The doctor Aaron Kheriaty, a psychiatry professor at the University of California-Irvine, believed that he did not need to be vaccinated against covid because he had contracted the disease in July of 2020.
As a result, in August, he filed a petition to suspend the university’s vaccination mandate, claiming that “natural immunity” had provided him and millions of others with better protection than any vaccine could provide.
On the 28th of September, a judge dismissed Kheriaty’s request for a judicial requisition against the university for the term, which began on the 3rd of September. Although Kheriaty intends to pursue the case further, legal experts doubt that her request, as well as similar ones filed around the country, would be successful.
As a result, there are more and more proofs that fighting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19, is as effective as vaccination in terms of stimulating the immune system and preventing disease.
Sin embargo, los funcionarios federales se han mostrado reacios a reconocer cualquier equivalencia, alegando la amplia variación en la respuesta inmunitaria de los pacientes de covid a la infección.
Similarly to many other discussions during the covid pandemic, the uncertain value of a prior infection has sparked legal challenges, marketing offers, and rash political statements, while scientists work quietly and quietly to clarify the data.
Medics have used blood tests for decades to determine whether or not people are immune to infectious diseases. Anticuerpos tests against rubéola are performed on pregnant women to ensure that their fetuses are not infected with the virus that causes devastating birth defects. Employees in hospitals are subjected to anticuerpos detection tests, as well as tests against sarampión and varicela, in order to prevent the spread of these diseases.
However, it appears that covid immunity is more difficult to detect than infecciones.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of anticuerpos against covid tests, which can cost up to $70, to detect a previous infection. Some tests can tell if the anticuerpos are caused by an infection or a vaccination.
However, neither the FDA nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend using tests to determine whether or not a person is, in fact, immune to covid. As a result, the tests are useless because there is no agreement on the quantity or kind of anticuerpos that indicate disease protection.
“We still don’t know what the presence of anticuerpos means in terms of immunity,” Kelly Wroblewski, directora de enfermedades infecciosas of la Asociación de Laboratorios de Salud Pblica, said.
Experts, on the other hand, are divided on the level of protection provided by an infection.
Due to a lack of certainty, and as vaccination mandates are implemented across the country, legal demands are being made on the subject.
Individuals who claim that vaccination mandates violate their civil liberties argue that the immunity gained through infection protects them. Six cops in Los Angeles have made a demand on the city, claiming natural immunity.
In August, law professor Todd Zywicki claimed that the University of George Mason’s vaccination mandate violated his constitutional rights because he has natural immunity. He cited a series of anticuerpos tests as well as a doctor’s opinion that vaccination was “medically unnecessary.” Zywicki withdrew his complaint after the university granted him a medical exemption that, according to the academic institution, had nothing to do with the pleito.
The republican legislators have joined the crusade. The GOP Doctors Caucus, which is made up of Republican doctors in Congress, has ordered that everyone who is unsure about vaccination undergo an anticuerpos test, in violation of the CDC and FDA’s recommendations.
In Kentucky, the state legislature approved a resolution that grants the same level of immunity to anyone who show proof of vaccination or anticuerpos positivity.
Hospitals were among the first organizations to make it mandatory for their employees to get first-line vaccinations, fearing that they would spread the disease to susceptible patients. Few have offered vaccination exemptions to those who have already been infected. However, there are exceptions.
Two Pennsylvania hospital systems allow members of the medical staff to postpone vaccinations for a year after receiving a positive result on a covid test. In Michigan, for example, employees can choose not to be vaccinated if they have proof of a prior infection and a positive anticuerpos test within the previous three months. In these cases, the systems indicated that they wanted to avoid a shortage of personnel that could lead to the renunciation of nurses who refuse to be vaccinated.
The question is simple for Kheriaty. “The natural immunity investigation is now rather conclusive,” KHN reported. “It’s preferable to vaccine-induced immunity.” However, it is clear that the majority of the scientific community does not agree with such categorical statements.
Dr. Arthur Reingold, an epidemiologist at UC Berkeley, and Shane Crotty, a virologist at the Instituto de Inmunologa de La Jolla in San Diego, declared themselves expert witnesses in Kheriaty’s case, claiming that the extent of the immunity conferred by reinfection, particularly against new covid variants, is unknown. They stated that vaccination provides a significant boost in immunity to people who have previously been sick.
However, not all of those who advocate for the recognition of the value of passing an infection are antivaccination activists or vaccine opponents.
The doctor Jeffrey Klausner, a clinical professor of population sciences and public health at the Universidad del Sur de California, is the coauthor of a study published on September 30 that shows that infection can last for up to ten months. “From the standpoint of public health, denying work, access, and travel to people who have recovered from infection makes no sense,” he said.
In his defense of Kheriaty’s arguments in support of “natural immunity,” Crotty cited studies on the massive blood loss that struck Manaos, Brazil, early this year and included the virus’s gamma version. Based on the analysis of blood donations, one study estimated that three-quarters of the city’s population had already been infected prior to the arrival of gamma. As a result, it’s possible that the previous infection won’t protect you from the new strains. However, Klausner and others believe that the previous infection rate, which was presented in the study, was exaggerated.
According to Klausner, a large study conducted in Israel in August found that infection provides better protection than vaccination. This could help to change the tendency to accept pre-existing infections. “Everyone is waiting for Fauci to say, ‘Pre-infection provides protection,'” he added.
During a CNN interview last month, when asked if infected people were as protected as those who had been evacuated, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top authority on infectious diseases, expressed doubt. “There could be an argument that they’re there,” he said. Fauci did not respond to a request from KHN for more comments.
In an email, Kristen Nordlund, a CDC spokesperson, said that the “current evidence” shows a wide range of anticuerpos’ responses after covid infection. “In the next weeks, we hope to have additional information on the protection of vaccine immunity in comparison to natural immunity,” he added.
Doctor Robert Seder, head of the Instituto Nacional de Alergia y Enfermedades Infecciosas’ cell immunology section, stated that “a mammoth effort” is being made to determine what level of anticuerpos is protective. Several recent studies have attempted to establish a figure.
Anticuerpos tests will never provide an affirmative or negative answer for covid protection, according to Dr. George Siber, a vaccine industry consultant and coauthor of one of the studies. “However, there are others who refuse to be vaccinated. It’s worthwhile to try to predict who has the lowest risk.”