by BROWNSTONE INSTITUTE
From the beginning of the March 2020 lockdowns for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the subject of natural immunity (also called post-infection immunity) has been neglected. Once the vaccination became widely available, what began with near silence at the beginning turned nearly into a complete blackout of the topic.
Even now, there is an absence of open discussion, presumably in the interests of promoting universal vaccination and required documentation of such vaccination as a condition of participating in public life and even the jobs marketplace. Still, the science exists. Many studies exist. Their authors deserve credit, recognition, and to have their voices heard.
These studies demonstrate what was and is already known: natural immunity for a SARS-type virus is robust, long-lasting, and broadly effective even in the case of mutations, generally more so than vaccines. In fact, a major contribution of 20th-century science has been to expand upon and further elucidate this principle that has been known since the ancient world. Every expert presumably knew this long before the current debates. The effort to pretend otherwise is a scientific scandal of the highest order, especially because the continued neglect of the topic is affecting the rights and freedoms of billions of people.
People who have contracted the virus and recovered deserve recognition. For that matter, people who prefer an exposure risk to the virus in order to gain robust immunity deserve the freedom to make that choice. The realization that natural immunity – which pertains now to perhaps half of the US population and billions around the world – is effective in providing protection should have a dramatic effect on vaccine mandates.
Individuals whose livelihoods and liberties are being deprecated and deleted need access to the scientific literature as it pertains to this virus. They should send a link to this page far and wide. The scientists have not been silent; they just haven’t received the public attention they deserve. The preparation of this list was assisted by links provided by Paul Elias Alexander and Rational Ground’s own cheat sheet on natural immunity, which also includes links to popular articles on the topic.
1. One-year sustained cellular and humoral immunities of COVID-19 convalescents, by Jie Zhang, Hao Lin, Beiwei Ye, Min Zhao, Jianbo Zhan, et al. Clinical Infectious Diseases, October 5, 2021. “SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG antibodies, and also NAb can persist among over 95% COVID-19 convalescents from 6 months to 12 months after disease onset. At least 19/71 (26%) of COVID-19 convalescents (double positive in ELISA and MCLIA) had detectable circulating IgM antibody against SARS-CoV-2 at 12m post-disease onset. Notably, the percentages of convalescents with positive SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses (at least one of the SARS-CoV-2 antigen S1, S2, M and N protein) were 71/76 (93%) and 67/73 (92%) at 6m and 12m, respectively. Furthermore, both antibody and T-cell memory levels of the convalescents were positively associated with their disease severity.”
2. Comparing SARS-CoV-2 natural immunity to vaccine-induced immunity: reinfections versus breakthrough infections, by Sivan Gazit, Roei Shlezinger, Galit Perez, Roni Lotan, Asaf Peretz, Amir Ben-Tov, Dani Cohen, Khitam Muhsen, Gabriel Chodick, Tal Patalon. MedRxiv, August 25, 2021. “Our analysis demonstrates that SARS-CoV-2-naïve vaccinees had a 13.06-fold increased risk for breakthrough infection with the Delta variant compared to those previously infected, when the first event (infection or vaccination) occurred during January and February of 2021. The increased risk was significant for a symptomatic disease as well…. This analysis demonstrated that 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.”
3. Shedding of Infectious SARS-CoV-2 Despite Vaccination, by Kasen K. Riemersma, Brittany E. Grogan, Amanda Kita-Yarbro, Gunnar E. Jeppson, David H. O’Connor, Thomas C. Friedrich, Katarina M. Grande, MedRxiv, August 24, 2021. “The SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant might cause high viral loads, is highly transmissible, and contains mutations that confer partial immune escape. Outbreak investigations suggest that vaccinated persons can spread Delta. We compared RT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct) data from 699 swab specimens collected in Wisconsin 29 June through 31 July 2021 and tested with a qualitative assay by a single contract laboratory. Specimens came from residents of 36 counties, most in southern and southeastern Wisconsin, and 81% of cases were not associated with an outbreak. During this time, estimated prevalence of Delta variants in Wisconsin increased from 69% to over 95%. Vaccination status was determined via self-reporting and state immunization records.”
