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(LifeSiteNews) — A new study from the Yale School of Public Health has reaffirmed that natural immunity from prior COVID-19 infection lasts far longer than immunity from the currently-available COVID-19 vaccines, though mainstream media outlets are representing its findings differently.

The Yale Daily News reports that the study, led by biostatistician Jeffrey Townsend, found that an unvaccinated person’s risk of reinfection “is about five percent at three months after the initial infection,” and rises to 50 percent after 17 months. Under a model that assumes the entire population has either been previously infected or vaccinated, “unvaccinated individuals should expect to be reinfected with COVID-19 every 16 to 17 months on average.”

The authors cautioned that their study relied on modeling based on data from past coronaviruses, Middle East respiratory syndrome, and SARS, because COVID-19 has not circulated long enough to determine a rate of reinfection with certainty. Still, the authors contend that their findings show that natural immunity is not a substitute for vaccination. 

“In particular, our estimate argues strongly against the claim that a long-standing resolution of the epidemic could arise due to herd immunity from natural infection or that mitigation of the long-term risks of morbidity and mortality can be achieved without vaccination,” the study claims. “Relying on herd immunity without widespread vaccination jeopardises millions of lives, entailing high rates of reinfection, morbidity, and death.”

“Undue public confidence in the long-term durability of immunity following natural infection by SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to contribute to vaccine hesitancy, perhaps because of a false equivalence with the long-term immunity after natural recovery from evolutionarily divergent viruses causing diseases such as measles, mumps, and rubella,” the study continues.

A news report on the study by The Hill’s Jenna Romaine echoes this narrative, claiming the “study determined that natural immunity is somewhat short.” But the article neglected to mention that this “short” immunity period is substantially longer than the immunity period following vaccination.

Studies have found that protection against reinfection wanes around six months (or potentially sooner); on Wednesday the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced it was expanding emergency-use authorization for booster shots at six months after the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and two months after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — meaning natural immunity lasts almost three times longer than vaccinated immunity, according to the Yale model.

A Pfizer-funded study published in The Lancet earlier this month found that at six months, the Pfizer shot’s effectiveness against infection drops to 47%, and that its effectiveness against the Delta variant drops to 53% after four months.

All told, more than a dozen studies have been identified that conclude natural immunity lasts longer and is more protective than vaccination. By contrast, a growing body of data indicates that the mass vaccination strategy for defeating COVID-19 has failed. The federal government considers more than 189 million Americans (57% of the eligible) to be “fully vaccinated,” yet ABC News reported on October 6 that more Americans died of COVID-19 this year (353,000) than in all of 2020 (352,000), according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Beyond doubts about the need for the COVID-19 vaccines for most Americans, significant concerns remain about the shots’ safety, stemming largely from the fact that they were developed and released far faster than any previous vaccine.

Vaccine defenders note that the one-year development period was not starting from scratch, but rather relied on years of prior research into mRNA technology; and that one of the innovations of the Trump administration’s “Operation Warp Speed” was conducting various aspects of the development process concurrently rather than sequentially, eliminating delays unrelated to safety. However, those factors do not fully account for the condensing of clinical trial phases — each of which can take anywhere from 1–3 years on their own — to just three months apiece. 

While cases of severe harm reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) after taking COVID shots represent less than one percent of total doses administered in the United States, a 2010 report submitted to the US Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) warned that VAERS caught “fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events.” May reporting from NBC News quotes several mainstream experts acknowledging “gaps” in federal vaccine monitoring.

LifeSiteNews has produced an extensive COVID-19 vaccines resources page. View it here

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