Hold the Phone — Doc’s Thoughts:

I have people asking me all the time about natural immunity. Whether they are looking for information for themselves or to take to family and friends who are discrediting the validity. The argument regarding natural immunity continues to be a hot topic. Here, we’ve compiled a list of 140 studies currently available on the robust, durable protection of natural immunity from around the world by hundreds of scientists, researchers and doctors.

In many countries natural immunity is recognized, at least in some part, as a valid reason to refrain from a COVID vaccine. Here in the U.S., many people facing mandates are unable to use their natural immunity as a justified reason to pass on the vaccine. In fact, it’s almost as if we’d never encountered natural immunity before. Which is odd considering vaccines are developed to mimic the natural immune response.

Several studies, as well as the CDC and other governmental agencies around the world, have come out to say that the immune response induced by the COVID vaccines wanes rather quickly. This is the justification and reason that warrants the need for boosters after just 6 months.

Those who choose to argue that natural immunity may not be suitable, argue that we don’t have long term studies. In fact, we have several studies. Well done studies that indicate that natural immunity is not only robust, but also far superior to the vaccine-induced immune response. So far, as we see vaccine-induced immune responses waning, we’ve yet to see one where natural immunity wanes nearly as quickly.

As concerns continue to mount for ADE, myocarditis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, blood clots, nervous system disorders and a whole host of other conditions in the growing number of VAERS reports, elicited by the vaccines, we need to take a serious look at natural immunity.

While we wait for long-term studies on the vaccines to be conducted and reported on, we have these at our fingertips. If the FDA continues to push for 55, and now doubled-down for 75 years to release the data that led them to an EUA approval, we can use this information in the meantime to make an informed decision.

Some people are still arguing the side that a vaccine will stop transmission. Does this apply to those with natural immunity as some would argue? The CDC recently stated that they have 0 incidences recorded where an unvaccinated individual has been infected with COVID, recovered, become reinfected and transmitted the virus to another person. There is no evidence of a naturally recovered person transmitting COVID after reinfection. Breakthrough cases are quite another story. We have evidence of large spread transmission through breakthrough cases.

Now, as children are receiving these vaccinations, many of whom likely have natural immunity due to such mild cases that went undetected, we need to consider the implications of vaccinating someone with natural immunity. Especially since we have no long term studies and the FDA recognizes the children receiving the vaccine today are the long term trial participants.

While some of these studies continue to argue for the need for vaccination, I think if you read the studies with a critical thought, you’ll see that they actually validate natural immunity. Even if their intent was to endorse the vaccine.

There is a lot of information here. We’ve worked to break it down into three categories: the protection natural immunity plays in reinfection, the question of whether naturally recovered should consider the vaccine for additional protection, and a deeper dive into the immune response for those ready for even more information.

If you want to know how your immune response is functioning, we can help. At The Wellness Way, we can help you test your immune response to various challenges. Don’t just guess, test that system so that you can have the confidence you need to handle not only the hard discussions, but also your own health.

Studies Validating Natural Immunity:

Reinfection and Protection

The below studies demonstrate the long-term, broad protection elicited by natural immunity. While some studies set out to understand the defense the vaccines offered, they revealed even more support for natural immunity.

The longitudinal kinetics of antibodies in COVID-19 recovered patients over 14 months, Eyran, 2020

Natural infection vs vaccination: Which gives more protection?, Rosenberg, 2021

Protective immunity after recovery from SARS-CoV-2 infection, Kojima, 2021

This ‘super antibody’ for COVID fights off multiple coronaviruses, Kwon, 2021

Prior COVID-19 protects against reinfection, even in the absence of detectable antibodies, Breatnach, 2021

SARS-CoV-2 infection induces sustained humoral immune responses in convalescent patients following symptomatic COVID-19, Wu, 2020

SARS-CoV-2 re-infection risk in Austria, Pilz, 2021

Good news: Mild COVID-19 induces lasting antibody protection, Bhandari, 2021

SARS-CoV-2 elicits robust adaptive immune responses regardless of disease severity, Nielsen, 2021

Robust neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 infection persist for months, Wajnberg, 2021

Persistence of neutralizing antibodies a year after SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans, Haveri, 2021

Quantifying the risk of SARS‐CoV‐2 reinfection over time, Murchu, 2021

Natural immunity to covid is powerful. Policymakers seem afraid to say so, Makary, 2021

The Western Journal:Johns Hopkins Doc Says Natural Immunity 27 Times More Effective Than Vaccine, Makary 2021

Immunity to COVID-19 in India through vaccination and natural infection, Sarraf, 2021

Functional SARS-CoV-2-Specific Immune Memory Persists after Mild COVID-19, Rodda, 2021

Asymptomatic or mild symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection elicits durable neutralizing antibody responses in children and adolescents, Garrido, 2021

Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 are associated with protection against reinfection, Lumley, 2021

SARS-CoV-2 antibody-positivity protects against reinfection for at least seven months with 95% efficacy, Abu-Raddad, 2021

Researchers find long-lived immunity to 1918 pandemic virus, CIDRAP, 2008

NATURE journal publication, Yu, 2008

Op-Ed: Quit Ignoring Natural COVID Immunity, Klausner, 2021

SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity and subsequent infection risk in healthy young adults: a prospective cohort study, Letizia, 2021

Natural immunity against COVID-19 significantly reduces the risk of reinfection: findings from a cohort of sero-survey participants, Mishra, 2021

Lasting immunity found after recovery from COVID-19, NIH, 2021

SARS-CoV-2 Natural Antibody Response Persists for at Least 12 Months in a Nationwide Study From the Faroe Islands, Petersen, 2021

COVID-19 natural immunity, WHO, 2021

Humoral Immune Response to SARS-CoV-2 in IcelandGudbjartsson, 2020

Immunological memory to SARS-CoV-2 assessed for up to 8 months after infection, Dan, 2021

The prevalence of adaptive immunity to COVID-19 and reinfection after recovery – a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis of 12 011 447 individuals, Chivese, 2021

Reinfection Rates among Patients who Previously Tested Positive for COVID-19: a Retrospective Cohort Study, Sheehan, 2021

Assessment of SARS-CoV-2 Reinfection 1 Year After Primary Infection in a Population in Lombardy, Italy, Vitale, 2020

Prior SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with protection against symptomatic reinfection, Hanrath, 2021

Continued Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccination among Urban Healthcare Workers during Delta Variant Predominance, Lan, 2021

NIH Director’s Blog: Immune T Cells May Offer Lasting Protection Against COVID-19, Collins, 2021

Ultrapotent antibodies against diverse and highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants, Wang, 2021

Decrease in Measles Virus-Specific CD4 T Cell Memory in Vaccinated Subjects, Naniche, 2004

Longitudinal observation of antibody responses for 14 months after SARS-CoV-2 infectionDehgani-Mobaraki, 2021

Had COVID? You’ll probably make antibodies for a lifetime, Callaway, 2021

IDSA, 2021

Assessment of protection against reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 among 4 million PCR-tested individuals in Denmark in 2020: a population-level observational study, Holm Hansen, 2021

A 1 to 1000 SARS-CoV-2 reinfection proportion in members of a large healthcare provider in Israel: a preliminary report, Perez, 2021

Robust T Cell Immunity in Convalescent Individuals with Asymptomatic or Mild COVID-19, Sekine, 2020

Karl Friston: up to 80% not even susceptible to Covid-19, Sayers, 2020

Equivalency of Protection from Natural Immunity in COVID-19 Recovered Versus Fully Vaccinated Persons: A Systematic Review and Pooled Analysis, Shenai, 2021

ChAdOx1nCoV-19 effectiveness during an unprecedented surge in SARS CoV-2 infections, Satwik, 2021

SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells and antibodies in COVID-19 protection: a prospective study, Molodtsov, 2021

A Systematic Review of the Protective Effect of Prior SARS-CoV-2 Infection on Repeat Infection, Kojima, 2021

Seven-month kinetics of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and role of pre-existing antibodies to human coronaviruses, Ortega, 2021

Immunodominant T-cell epitopes from the SARS-CoV-2 spike antigen reveal robust pre-existing T-cell immunity in unexposed individuals, Mahajan, 2021

Neutralizing Antibody Responses to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 in Coronavirus Disease 2019 Inpatients and Convalescent Patients, Wang, 2020

Memory T cell responses targeting the SARS coronavirus persist up to 11 years post-infection., Ng, 2016

Adaptive immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, Sette, 2021

Persistence of Antibody and Cellular Immune Responses in Coronavirus Disease 2019 Patients Over Nine Months After Infection, Yao, 2021

Naturally Acquired SARS-CoV-2 Immunity Persists for Up to 11 Months Following InfectionDe Giorgi, 2021

Decreasing Seroprevalence of Measles Antibodies after Vaccination – Possible Gap in Measles Protection in Adults in the Czech Republic, Smetana, 2017

Reinfection With Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Patients Undergoing Serial Laboratory Testing, Qureshi, 2021

Covid-19: Do many people have pre-existing immunity? Doshi, 2020

Pre-existing and de novo humoral immunity to SARS-CoV-2 in humans, Ng, 2020

Pre-existing immunity to SARS-CoV-2: the knowns and unknowns, Sette, 2020

No one is naive: the significance of heterologous T-cell immunity, Welsh, 2002

Intrafamilial Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 Induces Cellular Immune Response without Seroconversion, Gallais, 2020

Severity of SARS-CoV-2 Reinfections as Compared with Primary InfectionsAbu-Raddad, 2021

Assessment of the Risk of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Reinfection in an Intense Re-exposure Setting, Abu-Raddad, 2021

Increased risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 Beta, Gamma, and Delta variant compared to Alpha variant in vaccinated individuals, Andeweg, 2021

Is the Vaccine Necessary for Those Who’ve Recovered?

