BREAKING! New U.S. Study Shows That Natural Immunity Presents A Longer Window Of Protection Against COVID-19 Infection Compared To mRNA Jabs!
A new study by researchers from the University of Chicago-Illinois-USA and Providence Research Network-Washington-USA, which is part of one of the largest Healthcare groups in America called Providence, has found that those who never had received any COVID-19 jabs but contracted SARS-CoV-2 and developed natural immunity, tended to have a longer window of protection against another SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to those who have jab-induced immunity via mRNA shots.
To date, the risk of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection among individuals who had never received any COVID-19 jabs with prior COVID-19 is a subject of debate.
The study team performed a survival analysis in a large US population to assess the degree and duration of protection associated with natural immunity in individuals who had never received any COVID-10 jabs.
This new cohort study used data from patients tested for SARS-CoV-2 at 1300 sites of care in 6 western US states in the Providence health care system between October 1, 2020, and November 21, 2021.
For this study, patients who had never received any COVID-19 jabs and had symptoms consistent with COVID-19 at the time of testing were included. Beginning 90 days after their initial SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), patients were monitored for subsequent COVID-19, as determined by a positive SARS-CoV-2 NAAT result in the presence of symptoms.
The study team performed Cox proportional hazards regression to analyze COVID-19–free survival among patients with prior COVID-19 (positive for SARS-CoV-2 on their initial test [cases]) compared with patients who tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 on their initial test (controls), adjusting for age, sex, and race and ethnicity (based on medical record documentation).
Participants in the study were censored at their last primary care or inpatient visit during the study period (encounters in which clinicians consistently verified jab status using electronic medical record and outside data) or when they received a COVID-19 jab, died, or tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
The study team calculated the level of protection associated with prior COVID-19 as 1 minus the hazard ratio (HR) for COVID-19 among cases vs controls. The team also measured protection over time by calculating a 50-day rolling mean of the protection level and estimated 95% CIs with 1000 × bootstrap sampling.
The study approach was approved by the Providence institutional review board, which waived the informed consent requirement because the study was considered to have minimal risk. The study team followed the (STROBE) reporting guideline and used R, version 4.1.2 (R Foundation for Statistical Computing) for the statistical analysis.
The study team identified 24 043 cases and 97 572 controls; 2762 controls (2.8%) developed COVID-19 compared with 98 cases (0.4%). The findings show disease-free survival among cases and controls.
Interestingly, in the survival model, the HR among cases for developing COVID-19 was 0.15 (95% CI, 0.13-0.18); for hospitalization for COVID-19, 0.12 (95% CI, 0.08-0.18); and for COVID-19 not requiring hospitalization, 0.17 (95% CI, 0.13-0.21).
Importantly, the study findings showed that prior COVID-19 was associated with protection of 85% against any recurrent COVID-19, 88% against hospitalization for COVID-19, and 83% against C
OVID-19 not requiring hospitalization. Protection remained stable over the study period with no attenuation up to 9 months from initial infection.
The study concluded that among 121 615 patients with more than 10 million days of follow-up, individuals who never received any COVID-19 jabs with prior symptomatic COVID-19 had 85% lower risk of acquiring COVID-19 than individuals who had never received any COVID-19 jabs and also without prior COVID-19.
Interestingly, past studies investigating protection against SARS-CoV-2 reinfection found similar results, with protection associated with natural immunity ranging from 80.5% to 100%.
It was found that this level of protection is to a certain degree similar to that reported for mRNA jabs if not better. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34192428/
The study findings that patients with prior COVID-19 had 88% protection against hospitalization for COVID-19 and 83% protection against COVID-19 not requiring hospitalization suggest that natural immunity was associated with similar protection against mild and severe disease.
It was also found that mRNA jabs are associated with similar prolonged protection from severe COVID-19 as found in the study, although jab-associated protection from mild COVID-19 has been shown to wane at 6 months. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34619098/
Study limitations include possible COVID-19 testing or jabs at outside health care facilities, but undetected infection should have been balanced between cases and controls. Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 may behave differently from those without immunity, potentially confounding results. Strengths include large sample size, long duration of follow-up, and inclusion of only individuals who had never received any COVID-19 jabs with symptomatic COVID-19. The findings of this study may have important implications for vaccine policy and public health.
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed journal: JAMA Network Open. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2791312
It should be noted that the study was conducted before the emergence of the highly transmissible omicron variant in the United States.
Senior author of the study, Dr Ari Robicsek, M.D., Providence's chief medical analytics officer told Thailand Medical News
, “We found that, before the emergence of the omicron variant, natural immunity provided a similar degree of protection against COVID-19 infection as mRNA jabs. That said, jabs are considerably safer way to acquire that immunity."
The study was conducted by a team of expert clinicians and scientists within the Providence Research Network and involved the detailed examination of data from over 100,000 patients tested for SARS-COV-2 at 1,300 sites of care across Providence's extensive health care system between October 1, 2020 and November 1, 2021.
The study team observed that prior COVID-19 infection was 85% protective against reinfection and 88% protective against hospitalization, with protection from reinfection lasting for up to nine months following the initial infection, as far out as the team were able to study.
This new study, which is one of the largest of its type, exhibits the importance of connecting researchers with large scale health care data, and the influence an interconnected health system can have in understanding specific public health challenges.
This new study is unique not only in scale, but in its extensive follow-up period, and inclusion of only individuals who never received any COVID-19 jabs but were with symptomatic COVID-19.
Dr Amy Compton-Phillips, M.D., Providence's chief clinical officer further added, "This data is key to helping us understand the strength and longevity of natural immunity and allows us to compare the effectiveness of a prior infection with mRNA jabs. The results provide new insight into the length of protection following an initial infection among the population who have never received any COVID-19 jabs and could have important implications for jabs guidelines and public health policy."
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