Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top U.S. public health official, said that a new study regarding so-called natural immunity following COVID-19 infection is provoking discussion among government experts.
The real-world study, conducted by Israeli researchers, found that previous COVID-19 infection confers better protection against infection and hospitalization than COVID-19 vaccines.
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was asked Friday about the research in the context of convincing people who have natural immunity, or who have recovered from COVID-19, to get vaccinated.
“I get calls all the time people say, ‘I’ve already had COVID, I’m protected.’ And now the study says maybe even more protected than the vaccine alone. Should they also get the vaccine? How do you make the case to them?” Dr. Sanjay Gupta asked Fauci during an appearance on CNN.
“I don’t have a really firm answer for you on that,” Fauci responded.
“That’s something that we’re going to have to discuss regarding the durability of the response. The one thing that paper from Israel didn’t tell you is whether or not—as high as the protection is with natural infection—what’s the durability compared to the durability of a vaccine? So it is conceivable that you got infected, you’re protected, but you may not be protected for an indefinite period of time,” he continued.
“So I think that is something that we need to sit down and discuss seriously because you very appropriately pointed out, it is an issue, and there could be an argument for saying what you said.”
Some experts who have studied the matter have expressed confusion as to why vaccination efforts are not focused on those who have not gotten a shot and have not recovered from COVID-19.
“We’re trying to update policy such that people who have recovered have the same privileges and access as people who are vaccinated,” Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, clinical professor of preventive medicine and medicine at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, told The Epoch Times previously.
The Israel findings, because they’re based on real-world data, even led Pfizer board member Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, to call for natural immunity to be part of policy discussions.
“The balance of the evidence demonstrates that natural immunity confers a durable protection,” Gottlieb said during a recent television appearance.
Official guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges people have some level of immunity after COVID-19 recovery. But the agency still recommends the vast majority of Americans get a COVID-19 vaccine, asserting the protection is even better when combining natural immunity and a jab.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC’s director, last month pointed to a study conducted by CDC and Kentucky researchers that suggested vaccines actually provide better protection than previous infection.
“These data further indicate that COVID-19 vaccines offer better protection than natural immunity alone and that vaccines, even after prior infection, help prevent reinfections,” the agency said in a statement.
Correction: A previous version of this article inaccurately described Scott Gottlieb’s relationship with the FDA. He is its former commissioner. The Epoch Times regrets the error.