Your Natural Immunity Cheat Sheet
Quick references and tweet threads you can use in the debate of natural immunity vs. vaccines.
There’s a lot we don’t know about the current state of the pandemic. What we can say for almost certain now is that if you had Covid and recovered your immune system has all the tools it needs to combat the disease going forward. Marty Makary from Johns Hopkins University put it this way:
“During every month of this pandemic, I’ve had debates with other public researchers about the effectiveness and durability of natural immunity,” he wrote in an Op-Ed for U.S. News & World Report in August.
“I’ve been told that natural immunity could fall off a cliff, rendering people susceptible to infection. But here we are now, over a year and a half into the clinical experience of observing patients who were infected, and natural immunity is effective and going strong, and that’s because with natural immunity, the body develops antibodies to the entire surface of the virus, not just a spike protein constructed from a vaccine.”
The goal here is to get the government and other entities to recognize prior immunity as an alternative to vaccination or testing “credentials.” So I give you some of the best threads and info you can use to support this claim:
First, my co-founder Aaron Ginn:
Tyler Black, MD @tylerblack32"Natural infection immunity is better than vaccinated immunity" is an anti-vax trope that has existed for *literally* hundreds of years, and has no basis in reality. In fact, Vaccinated immunity is far superior, more reliable, and less dangerous than Infection-based immunity.
Seth Stuck has a tremendous thread with some of the same studies but an excellent summary of new ones as well. He’s still adding to it!
Aaron Ginn and Seth Stuck cite these studies
“Natural immunity confers longer-lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant of SCoV2, compared to vaccine-induced immunity.”
“Israelis who had an infection were more protected against the Delta coronavirus variant than those who had an already highly effective COVID-19 vaccine.”
The NIH posts this: "The immune systems of more than 95% of people who recovered from COVID19 had durable memories of the virus up to eight months after infection."
Out of Ireland: "Reinfection was an uncommon event (absolute rate 0%-1.1%), with no study reporting an increase in the risk of reinfection over time."
Denmark: "The spike protein was identified as the dominant target for both neutralizing antibodies and T-cell responses. Overall, the majority of patients had robust adaptive immune responses, regardless of their disease severity."
From the UK: "T-cell responses were present in all [non-hospitalized] individuals at six months after SARS-CoV-2 infection."
From Emory University: "Our findings show that most C19 patients induce a wide-ranging immune defense against SARS-CoV-2 infection, encompassing antibodies and memory B cells recognizing both the RBD and other regions of the spike..."
Washington University and Nature: "Our results indicate that mild infection with SCoV2 induces robust antigen-specific, long-lived humoral immune memory in humans."
"The weighted average risk reduction against reinfection was 90.4%... Protection against SCoV2 reinfection was observed for up to 10 mo. The protective effect of prior infection on re-infection is high and similar to the protective effect of vaccination."
Studies and articles in Seth’s thread:
Harvard study of Israeli data found vaxed were 27 times more likely to get symptomatic COVID infection than those w/ natural immunity. The risk of a vaccine-breakthrough case was 13-times higher for Delta variant, and the risk of hospitalization 8x higher.
Just 72 of 7,700+ new cases detected during wave starting in May were from people known to have been infected previously – less than 1% of new cases. Vaxed people are 6.7x more likely to be infected than those who had COVID previously.
Natural immunity conveys much more innate immunity, while the vaccine mainly stimulates adaptive immunity.
"Natural infection induced expansion of larger CD8 T cell clones occupied distinct clusters, likely due to the recognition of a broader set of viral epitopes presented by the virus not seen in the mRNA vaccine."
Israeli researchers studied 6.3 million Israelis and their COVID status and were able to confirm only one death in the entire country of someone who supposedly already had the virus, and he was over 80 years old.
French researchers found "No neutralization escape could be feared concerning the two variants of concern [Alpha and Beta]" of those previously infected.
Austria study found frequency of re-infection caused hospitalization in only 5/14,840 (0.03%) & death in 1/14,840 (0.01%). “Protection against SARS-CoV-2 after natural infection is comparable with the highest available estimates on vaccine efficacies.”
