One of the most frustrating elements of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been the complete lack of attention given to recovered immunity. Health bureaucrats like Anthony Fauci rarely mention the fact that individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 infections likely maintain robust antibodies to protect against the virus for many months. These antibodies, along with T cells and B cells, may persist for years or even decades—or even a lifetime—based on what we know about other coronaviruses, including SARS. Yet Fauci and Co. are still urging everyone, whether or not they’ve been previously infected, to get the vaccine—a novel approach to infectious disease management.
The medical community, for the most part, has been remarkably incurious about recovered immunity, aided and abetted by Democrats, the legacy media (and their social-media fellow travelers) who have stubbornly refused to question public health officials about the topic. A Cleveland Clinic study (still in preprint, not yet peer-reviewed) of more than 50,000 caregivers found that infection rates for those who had recovered immunity and those who received the vaccine were essentially the same. In fact, none of the previously infected caregivers monitored during the study were reinfected. Not a single one.
The cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection remained almost zero among previously infected unvaccinated subjects, previously infected subjects who were vaccinated, and previously uninfected subjects who were vaccinated, compared with a steady increase in cumulative incidence among previously uninfected subjects who remained unvaccinated. Not one of the 1359 previously infected subjects who remained unvaccinated had a SARS-CoV-2 infection over the duration of the study. In a Cox proportional hazards regression model, after adjusting for the phase of the epidemic, vaccination was associated with a significantly lower risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection among those not previously infected (HR 0.031, 95% CI 0.015 to 0.061) but not among those previously infected (HR 0.313, 95% CI 0 to Infinity). [Emphasis added]
The study concluded that “Individuals who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to benefit from COVID-19 vaccination, and vaccines can be safely prioritized to those who have not been infected before.”
After pushback by the media and public health officials, the Cleveland Clinic hastened to advise people to ignore the data, ignore the science, and get the vaccine anyway:
We recently shared research that provides insight into how the immune system protects the body after a confirmed COVID-19 infection. The study followed Cleveland Clinic caregivers over five months as the vaccination process was beginning. The data showed that the vaccine was extremely effective in preventing COVID-19 infection. In addition, we found that none of the previously infected employees who remained unvaccinated were re-infected over the duration of the study. This information could help guide vaccination efforts should there be a shortage of vaccine supply and in countries where vaccine supply is limited.
This is still a new virus, and more research is needed. It is important to keep in mind that this study was conducted in a population that was younger and healthier than the general population. In addition, we do not know how long the immune system will protect itself against re-infection after COVID-19. It is safe to receive the COVID-19 vaccine even if you have previously tested positive, and we recommend all those who are eligible receive it.”
It’s true. This is a new virus and no one knows for certain how long recovered immunity persists. But in their rush to get everyone in the U.S. vaccinated—by hook or crook or mandate—health officials have studiously ignored this very important data point, which could play a major role in determining whether everyone needs to be vaccinated.
In an interview with Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough on Wednesday, Dr. Fauci may have let the cat out of the bag on the importance of recovered immunity in controlling the spread of the virus.
“If [Joe Biden] has the courage to push forward for vaccine mandates like we do for every child that enters public schools and private schools across America and we get that number up to 85, 90%, what type of difference does that make going into the fall,” Scarborough asked Fauci. “What difference does that make about whether future mask mandates will be required?”
“Well, Joe, if we can get 80, 85% of the population vaccinated, that is gonna have a profound beneficial effect in the sense of really nailing down this outbreak, because if you get that amount of people vaccinated, together with the people that have already been infected, you’re going to really be able to restrict the ability of that virus to spread around,” said Fauci. “If we go there, all of this [sic] things that we’re talking about [sic] people don’t like—they don’t like masks, they don’t like restrictions—the easiest way to put that behind you is to get vaccinated. ” [Emphasis added]
Did you catch that “together with the people that have already been infected” bit? He’s talking about herd immunity—a topic that will get you booted off social media faster than you can say censorship. Sen. Rand Paul has been saying this all along—and he’s been mocked and excoriated by Fauci and his loyal servants in the media for months.
Yet the World Health Organization includes recovered immunity in its definition of herd immunity:
“Herd immunity”, also known as “population immunity'”, is the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection.
But the WHO goes on to say that the organization “supports achieving ‘herd immunity’ through vaccination, not by allowing a disease to spread through any segment of the population, as this would result in unnecessary cases and deaths.” The guidance goes on to say, “Herd immunity against COVID-19 should be achieved by protecting people through vaccination, not by exposing them to the pathogen that causes the disease.”
Ok, fine. We don’t need to have COVID parties to infect people. But what about those who have already been infected with COVID-19 and recovered? Is the constant downplaying of the role of recovered immunity just laziness on the part of health officials? It’s easier to get shots in arms than to test people for antibodies? Let’s get everyone vaccinated first and then we can sort out the recovered immunity questions later?
You can get an antibody test for ten bucks at Labcorp locations or $38 at CVS. And in April, the CDC granted emergency use authorization for the first at-home antibody test. All it takes is a simple finger stick to learn whether you’ve got antibodies. So why aren’t we doing widespread antibody testing to get a feel for the percentage of the population that has already been infected with COVID-19 and, as Fauci noted, contribute to reducing the level of risk? More than 34 million Americans have already been infected with COVID-19—in fact, the number is likely much, much higher—and may very well have antibodies that can protect them every bit as well as the vaccine can. So why the push to get a vaccine in every arm? And why isn’t anyone in our esteemed legacy media asking about this? Your guess is as good as mine.
If health officials, governors, schools, and businesses are going to continue to push for proof of vaccination in order for Americans to be allowed work, travel, or attend school, people previously infected with COVID-19 should be able to present proof of antibodies in lieu of a vaccination card.