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(LifeSiteNews) – As establishment politicians back away from their restrictive COVID-19 policies, there are signs that some voices in the medical establishment are opening up about evidence-based scientific conclusions they were previously inclined to ignore or deny.

On February 28, Medscape UK published an article by Sheena Meredith discussing a January 25 study out of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and other studies pointing to the strength of natural immunity to COVID from prior infection.

The OHSU study found that “SARS-CoV-2 infection before or after vaccination gives a significantly larger boost to the neutralizing antibody response compared with two doses of vaccine alone,” and while the authors touted “hybrid” immunity from both infection and vaccination, Meredith notes that their data revealed that antibodies from natural infection were “at least 10 times more potent” than those from vaccination.

Meredith notes that “many authorities” to acknowledge as much tend to only give a “short-lived” acknowledgement to natural immunity, while continuing to urge the COVID-recovered to get vaccinated, despite “increasing evidence that immunity derived from natural infection with COVID-19 gives powerful protection on its own.”

The conservative Brownstone Institute has compiled 150 research studies finding that COVID immunity from prior infection “is equal to or more robust and superior to existing vaccine,” yet the federal government has been heavily invested in the narrative that natural immunity is unreliable and the vaccines are the only true protection against COVID.

Last September, White House COVID czar Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted that “I don’t have a really firm answer to you on” why those who have already had COVID should get vaccinated for it, but it was “something that we’re going to have to discuss.” Many Americans assumed such discussions were already well underway.

In January, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) released data from California and New York cases spanning May to November 2021 showing that, while the vaccinated had lower rates of first-time infection by a factor of 6.2 in California and 4.5 in New York than unvaccinated residents without natural immunity, the unvaccinated with natural immunity had infection rates 29 times lower in California and 4.7 times lower in New York. Those who had both vaccination and prior infection had lower rates still. Further, in California, the naturally-immune were less likely to be hospitalized than the vaccinated (New York did not provide hospitalization data).

By contrast, studies have found that vaccine-induced COVID protection wanes around six months (or potentially sooner). Last October the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced it was expanding emergency-use authorization for booster shots six months after the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and two months after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, whereas an October Yale study projected that natural immunity would last three times longer at 17 months.

Despite such evidence, which Meredith discusses at length in her article, she notes that policymakers are hesitant to acknowledge the protection of natural immunity. She quotes University of California-San Francisco infectious disease specialist Monica Gandhi as agreeing that urging the COVID-recovered to get vaccinated “is not based on data. There’s something political going on around that.”

“It also raises ethical questions over and above those of mandates and certifications generally,” Meredith adds. “Is it justified to pressure people with pre-existing infection-acquired immunity to take a vaccine they neither want nor need? How can such individuals give proper informed consent, especially when they may be also at a higher than average risk of side-effects? Is it equitable to give unnecessary doses when vaccines have yet to be equally shared on a global level?”

Acknowledging that additional COVID protection is simply unnecessary for many Americans is particularly relevant to the question of whether they should be pressured or coerced to vaccinate, particularly in light of the fact that many Americans continue to harbor serious reservations as to the COVID vaccines’ safety, stemming in large part from the rushed nature of their creation. The Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed initiative developed and released the shots in a tenth of the time vaccine development usually takes and a quarter of the time it took the previous record-holder, the mumps vaccine, yet their advocates have done little to address the concerns of the hesitant.

During a COVID-19 vaccine hearing held by US Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) last month, attorney Thomas Renz presented medical billing data from the Pentagon’s Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED) showing that 2021 saw drastic spikes in a variety of diagnoses for serious medical issues over the previous five-year average, including hypertension (2,181%), neurological disorders (1,048%), multiple sclerosis (680%), Guillain-Barre syndrome (551%), breast cancer, 487%), female infertility (472%), pulmonary embolism (468%), migraines (452%), ovarian dysfunction (437%), testicular cancer (369%), and tachycardia (302%).

In a statement to left-wing “fact-checking” outlet PolitiFact, the Defense Health Agency’s Armed Forces Surveillance Division spokesperson Peter Graves confirmed the existence of the records but claimed that a conveniently-timed “data corruption” glitch made the pre-2021 numbers appear far lower than the actual numbers of cases for those years, which PolitiFact took at face value.

Nevertheless, President Joe Biden declared that “we will never give up on vaccinating more Americans” in his State of the Union address Tuesday evening, despite the above information and setbacks to his efforts to mandate COVID-19 vaccines on private businesses, federal employees, and healthcare workers.