Scientists have clarified that vaccine-induced immunity is more standardized and can be longer-lasting than natural immunity.
An article published by the website Red Voice Media claims that Pfizer scientists have stated that natural immunity against COVID-19 is better than vaccine-induced immunity. The claim is false as no such announcement has been made by scientists working at Pfizer. The assertion that natural immunity offers stronger protection than vaccines is also erroneous.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has studied COVID-19 infections among those previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 and found that unvaccinated individuals were more than twice as likely to be reinfected with COVID-19 than those who were fully vaccinated after initially contracting the virus. "These data further indicate that COVID-19 vaccines offer better protection than natural immunity alone and that vaccines, even after prior infection, help prevent reinfections," the CDC study said.
WHO's Chief Scientist, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan clarified in an interview that people who have been infected with COVID-19 need to get vaccinated because the immune response varies from person to person and it depends on whether the infection was mild or severe. "We know from many studies now that if you've had a very mild or asymptomatic infection, then many people may have very low levels of antibodies that they form. So this is why we still recommend that even if you've had COVID infection, that you should go ahead and take the vaccination when it's available to you because the vaccine then serves as a boost to the immune system," she said.
Elaborating further on the difference between natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity, Dr. Swaminathan said, "The type of immunity that's developed after natural infection varies from person to person, and it's very difficult to predict. Vaccines have been standardized in terms of the dose of the antigen that's being administered, and this was based on many clinical trials that have been done. And so when someone receives a vaccine, we can be fairly confident and predict the kind of immune response they will get - of course in the majority of people. So that's the main difference between natural infection-induced immunity and vaccine-induced immunity."
Infectious diseases expert Mark Rupp was quoted in Nebraska Medicine as saying, "Natural immunity can be spotty. Some people can react vigorously and get a great antibody response. Other people don't get such a great response. Clearly, vaccine-induced immunity is more standardized and can be longer-lasting." The report also stated that more than a third of COVID-19 infections result in zero protective antibodies and natural immunity fades faster than vaccine immunity.
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.