Natural Immunity Works Better Than COVID Vaccines: New England Journal of Medicine

AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File

Natural immunity works, oftentimes better than vaccines do, according to a massive new study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

If you missed the news, you’re not alone. The news broke during the busy Thanksgiving holiday, allowing outlets like CNN to publish on Thanksgiving Day when many people (including Yours Truly!) don’t bother reading the news.

The study’s authors examined 353,326 COVID cases in Qatar from February of 2020 through April of this year. The study left out around 87,500 who had been vaccinated with one or two shots.

Of those third-of-a-million people who had been infected once but never been vaccinated, only 1,304 were identified as having been infected a second time.

That’s a reinfection rate of about one-third of one percent, or fewer than four in a thousand.

In the U.S., “Epic Health Research Network’s cumulative data show about 1.2% of fully vaccinated people had a breakthrough case,” according to the Wall Street Journal last week. That’s significantly larger than the share of those with natural immunity in Qatar but also doesn’t differentiate between those who had been sick before getting vaccinated and those who had not.


Reinfections had 90% lower odds of resulting in hospitalization or death than primary infections. Four reinfections were severe enough to lead to acute care hospitalization. None led to hospitalization in an ICU, and none ended in death. Reinfections were rare and were generally mild, perhaps because of the primed immune system after primary infection.

The authors concluded that “the risk of having a severe reinfection is only approximately 1% of the risk of a previously uninfected person having a severe primary infection.”

Again, that’s without a single jab, much less two.

The odds against you getting sick — and if you do, of becoming dangerously sick — are better if you do get vaccinated.

But, if like nearly 50 million Americans (officially, the real tally is probably much higher) you’ve already been infected with COVID-19, your “need” for the jab is probably quite low.

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The authors also wonder “whether such protection against severe disease at reinfection lasts for a longer period, analogous to the immunity that develops against other seasonal ‘common-cold’ coronaviruses, which elicit short-term immunity against mild reinfection but longer-term immunity against more severe illness with reinfection.”

Only time will tell, literally.

But if the COVID-19 virus evolution follows the same pattern as those common-cold coronaviruses, then “the virus (or at least the variants studied to date) could adopt a more benign pattern of infection when it becomes endemic.”

Over time — as I’ve written for PJ Media on multiple occasions — a virus tends to become more infectious but less deadly. To date, that’s the case with the delta variant and now perhaps with omicron, too.

Granted, the results of a similar study, if it were conducted in the U.S., wouldn’t be as stellar. The COVID-19 virus feeds mainly on the elderly, the obese, and the vitamin D deficient. Your typical Qatari is less likely to be old, fat, or lacking D than an average American is.

Nevertheless, the Qatari study is one more strong indicator against a vaccine mandate (assuming it is constitutional, an assumption I find dubious), particularly a mandate on those who have already been infected.

The good news is, Presidentish Joe Biden seems to have given up on further lockdowns. And yet, he’s still committed to his evidence-free vaccine mandate.

It’s been clear since April of last year, when “two weeks to flatten the curve” became something much longer and more sinister, that the COVID/vaccine hysteria was nothing more than an unprecedented political power grab.

It’s past time to grab that power back, and the Qatari study shows why.


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