We live in a strange world where people are extremely afraid of infectious diseases but silently put up with lifelong chronic diseases like diabetes and immune disorders. Yes, about 5% of people who get COVID-19 will be hospitalized, but the other 95% can recover by themselves and enjoy lasting and comprehensive immunity.
Here are two reasons why infection-induced immunity is vastly superior than vaccine-induced immunity. (Note: Some use the phrase “naturally acquired immunity,” but I prefer “infection-induced immunity”).
Many More Antibodies
The mRNA vaccines make your body produce antibodies against just the spike protein of the SARS-Cov-2 virus. However, when you get infected by the virus, your body learns about numerous proteins of the virus and creates antibodies for each of those proteins. (Every piece of the virus is called an “antigen,” from the perspective of our body).
Thus, when the virus mutates, the vaccinated person has to run for boosters, while the person with infection-induced immunity is still safe.
You see, when you get infected, your innate immune system uses special cells called neutrophils, macrophages, and dendritic cells — as explained in a previous blog — to chop up the virus and extract numerous proteins. These proteins — antigens — are then presented to the B cells, which start producing unique antibodies for each protein.
Next, picture what happens when a virus infects a healthy cell. The virus puts a gun to the head of the cell and says, “Create thousands of copies of me!” While the healthy cell complies, it decides to commit suicide for the greater good. So, the cell takes numerous parts of the virus and displays it outside on the cell membrane. It’s a message that basically says, “I have been infected. Here’s the identity of the virus inside me. Hello, immune system, please kill me and the viruses inside me before it’s too late!”
The T cells, which are roaming all over your body, notice the abnormal proteins on the cell and do two things: (1) Pass on the information about each antigen to the B cells, who make antibodies, and (2) Kill the infected cells as well as the virus inside them.
In summary, when you get infected by COVID and recover from it, your body has a whole lot of information about the virus — much more than you would get from vaccination. This means that after you get infected by covid once, you have many many more antibodies against numerous viral proteins. Thus, you get a 360-degree protection after infection and recovery.
IgA — Special Antibody in the Respiratory Tract
There are 5 classes of antibodies in your body. The most important ones are IgA, IgM, and IgG. “Ig” stands for “Immunoglobulin,” the technical term for antibody. Among them, IgA is the most significant, as explained later. And only infection by virus creates IgA, also explained later.
IgM and IgG are found in the blood and circulate all over the body. IgM is a short-term antibody that’s like Version 1.0. It’s pretty good in neutralizing the pathogens, but not perfect. IgG is the refined version and offers better immunity that lasts for years or even lifetime.
Both vaccines and infection result in IgM and IgG — although, as seen in the previous section, vaccines induce fewer types of IgM/IgG than infection.
Okay, so what is IgA? It’s a special antibody found in the mucous/mucus membranes of the respiratory, digestive, and urinary tracts. Thus, IgA is also known as “mucosal antibody” or “secretory IgA.” For COVID, let’s just focus on the respiratory tract.
When you get infected with COVID, your body makes a lot of IgA in the mucosal membrane of nose, throat, trachea, lungs etc. This coating of antibody protects you from future infections, since the virus gets stopped before it can enter your body. IgA is like the missile defense system.
Here’s a scientific paper on this topic: IgA dominates the early neutralizing antibody response to SARS-CoV-2. But this is true for any respiratory disease.
Well, guess what, the mRNA vaccines don’t induce the production of secretory IgA. Oops! That’s one of the reasons why even fully vaccinated and boosted people keep getting infected with covid.
As a study from Israel showed, vaccinated people are 13 times more likely to experience a breakthrough infection than the natural immunity group.
Scientists know this limitation very well and that’s why they are now trying to create a nasal vaccine for covid.
Natural infection offers broad-based and long-lasting immunity that vaccines cannot.
Looking at the big picture, 95% of the people in the world could have endured 0-14 days of discomfort, gotten over COVID19, and created herd immunity … without lockdowns, endless vaccines, social distancing etc. For the other 5%, the truly vulnerable, targeted treatments would have been effective.