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Thread: Covid-19 Vaccines or Infections: Which Carries the Stronger Immunity?

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    Covid-19 Vaccines or Infections: Which Carries the Stronger Immunity?

    Evidence grows that infections provide as much protection as vaccines, prompting some experts to suggest a nuanced approach to vaccine mandates


    Evidence grows that infections provide as much protection as vaccines, prompting some experts to suggest a nuanced approach to vaccine mandates




    Covid-19 Vaccines or Infections: Which Carries the Stronger Immunity?

    Evidence is building that immunity from Covid-19 infection is at least as strong as that from vaccination. Scientists are divided on the implications for vaccine policy.The role of immunity from infection, which scientists have been trying to figure out since the outset of the pandemic, has gained fresh significance amid the controversy over vaccine mandates.


    Vaccines typically give rise to a stronger antibody response than infection, which might make them better at fending off the virus in the short term. Infection triggers a response that evolves over time, possibly making it more robust in the long term. A combination of both types appears to be stronger than either alone. But the jury is out on whether one form is stronger than the other, and whether their relative strength even matters for vaccine policy.
    The comparison is further complicated by the emergence of new variants, such as that identified this month in southern Africa, which may be more contagious and be better at evading vaccines.


    One thing is clear: Vaccination is a far safer, more reliable strategy for acquiring immunity, given the risks of serious illness or death from infection. But viewpoints splinter about whether people who have had Covid-19 before need a full course of vaccination, and whether documented prior infection should count as proof of immunity—as is the case in some other countries, including much of Europe.



    Immunity from infection hasn’t been studied as extensively as vaccine-mediated immunity. But over the course of the pandemic, clues have emerged to suggest the two are at least equivalent.
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