Immunity after getting COVID should fulfill vaccine requirements

Topic says it all. This was derailing another thread so I started a new one.
I don’t think natural immunity is better than vaccines.
I am not promoting COVID parties
I think people should get vaccinated

I think it should be treated like a vaccine and researched and tracked just as vaccines are.

What makes you think immunity after an infection is functionally equivalent to a vaccine?

Whatever the facts about subsequent immunity, from a public health perspective it’s a terrible idea to allow this, because it incentivizes ignorant antivax idiots to go out and deliberately catch the virus. And no, they should not be “free” to take that risk if they choose, because it obviously does not just affect them - it increases community transmission that affects everyone else, too.

I never actually gave what I think is the primary reason this isn’t done:

It wastes money and resources that could be better spent. Even if you farm off the costs of testing onto the person trying to get an exemption, they still are taking test time away from others who really need their tests. And you need to set up a system to track the results of the test. You need to set up criteria for what counts as valid test.

Not only would them just getting the vaccine be easier on everyone, but they actually get even better immunity. And this means they are less likely to spread the virus to others, which is a huge gain for all of us. You want some superimmune people out there.

There just isn’t really any good reason to spend extra money, time, and resources to help people who want to try and figure out a way to avoid the vaccine. Even if you argue the government shouldn’t try to stop stupid behavior, it also has no reason to waste money aiding in that behavior, either.

And especially not when that behavior is dangerous to others and has no upsides for anyone.

what you’re saying is facts don’t matter.

You’re the one being selective about which facts matter.

It is a fact that if there is a policy of exempting people from vaccination if they catch the disease then some people will go out and deliberately try to catch it. And it is a fact that this has public health implications - for everyone.

It’s already true that there are some exemptions for people who have recently been infected if not enough time has passed for subsequent vaccination to be medically appropriate. That’s all that is justified.

Natural immunity is researched and tracked. I have no idea what you mean by “just as vaccines are”, but the tracking of and research on natural immunity is how we know that it is shit compared to the available vaccines for this virus.

You didn’t answer my questions from the other thread.

What is your actual proposal? Do you think people who have caught covid should be eligible to do anything that currently requires vaccinated status/proof of vaccination? Does this status last indefinitely? Caught COVID once, you’re good indefinitely?

Do we just trust their word for it? Do they need a positive COVID test? If they didn’t get COVID tested, do they need an antigen test to prove that they have antibodies? Do we create a new infrastructure to record the results of these antigen tests in a database like we do for COVID shots?

What happens when their immunity begins to wane? People who are vaccinated are expected to get boosters. Are people who have post-infection immunity required to keep getting COVID every 6 months to stay current on their immunity status? Because people who need to be qualified to do things by vaccination will be required to get boosters.

What purpose does this serve? As far as I can see, it only serves as an incentive for people who refuse to get vaccinated (and therefore have greater personal and public health protection) to keep doing so, as it carves out special rules that allow them to avoid the inconveniences of not getting vaccinated. It also gives the perverse incentive for someone who is irrational - which antivaxxers are - to get COVID on purpose in order to fully participate in society again, and lots of those idiots would be clogging up our hospitals. What is the public interest in setting up new systems and new rules to accommodate people who refuse to make rational decisions on public health issues?

Vaccination gives us a consistent framework to work with. It allows us to keep people boosted and topped off. Natural immunity and vaccination combined still provide more protection than either alone. It is a better outcome for both individuals and society if everyone gets vaccinated regardless of whether they’ve had COVID before or not. What’s society’s interest in creating new rules and infrastructure to discourage people to get vaccinated by removing disincentives towards remaining unvaccinated or rewarding those who refuse vaccination?

You’re forgetting the obvious counterargument that NEEDLE HURTY.

There is nothing he said that could be reasonably interpreted that way. You’re desperately straining for gotchas.

On the other hand, you seem to be saying essentially that policy doesn’t matter. You haven’t actually made a case as to why your idea would actually make good policy. You have one fact - that in some cases, natural immunity is as good as vaccination for at least a short while - and you’re just repeating that without actually proposing any sort of rational policy, and then claiming that anyone who demonstrates the policy problems of your implied position doesn’t care about the science.

