Another Study Finds That Natural Immunity Protects Better Against Infection Than Pfizer Vaccine, by Noah Carl

After six months a big bowl of chicken soup gives you more protection against infection than Pfizer’s vaccine, and with chicken soup you enjoy the booster. From Noah Carl at dailyskeptic.org:

At the end of August, a study was published showing that natural immunity provides much better protection against infection than the Pfizer vaccine. It was described by UCL’s Francois Balloux as “a bit of a bombshell”.

Subsequent studies have compared natural and vaccine-induced immunity at the cellular level. One found that infection-induced antibodies “exhibited superior stability and cross-variant neutralisation breadth” than vaccine-induced antibodies, suggesting that people who’d already been infected had better immunity against the then-novel Delta variant.

However, as I noted in my write-up of the “bombshell” study, its findings still needed to be replicated. After all, certain datasets or methods of analysis can sometimes yield quirky results, which don’t survive independent empirical tests.

Encouragingly, the findings now have been replicated – by another team of Israeli researchers, using a different dataset.

In the latest study, Yair Goldberg and colleagues tracked all the individuals in their dataset (of people in Israel) who had tested positive or received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine before 1st July, 2021. They then compared the number of infections in previously infected versus vaccinated individuals from August to September of 2021.

The researchers also examined the number of infections among those with so-called ‘hybrid immunity’ – i.e., previously infected individuals who got vaccinated.

For each of the three groups, they counted the number of infections and the number of days ‘at risk’ (i.e., the total number of people multiplied by the number of days on which they were ‘at risk’ of becoming infected). Adjustments were made for age, sex, ethnicity, calendar week and a measure of risk exposure.

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