Once infected, protected against all variants; recovered do not need vaccination – Qatar study

A large preprint study shows that covid infection, regardless of the variant, protects against a severe course in the long term. The protection does not diminish.

Covid vaccination, Once infected, protected against all variants; recovered do not need vaccination – Qatar study

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The main selling point of the Covid vaccine is that it is supposed to protect against severe disease progression, which pharma-friendly policies claim is beyond that of an infection.

However, a large preprint study now refutes this account. It shows that covid infection, regardless of the variant, protects against a severe course in the long term. The protection does not diminish.

Read also: Check out our coverage on curated alternative narratives

The Qatar study was based on three retrospective matched cohort studies and compared the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and severity of illness in unvaccinated persons with a documented primary SARS-CoV-2 infection with the incidence in infection-naive and unvaccinated persons.

Once infected, protected against all variants. (Photo internet reproduction)
Once infected, protected against all variants. (Photo internet reproduction)

The result: prior infection does not protect 100 percent against becoming infected again – but it does protect against becoming severely ill.

The authors summarize:

The efficacy of pre-Omicron primary infection versus pre-Omicron reinfection was 85.5% (95% CI: 84.8-86.2%). Efficacy peaked at 90.5% (95% CI: 88.4-92.3%) at month seven after primary infection but declined to ~70% by month 16. Extrapolation of this decreasing trend using a Gompertz curve showed an efficacy of 50% at month 22 and <10% at month 32. The effectiveness of pre-Omicron primary infection versus Omicron reinfection was 38.1% (95% CI: 36.3-39.8%) and decreased with time since primary infection. A Gompertz curve indicated <10% efficacy by month 15.

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Thus, protection against reinfection declines over the years – with the particular variants also playing a role. According to the study, those infected with an “older” variant had less protection against becoming infected with the newer Omicron variant.

Since vaccination offers no protection against infection (or, at best, a guard that fades within a few weeks), protection against disease through natural immunity is superior.

Much more relevant, however, is the risk of becoming severely ill with Covid-19. And here, according to the analysis, a prior infection is unbeatable:

The efficacy of primary infection against severe, critical, or fatal COVID-19 reinfection was 97.3% (95% CI: 94.9-98.6%), regardless of the variant of primary infection or reinfection, and with no evidence of waning. Similar results were found in subgroup analyses for those ≥ 50 years of age.

Source

Thus, those once infected with SARS-CoV-2 have a minimal risk of becoming severely ill if reinfection occurs (if it does). This protection is independent of variants and does not diminish over time.

The authors are at pains to praise vaccinations in this aspect as well. However, even if one assumes a 97% protection against severe disease in vaccinated persons (unfortunately, the reality in clinics does not support this assumption).

Based on these data, there is no justification whatsoever why a recovered person should additionally vaccinate himself and run the risk of vaccination side effects.

In their discussion, the authors point out that Qatar has a relatively young population overall, and generalizability to older people may be limited. However, additional analyses were conducted for those individuals older than 50 – and the result remained the same.

Download study here.