(Natural News) A study found that natural immunity confers protection against the omicron variant of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). The finding came out as omicron, which also infects the fully vaccinated, became the dominant strain in the United States.
The study pre-published on Feb. 13 in medRxiv looked at the medical records of 39,766 employees working at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. To ensure accurate data, the study authors scrutinized the records of Cleveland Clinic staff employed since Dec. 16, 2020. A large percentage of employees in the hospital had received two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, while a smaller percentage was yet to be injected.
“Natural immunity from prior infection is more robust than immunity acquired through vaccination. Additionally, individuals previously infected with COVID-19 retain substantial protection against the omicron variant for at least six months in the absence of vaccination,” the study authors wrote.
The researchers also pointed out that individuals who catch COVID-19 six months prior and did not get vaccinated had a lower re-infection risk compared to those who caught COVID-19 more than six months earlier and got injected. “This suggests that natural immunity acquired from an earlier variant of COVID-19 provides substantial protection against the omicron variant for at least six months, even in the absence of a vaccine,” they noted.
“Among individuals with natural immunity from prior infection, those who received two doses had a higher risk of COVID-19 than those who received a single dose and a risk that was no lower than those who received no vaccine.” (Related: 30-plus studies prove that natural immunity is the best defense against covid.)
Lead study author and infectious disease physician Dr. Nabin Shrestha told the Epoch Times in an emailed statement: “During the time when the omicron variant was the predominant strain causing infection, prior COVID-19 provided effective protection against infection for at least six months. Prior infection should be considered at least as protective in protecting against future infection as two doses of an mRNA vaccine.”
Vaccine makers insist people need more injections
“For those who had no prior infection with COVID-19, vaccinating with more than one dose of vaccine provided no advantage over a single dose of vaccine in protecting against the omicron variant. If someone did get infected and survived, the protection they have acquired from natural infection should be acknowledged,” Shrestha added.
However, executives from the two mRNA vaccine manufacturers – Pfizer and Moderna – have defended the need for subsequent COVID-19 doses against the omicron variant.
Back in December 2021, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla predicted the need for a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose amid omicron’s spread. His prediction followed initial results from Pfizer’s preliminary research showing omicron’s ability to bypass antibodies from the company’s mRNA vaccine co-developed with German company BioNTech.
“[The first point:] When we see real-world data, [it] will determine if the omicron [strain] is well covered by the third dose and for how long. And the second point: I think we will need a fourth dose. With omicron, we need to wait and see because we have very little information. We may need it faster,” he said during a Dec. 8 appearance in the CNBC program “Squawk Box.”
The following month, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel also predicted that people would need to be injected with a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose. “I still believe we’re going to need boosters in the fall of  and forward,” he said during a Jan. 6 health conference sponsored by investment firm Goldman Sachs.
According to Bancel, a fourth vaccine shot would become necessary given the likely decline of the protection conferred by the third vaccine doses. He continued that older people and those with underlying health conditions might need to be injected with boosters on a yearly basis.
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