Vaccinations versus Natural Immunity

NAHLP strongly supports the CDC's position on COVID vaccinations. A thorough review of the available research has suggested that vaccinated individuals have a higher-titer initial antibody response than those who did not receive a vaccine yet contracted COVID.

The following is the Executive Summary from the CDC. Please be aware that this does not include the new variant: Omicron.

Executive Summary

Key findings and considerations for this brief are as follows:

  • Available evidence shows that fully vaccinated individuals and those previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 each have a low risk of subsequent infection for at least 6 months. Data are presently insufficient to determine an antibody titer threshold that indicates when an individual is protected from infection. At this time, there is no FDA-authorized or approved test that providers or the public can use to reliably determine whether a person is protected from infection.
    • The immunity provided by vaccine and prior infection are both high but not complete (i.e., not 100%).
    • Multiple studies have shown that antibody titers correlate with protection at a population level, but protective titers at the individual level remain unknown.
    • Whereas there is a wide range in antibody titers in response to infection with SARS-CoV-2, completion of a primary vaccine series, especially with mRNA vaccines, typically leads to a more consistent and higher-titer initial antibody response.
    • For certain populations, such as the elderly and immunocompromised, the levels of protection may be decreased following both vaccination and infection.
    • Current evidence indicates that the level of protection may not be the same for all viral variants.
    • The body of evidence for infection-induced immunity is more limited than that for vaccine-induced immunity in terms of the quality of evidence (e.g., probable bias towards symptomatic or medically-attended infections) and types of studies (e.g., observational cohort studies, mostly retrospective versus a mix of randomized controlled trials, case-control studies, and cohort studies for vaccine-induced immunity). There are insufficient data to extend the findings related to infection-induced immunity at this time to persons with very mild or asymptomatic infection or children.
  • Substantial immunologic evidence and a growing body of epidemiologic evidence indicate that vaccination after infection significantly enhances protection and further reduces risk of reinfection, which lays the foundation for CDC recommendations.
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