Everything we see and hear is that the vaccine is the best protection against becoming infected with coronavirus. This was probably very sound advice several months ago. And, it is still good advice for a couple of months after you get the second shot. However, the mRNA vaccine degrades quickly and opens the door for infection six months later.
When we get the vaccine, we feel bullet-proof. We can return to our everyday lives. Yes, we might have to comply with some mask and social distance restrictions when we are out. But, at home, we can do what we want with our fully vaccinated family and friends. That bullet-proof mindset might be the reason for new COVID-19 cases.
Why? Because every day, more fully vaccinated people are losing their vaccine protection. The vaccine is very good at reducing symptoms and hospitalization. However, the reduction in symptoms also increases the risk of infecting others. Asymptomatic fully vaccinated people can infect others without ever knowing it.
The unvaccinated have done an excellent job keeping themselves free of the virus. Unfortunately, the vaccinated, with a bullet-proof mindset, may take more chances. We just passed the Thanksgiving holiday, and Christmas is closer than we thought.
Intimate family gatherings are planned for the end of this year. Do a vaccine check of family and friends and see how long ago each one had their last vaccine shot. If it was more than six months ago, that person is at high risk for catching and spreading COVID-19.
https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/24/health/covid-19-reinfection-is-rare-severe-disease-rarer/index.html. The New England Journal of Medicine reports that reinfection from COVID-19 is rare. Qatar has had coronavirus surges as every other country has during this pandemic. The population of Qatar is small, and over 40% of its citizens contracted the disease before the Delta variant showed up.
Reinfection has always been an unknown since the beginning of the pandemic. But, could a person get infected a second time? Would the symptoms be worse? And more.
To add to the difficulty in determining reinfection rates was the high false-positive rates of early testing. To accurately assess reinfection, researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar examined over 350,000 records of early surge infections and excluded nearly 90,000 of those who were subsequently vaccinated. The result was a hair over 1,300 reinfections with a median time of nine months from initial infection to reinfection.
The Good News
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2108120. Only four cases of reinfection resulted in hospitalization, and none of them required ICU treatment. There were no deaths in the group of reinfections. Scientists proposed that if these results were typical in Qatar, they were probably typical in other countries. Not every scientist agrees. However, it is hard to disagree with four hospitalizations in 1,300-plus reinfections.
Mutations occur. We are in the waning phases of the Delta variant, and a couple of days ago, the Omicron variant from South Africa was reported as a variant of concern. Where would we be without something else to worry about. Regardless, mutations make early assessments less predictable in future planning.
What About Natural Immunity
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2776810?guestAccessKey=3e87dda5-1626-4a94-8716-5b73e3534d44&utm_source=For_The_Media&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ftm_links&utm_content=tfl&utm_term=022421. I find it interesting that the focus on vaccines almost disregards natural immunity from surviving the virus.
An mRNA vaccine views a tiny sliver of the coronavirus spike. The spike contains around 1,300 glycoproteins (https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2020.576622/full). Vaccine manufacturers have not announced how many glycoproteins are present in their mRNA vaccines.
The vaccine trains our immune system to see a specific sequence of glycoproteins and immediately identifies it as an invader that needs immediate attention.
This tiny view of the coronavirus spike can become a problem when the virus mutates. The increased infection rate of the Delta variant is blamed on the vaccine not being as successful in recognizing it when the virus enters the body. No mention of the degradation of the vaccine over time was ever suggested as a cause of the Delta surge.
A person with naturally acquired immunity has an advantage over the vaccine. The immune system of a survivor has seen the entire spike and the body of the invading COVID-10 virus. This view is held in the immune system archives.
A minor change of 30 glycoproteins as seen in the current Omicron variant would not be seen in a survivor of COVID-19. However, those 30 mutational changes might be a problem for an mRNA vaccine with only a limited view of the viral spike. There was talk a while back about modifying boosters to replicate the mutations of severe variants to enhance the vaccine’s protective ability.
Another interesting point is the absolute authority the FDA/CDC states the vaccine is superior to naturally acquired immunity. No one knows how long the vaccine lasts. We do know it is less than 50% effective after six months. The booster shot is probably no better. Yes, there has not been enough time to determine how long natural acquired immunity exists, but to say that it gives little value is disingenuous.
Immunity varies by individual and by the severity of infections. The level of antibodies required to ward off future COVID-like infections is unknown, whether from a vaccine or naturally acquired immunity. Time will tell, but now we do not know for sure. We know from the Qatar study that reinfection occurs, severe symptoms are rare, and hospitalizations are even rarer.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com