Fauci: No ‘Firm Answer’ on Why Americans Who’ve Recovered From COVID-19 Should Get Vaccinated

The White House from Washington, DC, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In Brief

  • The Facts:
    • Dr. Anthony Fauci claims he has "no firm answer" as to why they are recommending those who've recovered from COVID be vaccinated.

    • According to Fauci, discussion around providing those recovered with the same rights as those vaccinated have begun.

    • The CDC continues to suggest all eligible people, COVID recovered or not, be vaccinated.

  • Reflect On:
    • Why is there so much conflicting science surrounding COVID-19?

    • Why do public health and politicians claim they are 'following the science' when the science presents multiple possible conclusions?

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A new study emerged from Israel in late August 2021 suggesting that natural immunity from COVID infection protects people better than being fully vaccinated, this applies to both preventing hospitalization and re-infection.

As a result, dialogue began around the world as to why those who’ve recovered from COVID aren’t given the opportunity to use their previous infection as a means to not only skip vaccination but also be given the same privileges as those vaccinated when it comes to travel or vaccine passports.

Following the release of the study, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, admitted that it was provoking discussion among government experts about how to re-think classification of those previously infected.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who hosts a show on CNN, asked Fauci,

“I get calls all the time people say, ‘I’ve already had COVID, I’m protected.’ And now the study says maybe even more protected than the vaccine alone. Should they also get the vaccine? How do you make the case to them?” Dr. Sanjay Gupta asked Fauci during an appearance on CNN.

Fauci responded rather simply “I don’t have a really firm answer for you on that,” he then went on to say,

“That’s something that we’re going to have to discuss regarding the durability of the response. The one thing that paper from Israel didn’t tell you is whether or not—as high as the protection is with natural infection—what’s the durability compared to the durability of a vaccine? So it is conceivable that you got infected, you’re protected, but you may not be protected for an indefinite period of time, […] So I think that is something that we need to sit down and discuss seriously because you very appropriately pointed out, it is an issue, and there could be an argument for saying what you said.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci

People in various countries are still being told to get vaccinated even if they have recovered from COVID. Since the start of vaccination efforts, various experts have felt vaccination efforts should be focused on people who have NOT recovered from COVID or those who have not been vaccinated and are in higher risk groups.

Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, clinical professor of preventive medicine and medicine at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, previously stated,

“We’re trying to update policy such that people who have recovered have the same privileges and access as people who are vaccinated,” 

Following the real world findings of the Israel study, Pfizer board member Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, stated:

“The balance of the evidence demonstrates that natural immunity confers a durable protection,”

In contrast, the CDC continues to hold the position that all eligible Americans get a COVID-19 vaccine, claiming vaccine protection is better when combining natural immunity with vaccination.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC’s director, has pointed to a study showing vaccines provide better protection than previous infection, claiming:

“These data further indicate that COVID-19 vaccines offer better protection than natural immunity alone and that vaccines, even after prior infection, help prevent reinfections,”

As with many things COVID, the science is not entirely clear, yet public policy and politicians continue to make sweeping and assertive statements as if the science is rock solid. Perhaps it would be more genuine to suggests they are following what “some of the science says.”

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