Many argue that a dose may be necessary for people who’ve been previously infected. The science doesn’t support that. In fact, many respected researchers including the esteemed Dr. Marty Makary, a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and editor in chief of MedPage Today indicated this thinking is illogical and misplaced.

Necessity of COVID-19 vaccination in previously infected individuals, Shrestha, 2021

Differential antibody dynamics to SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination, Chen, 2021

Protection of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection is similar to that of BNT162b2 vaccine protection: A three-month nationwide experience from Israel, Goldberg, 2021

Incidence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 infection among previously infected or vaccinated employees, Kojima, 2021

Comparing SARS-CoV-2 natural immunity to vaccine-induced immunity: reinfections versus breakthrough infections, Gazit, 2021

Having SARS-CoV-2 once confers much greater immunity than a vaccine—but vaccination remains vital, Wadman, 2021

Large-scale study of antibody titer decay following BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine or SARS-CoV-2 infection, Israel, 2021

Anti-spike antibody response to natural SARS-CoV-2 infection in the general population, Wei, 2021

Differential effects of the second SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine dose on T cell immunity in naïve and COVID-19 recovered individuals, Camara, 2021

Antibody Evolution after SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccination, Cho, 2021

Why COVID-19 Vaccines Should Not Be Required for All Americans, Makary, 2021

Naturally enhanced neutralizing breadth against SARS-CoV-2 one year after infection, Wang, 2021

A population-based analysis of the longevity of SARS-CoV-2 antibody seropositivity in the United States, Alfego, 2021

Durable SARS-CoV-2 B cell immunity after mild or severe disease, Ogega, 2021

Distinct antibody and memory B cell responses in SARS-CoV-2 naïve and recovered individuals following mRNA vaccination, Goel, 2021

Community transmission and viral load kinetics of the SARS-CoV-2 delta (B.1.617.2) variant in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in the UK: a prospective, longitudinal, cohort study, Singanayagam, 2021

Protection and waning of natural and hybrid COVID-19 immunity, Goldberg, 2021

Immunity Protection and Response

This section is dedicated to those interested in taking a deep dive into the immune system and its many functioning mechanisms. We can’t simply focus on antibodies. The immune system is far more complex and intricate.

SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity in cases of COVID-19 and SARS, and uninfected controls, Le Bert, 2020

Highly functional virus-specific cellular immune response in asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, Le Bert, 2021

mRNA vaccine-induced SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells recognize B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants but differ in longevity and homing properties depending on prior infection status, Neidleman, 2021

Evolution of Antibody Immunity to SARS-CoV-2, Gaebler, 2020

One-year sustained cellular and humoral immunities of COVID-19 convalescents, Zhang, 2021

Discrete Immune Response Signature to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccination Versus Infection, Ivanova, 2021

SARS-CoV-2 infection induces long-lived bone marrow plasma cells in humans, Turner, 2021

SARS-CoV-2 infection rates of antibody-positive compared with antibody-negative health-care workers in England: a large, multicentre, prospective cohort study (SIREN), Jane Hall, 2021

Pandemic peak SARS-CoV-2 infection and seroconversion rates in London frontline health-care workers, Houlihan, 2020

Longitudinal analysis shows durable and broad immune memory after SARS-CoV-2 infection with persisting antibody responses and memory B and T cells, Cohen, 2021

Single cell profiling of T and B cell repertoires following SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine, Sureshchandra, 2021

Orthogonal SARS-CoV-2 Serological Assays Enable Surveillance of Low-Prevalence Communities and Reveal Durable Humoral Immunity, Ripperger, 2020

Live virus neutralisation testing in convalescent patients and subjects vaccinated against 19A, 20B, 20I/501Y.V1 and 20H/501Y.V2 isolates of SARS-CoV-2, Gonzalez, 2021

Association of SARS-CoV-2 Seropositive Antibody Test With Risk of Future Infection, Harvey, 2021

Associations of Vaccination and of Prior Infection With Positive PCR Test Results for SARS-CoV-2 in Airline Passengers Arriving in Qatar, Bertollini, 2021

SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell memory is sustained in COVID-19 convalescent patients for 10 months with successful development of stem cell-like memory T cells, Jung, 2021

Immune Memory in Mild COVID-19 Patients and Unexposed Donors Reveals Persistent T Cell Responses After SARS-CoV-2 Infection, Ansari, 2021

Targets of T Cell Responses to SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus in Humans with COVID-19 Disease and Unexposed Individuals, Grifoni, 2020

