Horowitz: New studies show robust immunity in healthcare workers to COVID reinfection six months after infection


Almost a year after the start of this virus, it became clear that after a third of the inhabitants of this country had already contracted it, by some estimates, there is nothing we can do to stop it with non-pharmaceutical interventions. Yet as the government and media continue to promote the vaccine (and the masks, of course) with religious fervor, they act as if the natural infection itself confers little or no immunity. In fact, as with any virus, it probably confers more immunity than a vaccine.

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine by British scientists followed the antibody levels of 12,541 healthcare workers in Oxford University hospitals for six months. A total of 1,265 tested positive for antibodies at some point during the study period, of which 68% recall having had symptoms associated with SARS-CoV-2. They specifically observed the period of the second wave of infection to see if healthcare workers, who are disproportionately exposed to the virus compared to other people, would be reinfected.

The result? Not a single symptomatic reinfection, and only two people who had previously tested positive for antibodies ended up testing positive by PCR for presumed asymptomatic reinfection.

The important fact to remember is that immunity does not necessarily mean that the presence of the virus cannot be detected in your body afterwards. This usually means that an infected person, especially if they have at least one moderate case of it, will not experience significant or severe symptoms of re-infection. This is probably true for most viruses – whether the immunity has been passed on through an infection or a vaccine – but we don’t test 1 million people a day for other viruses. If we did, we would likely discover rare but measurable examples of asymptomatic “reinfection”.

Earlier this week, Texas MP Kay Granger tested positive for the virus despite the first round of the Pfizer vaccine. She had no symptoms. It is true that she had not yet received the second vaccine, however, in the same way that such findings should not be alarming for a vaccine, they should not be alarming for the natural immunity. In fact, this study shows a higher rate of immunity in people with a natural infection than what has been proven so far with the vaccine. But the government refuses even to consider the idea of ​​natural immunity against what has become an almost inevitable transmission of the virus anyway.

These findings are consistent with another recent UK study by researchers at Newcastle University published last week in the Journal of Infection. They detected 1,038 confirmed infections (through a mixture of antibody and PCR tests) among a pool of 11,103 health workers during the first wave of the virus from March 10 to July 6.

In the second fall wave, they retested 128 of the healthcare workers who had confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and 2,115 who did not. Although the sample size for this study is smaller, they did not find any new infections among those previously infected. At the same time, they observed a 13.7% infection rate among the group of people who were not previously infected.

None of the 1,038 healthcare workers who had confirmed previous infections showed symptoms during the second wave. In previously infected people, there was a median of 173 days between the date of the first confirmed positive result and the end point of the analysis period confirmed by a negative test, which would again show approximately six months of immunity and count.

Obviously, it will take more time to study the issue of long-term immunity, especially for those who have only caught the virus asymptomatically or who get it again asymptomatically, but the idea that someone could have a severe case twice is unfounded at this point and is very unlikely.

So far the hypothesis is that because the antibodies seem to decline after three months and are non-existent for the others who have been infected, there is no immunity. However, there is strong evidence that the body produces memory T cells that transmit long-term immunity long after the antibodies have worn off. Yes, it will take longer to definitively prove this fact, but why do our political leaders continue to make negative assumptions that always seem to challenge known precedents in immunobiology while promoting draconian and devastating policies based on those assumptions no proven and increasingly improbable?

“Oh, asymptomatic individuals are the source of the spread, although they usually never do, so we have to assume everyone is sick and quarantine everyone.”

“Oh, this virus doesn’t transmit immunity, so we have to do it forever.”

“Oh, the masks stop the spread of respiratory viruses, despite the universal belief that they didn’t and despite 9 months of them failed to stop the spread.”

Why is it incumbent upon us to conclude with certainty that these premises are false, instead of having to prove that their premises are correct? What happened to innocent people until their guilt was proven? They rely on social conditioning to ensure that a lie repeated enough times becomes true regardless of science.

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