The original COVID has all but passed. What we are seeing now is vaccine variants. And the best defense is – natural immunity.
The largest real-world analysis has damning news for Pfizer shot: 2021.08.24.21262415v1.full
The new Israeli Study finds fully vaccinated people are at “greater risk of hospitalization” and 13 TIMES MORE LIKELY to get Covid-19 than those who have recovered and Have natural immunity.
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Natural immunity for the win
Some good news for a change
By: Alex Beresnson, August 30, 2021:
The question I get more than any other:
I had Covid. I had an antibody test to prove it. Am I protected (and do I need to get the vaccine)?
Let me start with the usual disclaimer: THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE. I AM NOT A PHYSICIAN.
But the answer is now increasingly clear: natural immunity from Covid following infection and recovery is HIGHLY protective against future Covid infections. Rates of reinfection are very low.
Perhaps natural immunity eventually wanes, but we don’t know when. In fact, a little-noticed paper from June suggests it may actually strengthen for at least a year – and provide plenty of protection from Delta and other variants.
I am not going into the problems with vaccine-generated protection today or with our political unwillingness to recognize natural immunity. (Remember, GOOD NEWS – we could all use it).
Let’s just look instead at why natural immunity works so well.
You immune response comes in two forms: “humoral” and “cellular.”
When you are infected with Sars-Cov-2, your body’s “B-cells” – part of the immune system – quickly pour out “antibodies.” These antibodies attack the viral particles circulating in your blood and other fluids, hoping to keep the virus from entering your cells and replicating itself.
This is humoral immunity. Your B-cells make antibodies in many different shapes. Some are better at sticking to the virus. Scientists call these “neutralizing” antibodies because they neutralize the “antigen,” the foreign body attacking you, keeping it from entering your cells.
Amazingly, your B-cells quickly figure out which antibodies neutralize most effectively and make more of them, while cutting back on those that don’t work.
At the same time, another part of the immune system – killer or CD8 T-cells – attacks cells that the virus has already infected. You destroy your own cells to prevent the virus from using them to make more copies of itself. This is cellular immunity.
For a few days after you are infected, your immune system is in a race with the virus. If you win the race, defeat the virus, and recover – as the vast majority of people infected with Sars-Cov-2 do – within a week or two you should have no measurable levels of virus in your body.
With no invader provoking a response, your B-cells will stop making antibodies against the virus. Over time, the antibodies you have made will slowly degrade – a change scientists can measure.
Antibody levels are measured as “titers” – how much the part of the blood that contains antibodies must be diluted before it stops neutralizing the coronavirus (or any antigen).
The details of how scientists measure titers are complicated. But the takeaway is simple – higher titers mean more antibodies in the initial sample. Higher titers are better, unless they are so high they indicate an overactive immune response. Over time, titers will decline.
But your immune system has not forgotten the virus. Both B-cells and T-cells are now trained to respond to it, should it reappear. (Confusingly, the immune system includes two types of T-cells, CD4 and CD8, and many subtypes of both B- and T-cells.)
This “adaptive” response explains why people remain immune to some viruses for their entire lives after being infected once – or inoculated with an effective vaccine.
Scientists have different ways to measure your immune response.
They can measure how tightly your antibodies bind to an antigen (the virus), how many different parts of the antigen they attack, how quickly your B- and T-cells will ramp up to make new antibodies or attack infected cells, and even whether those antibodies can recognize new variants of the original antigen.
In June, Rockefeller University researchers published a paper in Nature examining how antibodies changed up to a year after coronavirus infection and recovery.
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