A study involving thousands of people in Israel came out with findings that say “people who have been previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 and are unvaccinated may have stronger long-term protection than those who have been vaccinated with two Pfizer doses but were never previously infected with the virus.”
However, specialists warn that this shouldn’t be a reason to find ways to get infected on purpose.
The study was conducted on thousands of people in Israel where they were divided into three groups: 673,000 people who received a two-dose regimen of the BioNTech/Pfizer mRNA vaccine,
62,883 previously infected individuals who have never been vaccinated, and 42,099 previously infected individuals who received a single dose of the vaccine.
They were then compared based on four outcomes — SARS-CoV-2 infection, symptomatic disease, COVID-19-related hospitalization, and death — that were registered between June 1 and August 14, 2021.
During this period of time, the Delta variant was becoming more and more dominant in Israel.
The research subjects were to be monitored within six months, and these were the findings: those who acquired immunity by vaccination had an increased risk for a breakthrough infection, as well as an increased risk for symptomatic disease, and were more likely to be hospitalized.
Another detail the experiment found out is that vaccines still work. The report says “Out of more than 600,000 vaccinated individuals, only 238 individuals became infected — that’s just 0.039% recorded infections, which shows that vaccines were incredibly (99.96%) effective at preventing infection en masse despite the spread of the highly infectious Delta.”
Additionally, there were only 8 hospitalizations recorded in the vaccinated group while only 1 in the non vaccinated group, with no deaths recorded until the end of the investigation.
After the experiment, experts conclude by saying, “Natural immunity affords longer-lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization due to the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, compared to the BNT162b2 two-dose vaccine-induced immunity. (…)
The long-term protection provided by a third dose, recently administered in Israel, is still unknown.”
Despite this recent discovery, researchers advocate for people to get the vaccine as this is the safest way to get immunity. With more COVID variants floating around, people should take the means closest to them at the moment and keep safe.