People infected with COVID-19, and thus naturally immune, have as much protection from serious illness (hospitalization) as those who have been vaccinated, according to CDC data released on January 20, 2022.This data is based on data from nearly 22 million COVID positive cases in California between May and November 2021.
Between natural immunity and vaccinations, the majority of Boulderites, like most Americans, are immune to COVID-19.
Natural Immunity Confers Best Protection
The risk of hospitalization is lowest in the group that was not vaccinated but previously infected. Dr. Peter Attia summarized the data from the CDC’s paper in the following table.
With respect to serious illness, vaccination offers no extra benefit for those who have been infected with COVID-19. Furthermore, those with natural immunity and vaccination reduce their risk of hospitalization by a factor of 2.5x.
CDC Needs to Redefine Immunity
“The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has failed to recognize that people with confirmed Covid infections, also known as “natural immunity,” have achieved some level of protection against subsequent infections and severe disease. This has unnecessarily fueled divisiveness, particularly when vaccines are mandated without acknowledgment that prior Covid is an alternate path, albeit with some limitations, for protection of the individual and helping to build the population’s immunity wall.” Eric Topol, scientist and vaccine advocate, in The Guardian.
In his review, Topol notes, “a 10-fold lower risk of subsequent infection was found in the people with natural immunity compared with those vaccinated in the Cleveland Clinic health system’s study of over 52,000 employees. These reports convey a high level of protection of natural immunity, at times comparable to 2-shot vaccines. “
For more information about natural immunity, see Eric Topol’s review here or watch Russell Brand discuss this paper in the following YouTube.