B. Does prior infection offer durable immunity?
The major caveat here is that this study from Israel is still awaiting peer review, but the implications would be big if confirmed. From Bloomberg
People who recovered from a bout of Covid-19 during one of the earlier waves of the pandemic appear to have a lower risk of contracting the delta variant than those who got two doses of the vaccine from Pfizer Inc.
and BioNTech SE
The largest real-world analysis
comparing natural immunity – gained from an earlier infection – to the protection provided by one of the most potent vaccines currently in use showed that reinfections were much less common. The paper from researchers in Israel contrasts with earlier studies, which showed that immunizations offered better protection than an earlier infection, though those studies were not of the delta variant.
I’ve seen 2 reactions to this, both of which seem motivated more by prior beliefs than anything else:
- You read this and are immediately skeptical, and people who’ve been infected before should still get vaccinated.
- You read this and use it to justify why vaccines should not be mandated or maybe even recommended.
To be clear, I am in camp #1. BUT, if the results of this study are confirmed, this is hard to see as anything other than good news. Very morbidly, we’re simply running out of bodies for this virus to touch.
More likely than not, we’re all getting exposed to this virus at some point; you can either be very provably protected (via vaccination) or not. If this study is confirmed, either path you choose (and assuming you survive round 1), you should be pretty okay when you reencounter the virus. That’s a good thing.