Covid-19 brought about an age of misinformation like never before. With this, the responsibility of journalists to provide informed, well-researched and objective news to the public has never been of more paramount importance. This article by Marc Girardot, a member of PANDA, is loaded with hyperlinks – each of which provide the source of those facts asserted in the article. The links and pictures are an integral part of this article, which takes a deep dive into the issue of natural immunity and Covid-19 vaccination. This article is not and should not be construed as ‘anti-vax’. Rather, it provides evidence of natural immunity. It is impeccably researched and well worth reading. – Nadya Swart
Should people who have recovered from COVID take a vaccine?
By Marc Girardot*
A British friend, recovered from COVID, decided to get vaccinated despite being naturally immune. This is the email he recently sent me:
“Marc I suffered a mild stroke on Wednesday 8 days after taking the Astrazeneca 2nd dose. Since I am a marathon runner I am a very ‘rare case’. I don’t smoke, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history or come into any of the risk categories for blood clots…
You did warn me against taking the second dose and I wished I’d heeded your advice. I’ve taken a totally unnecessary risk with my life and I bitterly regret doing it.”
Contrary to most, Tony was informed; he had been told about the power of natural immunity, about the long – if not lifelong – duration of immunity, of the risk inherent to any medical procedure (yes, vaccination is a medical procedure!), as well as of the rising levels of adverse events. He admitted he hadn’t imagined it could happen to him…
Though it is hard to assess precisely the actual severity and breadth of vaccine-related adverse events, it is very clear that vaccination against COVID-19 isn’t as harmless as pharmaceuticals, mainstream media, academia, health authorities and the medical community have been saying. And, in contrast to high risk individuals who are still susceptible, recovered people have no real benefit to balance the additional risks of vaccination.
For over a year, mainstream media, health authorities as well as many “experts” have been downplaying the power of the immune system, dismissing natural immunity and proclaiming that immunity to COVID-19 was short-lived. Simultaneously, vaccines have been portrayed as the silver bullet to this crisis, an incidental procedure with no risk whatsoever. The data shows a different picture and many are coming forward, to challenge the official narrative. We will demonstrate that this is a fallacy.
The human immune system is one of the most sophisticated achievements of evolution. The survival of our species has depended on it for millenia. And today, we are still very much relying on it. For the record, 99% of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 recover without treatment. Only 1% of SARS-CoV-2 patients, who did not receive early home-based treatment, end up hospitalised. In other words, the immune system overwhelmingly protects. Even vaccines depend entirely on the immune system: vaccines essentially teach our immune systems what viral markers to be prepared for, they are not cures per se. Without a functional immune system, there can be no effective vaccine.
On the waning immunity fallacy
Once recovered, the immune response recedes, notably via a decrease in antibodies. It is not only natural; it is indispensable to restore the body to a normal balanced state. Just as a permanent state of fever would be harmful, a high number of targetless antibodies or T-cells constantly circulating throughout the body could create serious complications such as autoimmune diseases. Taking an evolutionary perspective, only those whose antibody and T-cells count waned post-infection survived. So, a dropping number of antibodies and T-cells is reassuring, even healthy.
But this decrease in T-cells and antibodies doesn’t mean at all that immunity is gone. It means the immune system has adapted to the new situation, and is now just on sentinel mode: Memory B- and T-cells, circulating in the blood and resident in tissues, act as vigilant and effective sentinels for decades:
- survivors of the Spanish Flu epidemic were tested for their immunity to the 1918 influenza virus 90 years after, and still demonstrated immunity;
- people recovered from the 2003 SARS infection demonstrated robust T-Cell responses seventeen years later;
- the wide-spread prevalence of high cross-immunity – gained from past common cold infections – further demonstrates the resilience of natural immunity for coronaviruses.
Indeed, all recent studies show the specific anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunity remains effective – possibly for a lifetime. Our immune system is a modular platform, it can combine in an infinite number of ways to address a multitude of threats in a variety of contexts. As such, it is neutral to the viral threats it faces. In other words, there is absolutely no reason to believe that those recovered from Covid-19 would lose their immunity over the years, or even the decades to come.
On the reinfection fallacy
You might have also heard of people becoming reinfected by SARS-CoV-2. Indeed, immunity, natural or vaccine-induced, isn’t the impenetrable shield described by many. Essentially harmless and asymptomatic reinfections do take place. That is, in fact, the very mechanism by which adaptive immunity is triggered.
However, symptomatic reinfections are very rare. Like an army which adapts its response to the size and the progression of its enemy forces, adaptive immunity provides a specific, rapid and resource-optimised response. As such, reinfections are mostly asymptomatic and recovered patients are protected from severe disease.
In fact, innocuous reinfections can play a positive public health role as continuous immune updates of the population. They can help a seamless and progressive adaptation to emerging new variants and strains. And indeed a recent study showed that couples with children were more frequently asymptomatic than couples without, most likely because children acted as natural and harmless immunisation vehicles. The likely reason high density countries all have very low death tolls is that they have asymptomatic reinfections that regularly and widely update the immunity of the population.