According to a recent study published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly everyone in the United States has some form of protection against COVID-19.
The new CDC study analyzed blood donations from 142,748 individuals aged 16 and older between July and September 2022. The researchers found that 96.4 percent of the donors had evidence of antibodies against COVID-19, indicating prior infection, vaccination, or both.
Comparing the data to earlier periods, the study revealed an increase in the percentage of people with antibodies. The figure rose from 93.5 percent during January to March 2022 and 68.4 percent in mid-2021. Of those with antibodies, approximately 26 percent had antibodies solely from vaccination, 22.6 percent had antibodies solely from prior infection, and 47.7 percent had antibodies from both vaccination and prior infection.
This tracks with exclusive reporting here that nearly everyone in the United States had been exposed to Covid-19 by December 2022. The nucleocapsid antibodies (as opposed to spike antibodies) result from exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. As of the data in November 2022, the nucleocapsid antibodies in the United States ranged between 63% (Puerto Rico) to 97% (Utah). Currently in the U.S., the XBB subvariants of the Omicron variant are predominant.
The study also noted that infection-induced immunity was more prevalent among the unvaccinated individuals in the cohort. The presence of antibodies, whether acquired through infection or vaccination, likely contributes to lower rates of severe disease and death from COVID-19 compared to the early stages of the pandemic.
While the CDC continues to express unwavering support for Covid mRNA vaccinations for all Americans, regardless of prior infection, age, health status, or comorbidities, the benefits of natural immunity from prior infection to Covid-19 has been proven without a debt, and is consistent with medical experience from viral pandemics over the course of centuries.
The New England Journal of Medicine published a study in June 2022 showing that natural immunity is more effective than vaccinated immunity alone.
Natural immunity “protection was higher than that conferred after the same time had elapsed since receipt of a second dose of vaccine among previously uninfected persons,” the study concluded.
Johns Hopkins University found in a landmark study published in January 2022 that 99% of unvaccinated people who had Covid infections gained robust “natural immunity” that did not diminish for at least 650 days.
The Ministry of Health in Israel recently reported there were zero deaths among individuals aged 18-49 with no underlying health conditions. A study in nature immunology in December 2021 showed that children have an even more robust natural immunity response than adults.
“SARS-CoV-2 infection is generally mild or asymptomatic in children but a biological basis for this outcome is unclear,” the study’s authors state in the abstract. “Here we compare antibody and cellular immunity in children (aged 3–11 years) and adults. Antibody responses against spike protein were high in children and seroconversion boosted responses against seasonal Beta-coronaviruses through cross-recognition of the S2 domain. Neutralization of viral variants was comparable between children and adults.”
“Spike-specific T cell responses were more than twice as high in children and were also detected in many seronegative children, indicating pre-existing cross-reactive responses to seasonal coronaviruses,” the study states. “Importantly, children retained antibody and cellular responses 6 months after infection, whereas relative waning occurred in adults. Spike-specific responses were also broadly stable beyond 12 months.”
“Therefore, children generate robust, cross-reactive and sustained immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 with focused specificity for the spike protein,” the study notes. “These findings provide insight into the relative clinical protection that occurs in most children and might help to guide the design of pediatric vaccination regimens.”
Dr. Marty Makary, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, authored a powerful article on the “high cost of disparaging natural immunity to Covid.”
“Public-health officials ruined many lives by insisting that workers with natural immunity to Covid-19 be fired if they weren’t fully vaccinated,” Dr. Makary writes. “But after two years of accruing data, the superiority of natural immunity over vaccinated immunity is clear. By firing staff with natural immunity, employers got rid of those least likely to infect others. It’s time to reinstate those employees with an apology.”
“For most of last year, many of us called for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to release its data on reinfection rates, but the agency refused,” he added. “Finally last week, the CDC released data from New York and California, which demonstrated natural immunity was 2.8 times as effective in preventing hospitalization and 3.3 to 4.7 times as effective in preventing Covid infection compared with vaccination.”
“Yet the CDC spun the report to fit its narrative, bannering the conclusion ‘vaccination remains the safest strategy’,” he continued. “It based this conclusion on the finding that hybrid immunity—the combination of prior infection and vaccination—was associated with a slightly lower risk of testing positive for Covid. But those with hybrid immunity had a similar low rate of hospitalization (3 per 10,000) to those with natural immunity alone. In other words, vaccinating people who had already had Covid didn’t significantly reduce the risk of hospitalization.”
“Similarly, the National Institutes of Health repeatedly has dismissed natural immunity by arguing that its duration is unknown—then failing to conduct studies to answer the question,” Dr. Makary noted. “Because of the NIH’s inaction, my Johns Hopkins colleagues and I conducted the study.”
“We found that among 295 unvaccinated people who previously had Covid, antibodies were present in 99% of them up to nearly two years after infection,” he said. “We also found that natural immunity developed from prior variants reduced the risk of infection with the Omicron variant. Meanwhile, the effectiveness of the two-dose Moderna vaccine against infection (not severe disease) declines to 61% against Delta and 16% against Omicron at six months, according to a recent Kaiser Southern California study. In general, Pfizer’s Covid vaccines have been less effective than Moderna’s.”
“The CDC study and ours confirm what more than 100 other studies on natural immunity have found: The immune system works,” he concluded. “The largest of these studies, from Israel, found that natural immunity was 27 times as effective as vaccinated immunity in preventing symptomatic illness.”