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Is catching Covid now better than more vaccine? BBC article

Discussion in 'Epidemics (including Covid-19, not Long Covid)' started by MeSci, Aug 21, 2021.

  1. MeSci

    MeSci Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    James Gallagher

    Health and science correspondent

    @JamesTGallagher on Twitter

    There are marked differences in your immune system after a natural infection with coronavirus and after vaccination.

    Which is better?

    Even asking the question bordered on heresy a year ago, when catching Covid for the first time could be deadly, especially for the elderly or people already in poor health.

    Now, we're no longer starting with zero immunity as the overwhelming majority of people have either been vaccinated or have already caught the virus.

    More at Is catching Covid now better than more vaccine? - BBC News
     
  2. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I wonder if this idea of actively catching Covid to boost preexisting immunity is potentially a dangerous one for the following reasons:
    1. Although vaccination reduces both your risk of developing a symptomatic form of Covid or a severe form requiring hospitalisation, it does not eliminate entirely your risk of doing so, and we are seeing some vaccinated dying from Covid, so for some this approach to boosting they level of immunity will be dicing with death
    2. We do not yet know the risks of catching Long Covid. The form of Long Covid that resembles ME could theoretically result from a combination of genetic risk factors and an active infection, so this form of Long Covid may not be linked to the severity of the infection and prior vaccination or prior exposure to the virus may not impact on the risks of developing it.
    3. We do not fully understand the transition of a virus from a dangerous epidemic to a manageable endemic issue, or the transition back from a ubiquitous endemic virus to an epidemic/pandemic, how much this relates to virus mutation and how much to changes in host immunity, so would this be playing with fire?
    4. Currently this idea of high levels of immunity in populations, largely due to vaccination programmes applies only to the developed world who can afford extensive vaccination programmes, where would this approach leave still largely unvaccinated populations
    5. This approach would require high levels of the virus in the population and the more the virus replicates the more risk there is of hard to manage mutations/variants.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2021
    merylg, mango, Joan Crawford and 14 others like this.
  3. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    That headline is confusing. I think it is saying for those who have already had their full 2 doses of the vaccine, is it better for immunity to give a third booster dose, or is it better to catch covid?

    The idea is that if you catch covid, you get a wider range of immune response to the whole of the virus, not just the spike protein.

    Given the worldwide need for initial doses of vaccine for large parts of the world population, I can see that it's better to give more people their first and second doses of a vaccine in short supply, rather than to top up the immunity of those who have already had 2 doses, so are less likely to need hospital or die.

    So on a world scale while this initial phase of pandemic still being rife, and lots of the world not vaccinated, I agree it would be better to give my third dose, if I'm offered one, to someone who has had no doses. It's a difficult personal dilemma. If I say no to a third dose, it will just go to someone else in the UK for their third dose, it won't be sent to Africa. It really needs to be decided on a national and international policy level.
     
    merylg, FMMM1, Snow Leopard and 16 others like this.
  4. Ariel

    Ariel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I kind of stopped reading at "Is catching covid now better than-"
     
  5. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes it is questioning the value of booster shots in already vaccinated adults vs having supposedly mild covid infection. Which in my opinion is bad enough. But it is also questioning whether children should be vaccinated at all - effectively back to the chicken pox party idea. Playing to an agenda in my opinion.
     
  6. Sarah94

    Sarah94 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Dear god what an idiotic and irresponsible article.

    " "That means if you had a real humdinger of an infection, you may have better immunity to any new variants that pop up as you have immunity to more than just spike," said Prof Riley."

    Or you might die, Riley, but hey, I guess some people get their kicks from playing Russian Roulette?
     
  7. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    So the pack people into crowded airport terminals and mix vigorously with the infected plan isn't working fast enough to ensure total herd immunity and a return to national profitability?

    Even when combined with all the other spread covid measures that have been implemented?

    This is disappointing, possibly we should shove the population a few thousand at a time into poorly ventilated warehouses, give them drugs and alcohol, and make them jump up and down and rub against each other for 8 hours.

    What? That's already being done?

    What else could we do do reduce the numbers of the unprofitable vulnerable
     
  8. Sarah94

    Sarah94 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  9. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This is all very well but we don't know how long immunity lasts.

    So if the effects of the first two jabs have waned sufficiently then then the elderly and vulnerable could be dicing with death all over again.

    Given the cost to produce, deliver and inject all those people the first time around it would be a waste of an awful lot of resource to let them risk becoming very ill now.
     
  10. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    How long immunity lasts is less relevant than how long it takes covid to mutate enough to escape that immunity, just an impartial and uninvolved observer.

    But then I'm not an immunologist, or that type of virus.
     
    shak8, mango, lunarainbows and 9 others like this.
  11. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I felt the same way a while back, but now I'm going for the third dose if offered b/c they will expire and go to waste here in Canada.
     
  12. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    In a news report just this past week, the CDC are saying that immunity starts to wane after 3 months. The Moderna efficacy is much higher than Pfizer and AZ.
     
  13. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    just talking to someone who lives down my road whose daughter (aged 20) recently had covid-19.
    She was told by the NHS that she was now immune for 180 days.

    This to my mind is incredibly irresponsible.
    A few quick searches and I think the 180 comes from the new 'covid passport' or whatever they are calling it. The quick skim I did of research and found some that were saying something along the lines that antibodies were still detected up to 180 days in post-covid patients. But as far as I can make out this is far from a fixed certainty.

    Add to that she recently managed to see her GP as she has lingering symptoms and was told to 'take it easy for a couple of weeks'......
     
  14. boolybooly

    boolybooly Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It nearly got my neighbour who has just come back from hospital. This whole strategy is dicing with death.

    I tend to agree with this. IMHO we are in a situation where SARS-CoV-2 has become a circulating virus in the UK where most of the at risk people have been vaccinated. Once vaccinated it is rarely fatal but it is still killing people who are not, as was reported in a Ch4 News article today.

    The UK is allowing the virus to circulate subsequent to a vaccination program and consequently is spreading the virus within its borders and internationally as a defacto typhoid Mary but is not the only one, there are many major contributors to the international spread of the virus by the sound of it. Its impossible to avoid and it seems inevitable we will have to live with it. So the harmlessly circulating virus scenario, caught in youth every generation, appears to be the realistic endpoint for the world, only many older people will die getting there unless the rest of the world is also vaccinated.

    I think the UK's moral duty is to assist with vaccinating the rest of the world and not only is it the considerate and humanly kind thing to do, it is also a logical investment if we wish to open up the global economy and want to travel to other countries, when we are adopting this policy of circulation induced immunity.

    Lamentably, its too late to do anything else.

    I think twiddling thumbs and hoarding vaccine is not acceptable. We have to be proactively supporting vaccinations for people in other places who want it and treating it like emergency assistance on a grand scale until everyone who wants a vax worldwide, has had one.
     
    merylg, Rosie, Wits_End and 4 others like this.
  15. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The immunity may be better, but the overall risk profile is worse...
     

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