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    Natural COVID immunity does not outshine vaccination benefits


    Dear Dr. Roach: I am told by doctors that the natural immunity your body develops by having had the COVID-19-19 virus is just as, or even more, effective at protecting you as one of the three vaccines that you are pushing people to get. Like I’ve read up on, natural immunity is science also. Will you please confirm or deny that statement?

    — J.B.D.

    Dear J.B.D.: There remains controversy about the relative benefits of the immunity gained from a vaccine versus the immunity gained by surviving a case of COVID-19. What is clear, however, is that not everybody who survives a case of COVID-19 has long-lasting immunity, and they are susceptible to getting another case.

    In the original study on the Pfizer vaccine, those who had a history of COVID-19 infection had as much benefit from the vaccine as those who had no history of infection. For this reason, I still recommend vaccination, even for those with a history of COVID-19. A study from Yale published in October found that immunity can wear off as soon as three months after infection.

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