Q&A Of The Day - How Do COVID-19 Vaccines Compare To Natural Immunity? Part 2
Bottom Line: On the surface it might seem odd that any vaccine might have greater efficacy against any strain of COVID-19 than natural immunity, however in practical application it’s logical. When scientists are cooking up vaccines, they’re often not just attempting to target the existing contagion, often they’re casting as wide of a net as possible to account for mutations. This is especially true of annual flu vaccines. This stands in contrast to natural immunity in which your body develops antibodies to specifically target the contagion it’s attempting to combat. Where natural immunity was/is most effective in combating COVID-19 is against the original strain of the coronavirus.
In June, a study conducted by the University of Missouri School of Medicine, found natural immunity for prevention of infection against the original strain of COVID-19 was greater than 99% after 3.5 months. That’s more effective than the two most effective vaccines available – Moderna and Pfizer at approximately 95% efficacy against the original strain. Where, based on the NIH sponsored study, the vaccines may prove more effective than natural immunity from the original COVID-19 strain is against the variants including Delta. If that study proves right, here’s the order of available protection against Delta.
- Moderna/Pfizer vaccine
- Natural immunity from having previously contracted COVID-19
- J&J Vaccine?
It stands to reason that once one has contracted the Delta variant, natural immunity would be the most effective against it going forward, however with the same potential limitations against future variants. What still wasn’t clear or determined to any meaningful degree in either of the studies I cited, is the duration of the efficacy of natural immunity or vaccines. The conclusion of this research illustrates the likely benefit for those who’ve had COVID-19 getting vaccinated and specifically with a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.