CDC Released Study Saying Natural Immunity Better Than Vaccines for Delta

Andrii Vodolazhskyi/
Andrii Vodolazhskyi/

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released some interesting information regarding natural immunity and the vaccine. They revealed that natural immunity is better protection against the Delta strain of COVID-19 than the vaccine is. This is according to a new study the CDC just released this week. 

Experts have examined COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations that took place from May through November of 2021 in California and New York. The research team looked at the cases and hospitalizations rates within four cohorts of people. The four distinctive groupings were: the unvaccinated but uninfected, the vaccinated but infected, the unvaccinated with a previous COVID-19 diagnosis, and the vaccinated with a previous COVID-19 diagnosis.

The experts found that natural immunity that came through recovering from COVID-19 gave people a greater degree of protection against the Delta strain than getting a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The details of the study are as follows:

By the week beginning October 3, compared with COVID-19 cases rates among unvaccinated persons without a previous COVID-19 diagnosis, case rates among vaccinated persons without a previous COVID-19 diagnosis were 6.2-fold (California) and 4.5-fold (New York) lower; rates were substantially lower among both groups with previous COVID-19 diagnoses, including 29.0-fold (California) and 14.7-fold lower (New York) among unvaccinated persons with a previous diagnosis, and 32.5-fold (California) and 19.8-fold lower (New York) among vaccinated persons with a previous diagnosis of COVID-19. During the same period, compared with hospitalization rates among unvaccinated persons without a previous COVID-19 diagnosis, hospitalization rates in California followed a similar pattern.”

In spite of the clarity that came from this new research, experts are urging people to respond with caution before they draw conclusions from the study. They are noting that the vaccine afforded people better protection from COVID-19 variants before we encountered the Delta strain. And the also said that the degree of immunity that people might have from previous infection and the vaccine is most likely going to change with the spreading of new variants, including Omicron. They are still pushing vaccines as the safest strategy for fighting COVID-19. 

The study indicates that the epidemiology of COVID-19 might change as new variants come to light, but vaccination remains the safest strategy for averting future SARS-CoV-2 infections. It is also the safest way to stop hospitalizations, long-term sequelae, and death. 

They strongly recommend primary vaccinations, additional doses, and booster shots for all eligible persons. And as the virus and immunity levels change across the country, there may be additional recommendations for vaccine doses that are warranted. 

Even with this recent study, President Joe Biden’s administration has continued to push COVID-19 vaccinations in its messaging and executive actions. They are downplaying, if not ignoring the protections that come through natural immunity. 

The recent rhetoric from the CDC has emphasized “up to date” vaccinations rather than the “fully vaccinated” language. This has signaled a shift toward pushing booster shots in addition to the original vaccine dose. 

This shift in messaging received criticism from Dr. Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins University. He lashed out at the CDC over the shift saying that they changed their language from “Get a booster,” to “Are you up to date?” He believes that this is a manipulation of words and it implies that low-risk people without a booster are out-of-date. He has stated that this move sets the stage for frequent boosters and declared that COVID-19 vaccinations are not software.