Getting Covid is never any fun, but for most of us, symptoms are mild to moderate – fever, loss of taste and smell, exhaustion, and perhaps an irritating cough that seems to linger for days to weeks. The good news, however, for the unvaccinated at least, is once you’ve gotten Covid, you’re blessed with the almighty antibodies that experts say last about 3 months to 5 years.
So if natural immunity protects you against Covid for 3 months to 5 years, is it worth getting vaccinated? Unlike the flu shot that is required annually, the Covid-19 vaccine requires constant boosters to help fight the virus. But why is that exactly?
One of the most documented reasons within the medical community has to do with the fact that variants are causing complications with the Vaccine, hence the need for boosters that are designed to combat these variants. The problem, however, is that the protection that a Pfizer booster shot gives against the new coronavirus variant Omicron, following a “Pfizer primary course,” drops to just 45% after 10-plus weeks, according to a new study. A booster shot from Moderna fared better, the study from the United Kingdom Security Agency (UKSA) said.
“In all periods, effectiveness was lower for Omicron compared to Delta,” the report said. “Among those who received an AstraZeneca primary course, vaccine effectiveness was around 60% 2 to 4 weeks after either a Pfizer or Moderna booster, then dropped to 35% with a Pfizer booster and 45% with a Moderna booster by 10 weeks after the booster. Among those who received a Pfizer primary course, vaccine effectiveness was around 70% after a Pfizer booster, dropping to 45% after 10-plus weeks and stayed around 70 to 75% after a Moderna booster up to 9 weeks after booster.”
“These results should be interpreted with caution due to the low counts and the possible biases related to the populations with highest exposure to Omicron (including travelers and their close contacts) which cannot fully be accounted for,” the report said.
If you solely weighed the effectiveness of booster shots and natural immunity, even if you only had the antibodies for a minimum time of 90 days, it appears you are protected naturally for longer than what the coronavirus boosters shots provide.
On Monday, Moderna announced that its tests have shown that its booster shot of the coronavirus vaccine significantly raises the level of antibodies to battle the Omicron variant.
The pharmaceutical company’s testing shows that “the currently authorized booster dose of 50 micrograms — half the dose given for primary immunization — increased the level of antibodies by roughly 37-fold, the company said,” according to The New York Times. “A full dose of 100 micrograms was even more powerful, raising antibody levels about 83-fold compared with pre-boost levels, Moderna said.”
The company did say, however, that its booster shot “produced side effects comparable to those seen after the two-dose primary series. But the dose of 100 micrograms showed slightly more frequent adverse reactions relative to the authorized 50-microgram dose,” said the Times.
So the million-dollar question is, natural immunity or constant booster shots? I’m not here to give medical advice, nor would I ever suggest that people should or should not get vaccinated. That’s a question they need to have with their Doctor, but if you solely weighed natural immunity against the booster shot, it appears that natural antibodies win the argument as you’re protected naturally for much longer compared to the booster shot and possibly the vaccine itself.