4. Necessity of COVID-19 vaccination in previously infected individuals, by Nabin K. Shrestha, Patrick C. Burke, Amy S. Nowacki, Paul Terpeluk, Steven M. Gordon, MedRxiv, June 5, 2021. “Individuals who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to benefit from COVID-19 vaccination, and vaccines can be safely prioritized to those who have not been infected before.”
5. Large-scale study of antibody titer decay following BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine or SARS-CoV-2 infection, by Ariel Israel, Yotam Shenhar, Ilan Green, Eugene Merzon, Avivit Golan-Cohen, Alejandro A Schäffer, Eytan Ruppin, Shlomo Vinker, Eli Magen. MedRxiv, August 22, 2021. “This study demonstrates individuals who received the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine have different kinetics of antibody levels compared to patients who had been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, with higher initial levels but a much faster exponential decrease in the first group.”
6. Discrete Immune Response Signature to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccination Versus Infection, by Ellie Ivanova, Joseph Devlin, et al. Cell, May 2021. “While both infection and vaccination induced robust innate and adaptive immune responses, our analysis revealed significant qualitative differences between the two types of immune challenges. In COVID-19 patients, immune responses were characterized by a highly augmented interferon response which was largely absent in vaccine recipients.”
7. SARS-CoV-2 infection induces long-lived bone marrow plasma cells in humans, by Jackson S. Turner, Wooseob Kim, Elizaveta Kalaidina, Charles W. Goss, Adriana M. Rauseo, Aaron J. Schmitz, Lena Hansen, Alem Haile, Michael K. Klebert, Iskra Pusic, Jane A. O’Halloran, Rachel M. Presti, Ali H. Ellebedy. Nature, May 24, 2021. “This study sought to determine whether infection with SARS-CoV-2 induces antigen-specific long-lived BMPCs in humans. We detected SARS-CoV-2 S-specific BMPCs in bone marrow aspirates from 15 out of 19 convalescent individuals, and in none from the 11 control participants…. Overall, our results are consistent with SARS-CoV-2 infection eliciting a canonical T-cell-dependent B cell response, in which an early transient burst of extrafollicular plasmablasts generates a wave of serum antibodies that decline relatively quickly. This is followed by more stably maintained levels of serum antibodies that are supported by long-lived BMPCs.”
8. Longitudinal analysis shows durable and broad immune memory after SARS-CoV-2 infection with persisting antibody responses and memory B and T cells, by Kristen W. Cohen, Susanne L. Linderman, Zoe Moodie, Julie Czartoski, Lilin Lai, Grace Mantus, Carson Norwood, Lindsay E. Nyhoff, Venkata Viswanadh Edara, et al. MedRxiv, April 27, 2021. “Ending the COVID-19 pandemic will require long-lived immunity to SARS-CoV-2. We evaluated 254 COVID-19 patients longitudinally from early infection and for eight months thereafter and found a predominant broad-based immune memory response. SARS-CoV-2 spike binding and neutralizing antibodies exhibited a bi-phasic decay with an extended half-life of >200 days suggesting the generation of longer-lived plasma cells. In addition, there was a sustained IgG+ memory B cell response, which bodes well for a rapid antibody response upon virus re-exposure.”
9. Incidence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 infection among previously infected or vaccinated employees, by N Kojima, A Roshani, M Brobeck, A Baca, JD Klausner. MedRxiv, July 8, 2021. “Previous SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination for SARS-CoV-2 were associated with decreased risk for infection or re-infection with SARS-CoV-2 in a routinely screened workforce. The was no difference in the infection incidence between vaccinated individuals and individuals with previous infection. Further research is needed to determine whether our results are consistent with the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants.”