“Cumulative incidence of COVID-19 was examined among 52k+ employees in an American healthcare system. COVID-19 did not occur in anyone over the [time] of the study among 2,579 individuals previously infected… including 1,359 who did not take the vaccine.”
In a large study from Denmark, less than 0.7% of people who tested positive for COVID, including those who were asymptomatic, ever tested positive again—a “breakthrough infection” rate similar to that of vaccines.
Systemic review of all 1.4k COVID reports on PubMed / MedRxiv found “weighted avg risk reduction against reinfection was 90.4% w/ standard deviation of 7.7%.” “similar to protective effect of vax.” "Protection vs reinfection observed for up to 10 months."
Another meta-analysis & review of natural immunity looked at 54 studies, from 18 countries, w/records from more than 12M individuals, followed up to 8 months- & those researchers found an average reinfection rate for COVID-recovered patients of just 0.2%.
“It’s empirically undeniable that natural immunity after COVID infection is superior to vaccine immunity." (source)
“Immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection can persist for at least 11 months." "The protective effect of prior infection (is) similar to 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.”
NEJM Study following 12,541 UK healthcare workers for COVID19 re-infection over 31 weeks found that Natural immunity held up well over the 6 months of the study, with only two cases of asymptomatic reinfections observed.
Study (mentioned above) of 1.4k previously infected Cleveland Clinic health care workers found not a single one was re-infected 10 months into pandemic, despite some of these individuals being around COVID-positive patients more than regular population
1.6k people in Italy studied for one year after initial infection. Only 5 reinfections. “Natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2 appears to confer a protective effect for at least a year, which is similar to the protection reported in recent vaccine studies.”
Those "who recover [even] from mild COVID19 have bone-marrow cells that churn out antibodies for decades." Prior infection creates memory B cells that "patrol blood for reinfection, while bone marrow plasma trickle out antibodies for decades"
Qatar study analyzed population‐level risk of reinfection. Researchers estimate the risk at 0.66 per 10,000 person-weeks. Most importantly, the study found no evidence of waning of immunity for over seven months of the follow-up period.
Irish researchers conducted review of 11 cohort studies w/ 600k+ total recovered COVID patients who were followed for over 10 months. Unlike vaccine, after ~4-6 months, they found "no study reporting an increase in the risk of reinfection over time."
Emory University study found that most recovered patients produced durable antibodies, memory B cells, and durable polyfunctional CD4 and CD8 T cells, which target multiple parts of the virus. NI "may persist long-term in recovered COVID-19 patients.”
Antibodies wane slower among those with prior infection. "In vaccinated subjects, antibody titers decreased by up to 40% each subsequent month while in convalescents they decreased by less than 5% per month."
In response to the notion that "Not everyone gets Natural Immunity - and it wanes." Activation-induced marker assays identified specific T-helper cells and central memory T-cells in 80% of participants at a 12-month follow-up.”
An in-vitro study in Singapore found the immunity against SARS-CoV-2 to last even 17 years later from SARS-1-infected patients who never even had COVID-19. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2550-z
When examining survivors of the Spanish Flu, scientists found that they were still immune 90 years later. “To this day, people who survived the 1918 flu pandemic carry antibodies that can remember and neutralise the murderous strain.”
“Immunity to the Coronavirus may last years. Blood samples from recovered patients suggest a powerful, long-lasting immune response.”
“Following a typical case of COVID19, Tcells not only persist but continuously differentiate in a coordinated fashion well into convalescence into a state characteristic of long-lived, self-renewing memory… Tcells are less prone to evasion by variants"
"memory B cells in those w/ prior infection "express increasingly broad & potent antibodies - resistant to mutations found in variants." "memory antibodies selected by natural infection have greater potency & breadth than antibodies elicited by vax"
Back to that massive Israeli study of real-world data… “This analysis demonstrated that natural immunity affords longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization due to the delta variant.”
