Cohen of Bar Ilan University, who was not involved in the study, told The Times of Israel: “Certain people who are not inclined to get vaccinated might be mistaken and think that this means you’d........

© The Times of Israel

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