A study from Tel Aviv University has found that getting infected from coronavirus might be a stronger protection against future infections than any vaccination.
Natural immunity vs vaccines
To conduct the study, scientists compared people who received two doses of Pfizer vaccine to unvaccinated people who had contracted and recovered from the virus. Results gathered found that participants with post exposure acquired immunity were 13 times less likely to get the virus than those who had been double-jabbed.
The study also found that those who had received two jabs were almost six times more likely to be infected and 7 times more likely to experience symptoms such as cough, fever and shortness of breath. The authors of the study wrote:
This study demonstrated that natural immunity confers longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2.
Individuals who were both previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 and given a single dose of the vaccine gained additional protection against the Delta variant.
Vaccines should not be discouraged
However, this does not mean that vaccination should be discouraged. In the contrary, data from Public Health England (PHE) estimates that over 84,000 deaths have been prevented so far. Dr Tim Spector explains that though the efficacy of vaccines might not be as strong as natural immunity, or that protection from jabs wane over time, booster shots should be considered as an alternative:
Waning protection is to be expected and is not a reason to not get vaccinated. Vaccines still provide high levels of protection for the majority of the population, especially against the Delta variant, so we still need as many people as possible to get fully vaccinated.