Reports citing an early release of a CDC study are used to misrepresent information on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.
Some users on social media are using natural immunity from COVID-19 to push back on vaccine mandates and continue to confuse the public. A tweet shared by a user named Bryce Davidson claims that natural immunity can offer better protection than vaccines. The post links to an article published by Reuters to give credence to what he says. It also claims that booster shots won't help stop the spread of corona infection. According to a recent report by CDC, the natural immunity conferred better protection against the Delta variant, and the vaccine-induced immunity declined in many persons. It said the vaccines began wearing off just when the Delta variant became the dominant strain across the U.S. The protection offered by natural infection went up nine times during the peak of the Delta wave in California. But the study has many limitations that the user does not mention in his post. Those include misclassification of persons with undiagnosed infection and no information on the severity of initial infection. The study ended when many persons were eligible or received booster vaccine doses. CDC has consistently said that vaccines provide better protection and boost antibodies for people previously infected. It says vaccination remains the safest and primary strategy to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections, and booster shots offer the most robust protection against initial infection, severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Thus, it is evident that the information shared on Twitter was misrepresented using a non-peer-reviewed study and that vaccines are very much effective in combating the rapid spread of COVID-19 while reducing the severity of reinfections. The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.