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Boosters kick ass. However, does natural immunity also?

From the NY Times this morning. What's missing is the data showing how folks who are boosted compare with folks who've received natural immunity. Even the CDC now admits that natural immunity is significantly better than vaccines.

I recently contracted COVID (2 weeks ago) after being vaccinated and boosted. Happily my symptoms were like a mild cold. Do I get another booster and if so when?

See 2nd article below. I've received divergent advice from several smart doctors I know.

Irrational skepticism

The C.D.C. has begun to publish data on Covid outcomes among people who have received booster shots, and the numbers are striking:

Based on 25 U.S. jurisdictions. | Source: C.D.C.

As you can see, vaccination without a booster provides a lot of protection. But a booster takes somebody to a different level.

This data underscores both the power of the Covid vaccines and their biggest weakness — namely, their gradual fading of effectiveness over time, as is also the case with many other vaccines. If you received two Moderna or Pfizer vaccine shots early last year, the official statistics still count you as “fully vaccinated.” In truth, you are only partially vaccinated.

Once you get a booster, your risk of getting severely ill from Covid is tiny. It is quite small even if you are older or have health problems.

The average weekly chance that a boosted person died of Covid was about one in a million during October and November (the most recent available C.D.C. data). Since then, the chances have no doubt been higher, because of the Omicron surge. But they will probably be even lower in coming weeks, because the surge is receding and Omicron is milder than earlier versions of the virus. For now, one in a million per week seems like a reasonable estimate.

That risk is not zero, but it is not far from it. The chance that an average American will die in a car crash this week is significantly higher — about 2.4 per million. So is the average weekly death rate from influenza and pneumonia — about three per million.

With a booster shot, Covid resembles other respiratory illnesses that have been around for years. It can still be nasty. For the elderly and immunocompromised, it can be debilitating, even fatal — much as the flu can be. The Omicron surge has been so terrible because it effectively subjected tens of millions of Americans to a flu all at once.

For the unvaccinated, of course, Covid remains many times worse than the flu.

CDC: Natural immunity stronger than vaccines alone during delta wave

by: DJ Summers

Posted: Jan 21, 2022 / 02:14 PM MST / Updated: Jan 21, 2022 / 04:32 PM MST

DENVER (KDVR) — Natural immunity was six times stronger during the delta wave than vaccination, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report, published Jan. 19, analyzed COVID outcome data from New York and California, which make up about one in six of the nation’s total COVID deaths.

The study has limits — namely, it was done before the omicron wave and doesn’t factor in any information about boosters. It does, however, broadly agree with studies from other countries.

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Vaccines were more effective at preventing infection or serious illness than natural immunity from prior infections before the delta variant became the dominant strain. After delta became the main strain, vaccines alone grew weaker against the virus and natural immunity got much stronger. This could be due in large part to the fact that vaccines began wearing off around the time delta spread, according to the study.

“Importantly, infection-derived protection was greater after the highly transmissible Delta variant became predominant,” reads the report, “coinciding with early declining of vaccine-induced immunity in many persons.”

In California during the week beginning May 30, 2021, COVID-19 case rates were 19.9 times lower among vaccinated people without a previous case, 7.2 times lower among unvaccinated people with a previous COVID-19 case, and 9.6 times lower among vaccinated people with a previous COVID-19 case than they were among unvaccinated people without any previous infection.

Two-thirds of COVID vaccine side-effects are just a placebo effect, study says

During a time when the delta variant was the dominant strain on Oct. 3, it changed. Case rates in vaccinated people without a previous COVID-19 diagnosis were only 6.2 times lower than unvaxxed, uninfected people — three times less effective than pre-delta. They grew to 29 times lower among unvaccinated people with a previous diagnosis, and 32.5-fold among vaccinated people with a previous diagnosis of COVID-19.

The study also tracks the same trend with hospitalizations. In California, the jump in protection against serious illness was even more dramatic. It shows the protection afforded by previous infections went up nine times in the delta wave.

The effectiveness of natural immunity with omicron, however, is not fully understood yet. The CDC warns both vaccines and natural immunity have declined with the new dominant variant.

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