10. Single cell profiling of T and B cell repertoires following SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine, by Suhas Sureshchandra, Sloan A. Lewis, Brianna Doratt, Allen Jankeel, Izabela Ibraim, Ilhem Messaoudi. BioRxiv, July 15, 2021. “Interestingly, clonally expanded CD8 T cells were observed in every vaccinee, as observed following natural infection. TCR gene usage, however, was variable, reflecting the diversity of repertoires and MHC polymorphism in the human population. Natural infection induced expansion of larger CD8 T cell clones occupied distinct clusters, likely due to the recognition of a broader set of viral epitopes presented by the virus not seen in the mRNA vaccine. Our study highlights a coordinated adaptive immune response where early CD4 T cell responses facilitate the development of the B cell response and substantial expansion of effector CD8 T cells, together capable of contributing to future recall responses.”
11. mRNA vaccine-induced T cells respond identically to SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern but differ in longevity and homing properties depending on prior infection status, Jason Neidleman, Xiaoyu Luo, Matthew McGregor, Guorui Xie, Victoria Murray, Warner C. Greene, Sulggi A. Lee, Nadia R. Roan. BioRxiv, July 29, 2021. “In infection-naïve individuals, the second dose boosted the quantity and altered the phenotypic properties of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells, while in convalescents the second dose changed neither. Spike-specific T cells from convalescent vaccinees differed strikingly from those of infection-naïve vaccinees, with phenotypic features suggesting superior long-term persistence and ability to home to the respiratory tract including the nasopharynx. These results provide reassurance that vaccine-elicited T cells respond robustly to emerging viral variants, confirm that convalescents may not need a second vaccine dose, and suggest that vaccinated convalescents may have more persistent nasopharynx-homing SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells compared to their infection-naïve counterparts.”
12. Immunological memory to SARS-CoV-2 assessed for up to 8 months after infection, Jennifer M. Dan, Jose Mateus, Yu Kato, Kathryn M. Hastie, et al., Science, January 6, 2021. “Understanding immune memory to SARS-CoV-2 is critical for improving diagnostics and vaccines, and for assessing the likely future course of the COVID-19 pandemic. We analyzed multiple compartments of circulating immune memory to SARS-CoV-2 in 254 samples from 188 COVID-19 cases, including 43 samples at ≥ 6 months post-infection. IgG to the Spike protein was relatively stable over 6+ months. Spike-specific memory B cells were more abundant at 6 months than at 1 month post symptom onset. SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ T cells and CD8+ T cells declined with a half-life of 3-5 months. By studying antibody, memory B cell, CD4+ T cell, and CD8+ T cell memory to SARS-CoV-2 in an integrated manner, we observed that each component of SARS-CoV-2 immune memory exhibited distinct kinetics.”
13. Persistence of neutralizing antibodies a year after SARS-CoV-2 infection, by Anu Haveri, Nina Ekström, Anna Solastie, Camilla Virta, Pamela Österlund, Elina Isosaari, Hanna Nohynek, Arto A. Palmu, Merit Melin. MedRxiv, July 16, 2021. “We assessed the persistence of serum antibodies following wild-type SARS-CoV-2 infection six and twelve months after diagnosis in 367 individuals of whom 13% had severe disease requiring hospitalization. We determined the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S-IgG) and nucleoprotein IgG concentrations and the proportion of subjects with neutralizing antibodies (NAb).”
14. Quantifying the risk of SARS‐CoV‐2 reinfection over time, by Eamon O Murchu, Paula Byrne, Paul G. Carty, et al. Rev Med Virol. 2021. “Reinfection was an uncommon event (absolute rate 0%–1.1%), with no study reporting an increase in the risk of reinfection over time. Only one study esti- mated the population‐level risk of reinfection based on whole genome sequencing in a subset of patients; the estimated risk was low (0.1% [95% CI: 0.08–0.11%]) with no evidence of waning immunity for up to 7 months following primary infection. These data suggest that naturally acquired SARS‐CoV‐2 immunity does not wane for at least 10 months post‐infection. However, the applicability of these studies to new variants or to vaccine‐induced immunity remains uncertain.”
15. SARS-CoV-2 antibody-positivity protects against reinfection for at least seven months with 95% efficacy, by Laith J. Abu-Raddad, Hiam Chemaitelly, Peter Coyle, Joel A. Malek. The Lancet, July 27, 2021. “Reinfection is rare in the young and international population of Qatar. Natural infection appears to elicit strong protection against reinfection with an efficacy ~95% for at least seven months.”