Critics of President Biden’s sweeping vaccine mandates are arguing that natural immunity must be taken into account, with an estimated 100 million Americans having had COVID-19 and studies showing the significant superiority of natural immunity.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, ignoring the current research affirming the longtime consensus of immunologists, has insisted the COVID vaccines provide superior immunity. But the White House coronavirus adviser was stumped Friday when CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta asked him why people who already have been infected with the novel coronavirus should get a COVID vaccine.
Gupta, pointing to a recent study in Israel showing natural immunity to be 27 times more effective than the Pfizer vaccine, said he gets calls all the time from people who say they already have had COVID and, therefore, are protected.
“Should they also get the vaccine?” he asked Fauci. “How do you make the case to them?”
“You know, that’s a really good point, Sanjay. I don’t have a really firm answer to you on that,” Fauci replied.
“That’s something that we’re going to have to discuss, regarding the durability of the response,” he added.
Fauci then argued that the Israel study didn’t address the issue of the durability of natural immunity compared to the vaccine.
“So it is conceivable that you got infected, you’re protected, but you may not be protected for an indefinite period of time,” Fauci said.
Studies support natural immunity
However, according to the available evidence, it’s natural immunity that likely will win out over the COVID-19 vaccines.
In August, the CDC released studies showing a “significant decline” in the immunity of fully vaccinated Americans to COVID-19. The move came as the Biden administration prepared to officer booster shots to Americans who got the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines eight months after their second dose.
Meanwhile, researchers have found that as many as 50% of people with no known exposure to the novel coronavirus have an effective response to the virus from their T cells, the part of the immune system that attacks foreign particles.
Further, many studies forecast long-term immunity for people who have had COVID-19.
A study published in February by Science magazine found “substantial immune memory is generated after COVID-19.” And an article in Nature magazine in May reported researchers believe “people who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 will probably make antibodies against the virus for most of their lives. ”
A study by Emory University and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center that was funded by the National Institutes of Health – for which Fauci works – predicted “long-lived immunity to SARS-CoV-2 after natural infection.”
On Friday, Dr. Marty Makary, noting more than a dozen studies confirm the superiority of natural immunity, said in a Fox News interview that “we are not seeing people get reinfected.”
Makary, a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, took issue with President Biden’s angry charge Thursday that the unvaccinated are threatening the vaccinated.
“That’s not really true, and it flies in the face of the message that vaccines are effective and save lives,” he said.
See Fauci’s remarks:
Dr. Fauci on why Americans who’ve previously been infected should get vaccinated despite studies showing it’s unnecessary: “I don’t have a really firm answer for you on that” pic.twitter.com/Y1CH2Wh6nk
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 10, 2021