Johns Hopkins studied ~1k healthcare workers & found 4.4x elevated risk of "clinically significant" side-effects following vax of those w/ prior COVID. "Prior COVID was associated w/ increased odds of clinically significant symptoms following dose 1"
“A prior COVID-19 infection was associated with an 8% increase in the risk of having any side effects after the first vaccine dose." "a prior COVID-19 infection was associated with the risk of experiencing a severe side effect requiring hospital care"
"in individuals with a pre-existing immunity against COVID, 2nd vax dose not only failed to boost humoral immunity but determines a contraction of the spike-specific T cell response."
“Systemic side-effects were more common (1·6 times after the first dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and 2·9 times after the first dose of BNT162b2) among individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection than among those without known past infection."
The risk of death from the vaccine is statistically small, but it exists nonetheless. It’s therefore immoral & illogical to force those who already have robust & durable immunity to take a vaccine with real and serious potential side effects.
“Hyperviscosity is likely to occur in any recipient who has previous COVID19. Screening for possible previous COVID-19 before COVID-19 vaccination might be necessary for prevention of unwanted blood thrombohemostasis adverse effect.”
Requiring the immune to get vaxed unnecessarily exposes them to risk of adverse reactions, including thrombosis & myocardial inflammation, neurologic injury, & possibly death. These side effects also appear more predominant in male patients.
“COVID Vaccination is associated with two-fold higher odds of gout flare (adjusted odds ratio 1.99; 95% CI 1.01 to 3.89).”
"underlying activation due to infection or exposure, in synergy with a vaccination, could lead to overstimulation of the immune response."
“When a vax reactivates immune response in recently infected persons, the tissues harboring the persisting viral antigen are targeted, inflamed and damaged by the immune response.”
We only prevent 1 asymptomatic re-infection for every 833 people w/ natural immunity we vax. But ~1 in 11 COVID-recovered experience clinically significant side effects. This means: to prevent a single asymptomatic case, we hurt ~75
“Many healthcare workers, especially those who have heroically worked through pandemic, already have natural immunity. FDA’s refusal to acknowledge this & provide recognition of immunity status through history or antibody status is not evidence-based.”
“I feel really confident that if this virus acts like every other virus that we know, once you get infected, get better, clear the virus, then you'll have immunity that will protect you against re-infection." – Dr. Anthony Fauci
“Policymakers should include natural immunity... as evidence of immunity equal to that of vaccination. That immunity should be given the same societal status as vax-inducted immunity”
“Rushing to implement mandatory vax protocols ignores available scientific data, basic principles of immunology and elementary norms... coercive mandates violate basic principles of medical ethics… It is wrong to risk harming healthy people.”
“When you get a virus & fight it off, your immune system encodes that info & builds immunity. This is what one would call virology/immunology 101. It’s what you read in every textbook. It’s been taught in 9th-grade cell biology for probably 80 years.”
"Natural Infection is the mother of all vaccines." Dr. Anthony Fauci, 2018
The CDC even provides for some level of acceptance of Natural Immunity when it comes to entering its own facilities...
The U.S. Military Health System allows for medical exemptions for existing immunity (e.g., by serologic antibody test, documentation of previous infection or natural infection presumed).
"it is medically unnecessary to get a Covid-19 vaccine (if you have Natural Immunity) —and it violates medical ethics to order unnecessary procedures.”
"Requiring vax for people with natural immunity has no scientific support... to argue dogmatically that they must get vaccinated has zero clinical outcome data to back it. As a matter of fact, we have data to the contrary."
Seeing a counter argument that "natural immunity is variable." So is vax... But besides that... "The immune systems of more than 95% of people who recovered from COVID19 had durable memories of the virus up to eight months after infection."
"Reinfection (for those with natural immunity) was an uncommon event (absolute rate 0%–1.1%), with no study reporting an increase in the risk of reinfection over time."
"subjects previously infected with ancestral variant SARS-CoV-2 produce antibodies that cross-neutralize emerging VOCs with high potency." "potent against 23 variants, including variants of concern"
Post-infection "cellular and humoral immunities are durable *at least* one year after disease onset."