[quote=“Conservative_frk, post:1216, topic:240034, full:true”]
Well, first pick studies which pass academic muster and go from there.
I keep seeing this claim that “natural” immunity is so much better than vaccination so I did a bit of extra research, because perhaps my previous learnings were off, perhaps we have learned a bit and now realize that prior infection is indeed quite powerful.
And it isn’t true.
None of this will matter to a lot of you, and if that is the case just scroll past the rest of my post. For those who are curious and open minded, this is for you.
When you vaccinate, you are targeting a specific portion of the virus which is used to connect with cell membranes, namely the spike protein. The vaccine is nothing more than messenger RNA (which the DNA of a cell also can make) that instructs the ribosomes of the cell to produce these proteins to let the cells know what they are and to create neutralizing antibodies against them before the real deal enters your body. Once the instructions are completed, the mRNA goes away, because it has a very short shelf life in your body, just a few days and it is gone.
The antibodies are specific and targeted, they are measurable and provide lasting protection against severe illness and death. The vaccinated can still get sick from COVID but much less so, and they can transmit COVID but for a much shorter duration than either prior COVID patients or the unvaccinated who have never had COVID.
Now, let’s look at the prior COVID patient and their antibody response.
There are two pathways your body fights infection, myeloid (bone marrow) and lymphoid (lymphatic system). Myeloid is always first, it tries to stem the infection by destroying all infected tissue via inflammation. Namely cytokines, or cell killers. Cytokine surges can shut your lungs down with inflammation filling the lungs with fluid, it can kill your sense of taste and smell, make your body ache, give you a fever. All inflammation.
At this point the lymphoid system is supposed to stop by, learn about the virus, and develop targeted antibodies against it. Sparing the tissue as a result.
The problem with COVID is that the lymphoid response has been appalling for many patients, it comes late or not at all. By the time it learns what it needs to learn the patient could be on a vent. This is why monoclonal antibodies are important, they give you time for the lymphoid to learn something before the myeloid response kills you.
Another problem can be that the myeloid response hits fast and the patient has only an asymptomatic or mild course for a day or so. The lymphoid never has a chance to learn anything. (Joe Rogan is at risk for this, he was only ill a day or so).
The last problem is that even if the lymphoid system creates antibodies, it creates them across the entire gamut of the cellular structure of the virus instead of a specific portion (like the spike protein) which offers the greatest defense.
And all of this can vary from patient to patient. Vaccines are precise, they elicit a strong immune response targeted specifically to the portion of the virus that offers the greatest protection to the patient. Prior infected COVID patients may not have any antibodies (all myeloid responses, mild infections) or antibodies that do not hinder viral replication if infected again. This is why the rate of reinfection of these patients are twice as high as the rate of infection with vaccinated people.
And the sheer lunacy of it all is that if the prior infected patient got a single mRNA shot, they would have hybrid immunity which is stronger than any other group and offers the best protection against COVID. The patient was fortunate to survive COVID, why risk ever dying from it? With a single shot they are the most protected person possible.
Of course, if you survive a terrible bout of COVID there is a fair chance the lymphoid response is eventually robust and those patients would have higher circulating neutralizing antibodies than a vaccinated person, but those folks are just lucky to be alive. Why risk it?