NEJM Study: Natural Immunity Offers More Protection Than Three MRNA COVID Shots

A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine finds natural Covid immunity offers longer lasting protection than vaccination, but a combination of full vaccination and prior infection is maximally protective.
Naturalimmunity

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As the debate continues surrounding the issue of bodily autonomy being violated by school and workplace COVID-19 vaccine mandates, a new research study that analyzed more than one million people has found that natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2 offers longer lasting protection than vaccination.1 The study, which was published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), found that vaccine-induced artificial immunity waned rapidly, whereas individuals with prior SARS-CoV-2 infections were moderately protected from the Omicron strain with little decline in protection even a year after infection.2

The case-control analysis found that a combination of full vaccination and prior infection was maximally protective. However, the study found that three doses of Pfizer’s Comirnaty or Moderna’s Spikevax messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID biologics offered no significant protection against infection with the SARS-CoV-2 variant, Omicron.2

FDA To Use Mice Instead Of Humans To Approve Boosters

The NEJM study was released in June 2022 Meanwhile, media outlets are reporting that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to grant Pfizer and Moderna an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to distribute their Omicron booster shots the week of Labor Day, which reportedly offers protection against the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants.3 The FDA is utilizing a controversial strategy to evaluate the boosters, relying on old testing data using mice instead of data from human clinical trials for the first time.4 Pfizer’s new COVID booster shot is being approved under an EUA for those aged 12 years and older, while Moderna’s shot is approved for adults.

Weill Cornell Medicine immunologist John Moore, PhD stated:

For the FDA to rely on mouse data is just bizarre, in my opinion. Mouse data are not going to be predictive in any way of what you would see in humans.4

Others argue that the U.S. has had enough experience with the safety and efficacy of the COVID vaccines in humans and that “there’s not enough time to wait for data from human studies.”4

Other Studies Demonstrate Natural Immunity Is More Robust

More than a dozen additional studies have demonstrated the power of the human immune system, finding that natural immunity offered greater protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection.1 Perhaps the most well-known of these was a study out of Israel published in 2021,  which examined the medical records of tens of thousands of Israelis and found o that individuals with prior infection were less likely to get the Delta variant and more thoroughly protected.5 Israel is one of the most highly vaccinated countries in the world.

Upon publication of the NEJM study, U.S. Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky tweeted:

Among the most fraudulent messages of the CDC’s campaign of deceit is to force the vaccine on those with prior infection, who have a greater degree of protection against all versions of the virus than those with any of the vaccines.1

COVID Boosters Developed By Guessing The Upcoming Strain

Scientists believe that the future of COVID vaccine development may be similar to influenza vaccines, which are changed yearly in a best-guess attempt by public health officials to match the seasonal influenza vaccine to strains that are likely to be circulating.6 It was once believed that flu vaccine efficacy was 70-90 percent. However, those studies were later found to only have measured the initial antibody spike after vaccination, which did not always confer long lasting artificial immunity. More accurate flu vaccine efficacy numbers range anywhere from 10 to 60 percent, depending on the year.7

In an article describing why flu vaccines are “lackluster” and so often fail, the journal Science writes:

They’re learning instead that the vaccine may falter even when the right strains were used to make it, perhaps because of how it is produced or quirks of individual immune systems. It’s much more complicated than we thought.7

Written by Natasha Hobley, National Vaccine Information Center.

Printed with permission from the National Vaccine Information Center.

References

1 Miltimore J. Natural immunity offered more protection against omnicrown than 3 vaccine doses, New England Journal of Medicine finds. Foundation for Economic Education July 18, 2022.  
2 Press Release. Qatar omnicron-wave study shows slow decline of natural immunity, rapid decline of vaccine immunity. Weill Cornell Medicine June 15, 2022.
3 Robins M. When will you be able to get a COVID-19 omnicron booster? WKYC Studios Aug. 25, 2022.
4 Stein R. What’s behind the FDA’s controversial strategy for evaluating new COVID boosters. National Public Radio Aug. 18, 2022.
5 Gazit S et al. Comparing SARS-CoV-2 natural immunity to vaccine-induced immunity: reinfections versus breakthrough infections. medRxiv Aug. 25, 2021.
6 Huang P. Pfizer asks FDA to greenlight new omnicrown booster shots, which could arrive this fall. National Public Radio Aug. 22, 2022.
7 Cohen J. Why flu vaccines so often fail. Science Sept. 20, 2017.

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