Johns Hopkins Medical Prof Explains: Natural COVID Immunity Is Very Strong

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In Brief

  • The Facts:
    • Marty Makary, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, published an article in the Washington Post explaining the strength of natural COVID immunity.

    • 20 studies have now been publishing showing that a COVID infection provides robust immunity.

  • Reflect On:
    • Why has natural immunity not been included in health policy?

    • Why is science being ignored yet we are being told to "trust the science."

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More than 100 studies have now emerged regarding natural immunity to COVID. All of them point to the fact that natural immunity acquired through a COVID infection can be quite robust. Emphasizing this may seem like a broken record to many independent media journalists, but it’s important to continue to do so given the fact that science continues to go ignored by governments around the world. It doesn’t make sense why natural immunity is not included in health policy decisions.

This point has been emphasized by many experts in the field, including Marty Makary, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health, editor-in-chief of Medpage Today. Last month he published an article in the Washington Post explaining the following:

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More than 15 studies have demonstrated the power of immunity acquired by previously having the virus. A 700,000-person study from Israel two weeks ago found that those who had experienced prior infections were 27 times less likely to get a second symptomatic covid infection than those who were vaccinated. This affirmed a June Cleveland Clinic study of health-care workers (who are often exposed to the virus), in which none who had previously tested positive for the coronavirus got reinfected. The study authors concluded that “individuals who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to benefit from covid-19 vaccination.” And in May, a Washington University study found that even a mild covid infection resulted in long-lasting immunity.

There is even science that has emerged showing that people who have been infected with previous coronaviruses, many of which are the common cold and flu, may also have some sort of protection from severe disease, death and infection. A study published in March 2021 suggests that the majority of healthy adults in British Columbia, Canada, have immunity from COVID-19 despite the fact that some of them have never been infected with it.

The latest study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases found that “SARS-CoV-2-specific cellular and humoral immunities are durable at least until one year after disease onset.” In the future, more studies will emerge that may show longer lasting immunity. The study cut off in this example was one year, but what will happen when they do the same type of study two years after infection? Will we see the same thing?

 People who have been infected with SARS, for example, still have a strong a level of antibodies approximately 17 years after being infected.

It’s not just antibodies that provide protection either, alongside antibodies, the immune system produces a battalion of T cells that can target viruses. Some of these, known as killer T cells (or CD8+ T cells), seek out and destroy cells that are infected with the virus. Others, called helper T cells (or CD4+ T cells) are important for various immune functions, including stimulating the production of antibodies and killer T cells.

The science behind natural immunity is quite robust, and if you’d like to see more examples you can do so from an article I previously published in August that goes even more in-depth.

Here’s another great resource from Eric T. Payne, MD, MPH, FRCP(C), Pediatric Neurocritical, Care & Epilepsy Alberta Children’s Hospital, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics & Neurology, the University of Calgary that also touches upon natural immunity, among other things.

It’s good to see this being acknowledged whenever it is. A great example comes from Michigan. Spectrum Health has announced that it will grant temporary exemptions from its employee vaccine mandate to individuals who can provide proof of naturally acquired immunity to COVID-19. Spectrum Health is a large health system with teams of nationally recognized doctors, and is a provider and network of hospitals and other healthcare facilities in Southwest and West Michigan

So, there is the above perspective that isn’t, at all, included in health policy and rarely acknowledged within the mainstream. Large mainstream media outlets share the following perspective instead, as exemplified in a Global News article published at the end of September.

Multiple anti-vaccine groups touted natural immunity as a viable alternative to getting vaccinated, but experts say the natural immunity is unreliable — especially when there’s a safe and effective vaccine out there.

It’s not uncommon for mainstream media to use labels like “anti-vaccine conspiracy theory” and ridicule people, as well as state claims in the name of science that completely contradict what’s been published in medical literature.

Many mainstream media outlets do a very poor job, and this is unfortunate given the fact that the masses rely on these outlets for information. They are literally shaping people’s perception of various topics, and they are very powerful with access to a tremendous amount of resources.

Pharmaceuticals is a very powerful industry, according to calculations by Axios, drug companies make 63 percent of total health care profits in the U.S. That’s in part because of the success of their lobbying efforts.

In 2019, the pharmaceutical industry spent $295 million on lobbying, far more than any other sector in the U.S. That’s almost twice as much as the next biggest spender — the electronics, manufacturing, and equipment sector — and more than double what oil and gas companies spent on lobbying.

Government funds mainstream media, that’s no secret. They also have paid advertisers that include many pharmaceutical companies. Furthermore, several companies, including Johnson & Johnson, DiaSorin Molecular, and QIAGEN have made it clear that they are receiving funding from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Perhaps this is why we only get a one sided story? I hope this discussion helps you understand the power of natural immunity.

I’m not aware of any vaccine out there which will ever give you more immunity than if you’re naturally recovered from the illness itself…If you’ve naturally recovered from it, my understanding as a doctor level scientist is that those antibodies will always be better then a vaccine, and if you know any differently, please let me know.

Dr. Suneel Dhand, U.S. based internal medicine physician.

CDC director Rochelle Walensky has acknowledged on numerous occasions that those vaccinated against COVID can indeed become infected and be as infectious as those unvaccinated. In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Walensky said,

“Our vaccines are working exceptionally well. They continue to work well for Delta with regard to severe illness and death – they prevent it, but what they can’t do anymore is prevent transmission,”

Rochelle Walensky

Unvaccinated and vaccinated infected individuals have been shown to have similar viral loads. A recent study, still in pre-print form, found that individuals in Wisconsin, USA had similar viral loads in nasal swabs, irrespective of vaccine status, during a time of high and increasing prevalence of the Delta variant.

The fact is, multiple immunological studies have documented a steady decline of antibody levels among vaccinated individuals. Long-term follow-up of vaccine trial participants has revealed a growing risk of breakthrough infection. Health-care records from countries such as Israel, the United Kingdom and elsewhere all show that COVID-19 vaccines are losing their strength, at least when it comes to keeping a lid on transmissible disease.

There are also many unanswered questions, like what happens to the power of natural immunity with regards to those who have been vaccinated? Can vaccinated individuals still benefit from an infection as much as unvaccinated individuals who acquire an infection? 

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