Protracted yet coordinated differentiation of long-lived SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells during COVID-19 convalescence, Ma, 2021

Remembrance of Things Past: Long-Term B Cell Memory After Infection and Vaccination, Palm, 2019

SARS-CoV-2 specific memory B-cells from individuals with diverse disease severities recognize SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, Lyski, 2021

Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 generates T-cell memory in the absence of a detectable viral infection, Wang, 2021

CD8+ T-Cell Responses in COVID-19 Convalescent Individuals Target Conserved Epitopes From Multiple Prominent SARS-CoV-2 Circulating Variants, Redd, 2021and Lee, 2021

Exposure to common cold coronaviruses can teach the immune system to recognize SARS-CoV-2,La Jolla, Crotty and Sette, 2020

Selective and cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes in unexposed humans, Mateus, 2020

Humoral and circulating follicular helper T cell responses in recovered patients with COVID-19, Juno, 2020

Convergent antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in convalescent individuals, Robbiani, 2020

Rapid generation of durable B cell memory to SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid proteins in COVID-19 and convalescence, Hartley, 2020

A majority of uninfected adults show preexisting antibody reactivity against SARS-CoV-2, Majdoubi, 2021

SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells in healthy donors and patients with COVID-19, Braun, 2020

One Year after Mild COVID-19: The Majority of Patients Maintain Specific Immunity, But One in Four Still Suffer from Long-Term Symptoms, Rank, 2021

Antigen-Specific Adaptive Immunity to SARS-CoV-2 in Acute COVID-19 and Associations with Age and Disease Severity, Moderbacher, 2020

Detection of SARS-CoV-2-Specific Humoral and Cellular Immunity in COVID-19 Convalescent Individuals, Ni, 2020

Robust SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell immunity is maintained at 6 months following primary infection, Zuo, 2020

Negligible impact of SARS-CoV-2 variants on CD4+ and CD8+ T cell reactivity in COVID-19 exposed donors and vaccinees, Tarke, 2021

Persistence and decay of human antibody responses to the receptor binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in COVID-19 patients, Iyer, 2020

What are the roles of antibodies versus a durable, high- quality T-cell response in protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2? Hellerstein, 2020

Broad and strong memory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells induced by SARS-CoV-2 in UK convalescent COVID-19 patients, Peng, 2020

Potent SARS-CoV-2-Specific T Cell Immunity and Low Anaphylatoxin Levels Correlate With Mild Disease Progression in COVID-19 Patients, Lafron, 2021

SARS-CoV-2 T-cell epitopes define heterologous and COVID-19 induced T-cell recognition, Nelde, 2020

CD8+ T cells specific for an immunodominant SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid epitope cross-react with selective seasonal coronaviruses, Lineburg, 2021

SARS-CoV-2 genome-wide mapping of CD8 T cell recognition reveals strong immunodominance and substantial CD8 T cell activation in COVID-19 patients, Saini, 2020

Anti- SARS-CoV-2 Receptor Binding Domain Antibody Evolution after mRNA Vaccination, Cho, 2021

Not just antibodies: B cells and T cells mediate immunity to COVID-19, Cox, 2020

T cell immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection and vaccinationDiPiazza, 2020

Early induction of functional SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells associates with rapid viral clearance and mild disease in COVID-19 patients, Tan, 2021

SARS-CoV-2–specific CD8+ T cell responses in convalescent COVID-19 individualsKared, 2021

S Protein-Reactive IgG and Memory B Cell Production after Human SARS-CoV-2 Infection Includes Broad Reactivity to the S2 SubunitNguyen-Contant2021

Broadly cross-reactive antibodies dominate the human B cell response against 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus infectionWrammert2011

Phenotype of SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cells in COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome, Weiskopf, 2020

Pre-existing immunity against swine-origin H1N1 influenza viruses in the general human population, Greenbaum, 2009

Cellular immune correlates of protection against symptomatic pandemic influenza, Sridhar, 2013

Preexisting influenza-specific CD4+ T cells correlate with disease protection against influenza challenge in humans, Wilkinson, 2012

Serum cross-reactive antibody response to a novel influenza A (H1N1) virus after vaccination with seasonal influenza vaccine, CDC, MMWR, 2009

Evidence for sustained mucosal and systemic antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 antigens in COVID-19 patients, Isho, 2020

The T-cell response to SARS-CoV-2: kinetic and quantitative aspects and the case for their protective role, Bertoletti, 2021

T cell response to SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans: A systematic review, Shrotri, 2021

Antigen-Specific Adaptive Immunity to SARS-CoV-2 in Acute COVID-19 and Associations with Age and Disease Severity, Moderbacker, 2020

High-affinity memory B cells induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection produce more plasmablasts and atypical memory B cells than those primed by mRNA vaccines, Pape, 2021

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