Yes where is the data to support the OP’s proposal? I’ve been looking for it.

I have seen recently some data that those who have gotten covid then got a vaccine are more protected than just those who have gotten the vaccine. But that data did state it was a limited data set. Also it did show that those who got COVID and any vaccine did about the same regardless of what vaccine was given, while the vaccine alone had its usually breakdown Modernia>Phiyser>J&J. and it did hint at the disease itself may give superior immunity, but that is reading for more into it then this data set would allow which is also iffy to start with, leaving the only conclusion that those who got COVID should also get anyone of the vaccines too for the very same reason for anyone to get it, and not getting it is irresponsible given that data set.

People squirming to find excuses to not get the shot are spending way more time, effort, and energy than it would cost them to just go and get the damn shot.

Just go get the damn shot already and get it over with. It’s free!

So maybe you’ll feel a little bit shitty for a day or two. Relax. Stay in bed. Read a book, or the Dope. Have some chicken soup.

What if you don’t get paid if you sit in bed for two days? Not everyone has the luxury to do that. You can’t even mandate it, as that doesn’t help the self-employed, or contractors.

Early in the pandemic i thought vaccines imparted better immunity than the disease – which is really unusual, by the way. Typically, if you survive a disease it gives you better immunity than a vaccine does. The benefits of vaccination are that it’s far safer for the person, and in the case of most vaccines, the vaccinated person isn’t contagious after vaccination. (There are a handful of live vaccines that are contagious. I had a live polio vaccine, for instance. The covid vaccine is not a live vaccine.)

But I’ve now read a bunch of studies suggesting the opposite. Covid is like most diseases. Infection-induced immunity is generally stronger than one dose of vaccine, maybe better than two doses. (But not as good as three.)

I’m not suggesting that we take someone’s word that they’ve recovered. Rather, I’m suggesting that our “covid vaccination status” official records should include both documented vaccines and documented infections. Just like we do with other diseases. (I skipped a round of whooping cough booster because I’d had whooping cough. People with a documented case of measles don’t need a measles vaccine.)

Why? Because the effect is real, and it seems anti-science to deny it. Because it pushes us into dumb political battles, when we could be fighting meaningful political battles. Because it’s not free to be vaccinated, and the people who need the vaccine the least are the ones with the worst side effects.

How do you skip a round of pertussis (whooping cough) booster? They’re always combined with tetanus and diphtheria boosters, as far as I’ve ever heard, which you only need once every 10 years. Did you skip a round of tetanus and diphtheria booster along with it?

Also, earlier in the pandemic, vaccines imparted a lot of sterilizing immunity. That is, most people who were vaccinated and then exposed never developed a high enough viral load to be contagious to others. (Same was true with a previous infection.)

There are huge public health advantages to having kids of people have sterilizing immunity. Enough that mandating it makes sense.

But with omicron, the original-strain-based vaccines impart almost no sterilizing immunity. They are pretty good at protecting the vaccinated from serious disease (usually defined as hospitalization or death) but the reason we have this massive surge is that even the vaccinated are catching and spreading it. That makes the argument for requiring vaccination to attend stuff weaker. Because you are nearly as likely to catch covid from a vaccinated person as from an unvaccinated one.

Now… That’s going to ebb and flow as strains of covid and vaccines battle it out. I expect we’ll have an omicron-specific booster sometime this spring. And eventually some other breakthrough strain, and… The cycle continues.

I was talking with a friend who is organizing an in-person event this spring. I said, “as an attendee, i don’t care whether the other attendees are vaccinated, because it’s not going to substantially affect my risk. But as an organizer, i think you should care. Because you will forever feel guilty if someone dies as a result of attending your event, and you could have prevented that. And that’s far less likely to happen if you require vaccination.”

(By the time her event rolls around, the hospitals aren’t going to be overcrowded with omicron. The big wave will have receded.)

So there are still lots of good reasons to require vaccination. If i were an employer i would push vaccination to reduce the cost of the pandemic to my workforce. But those are also fulfilled by having acquired immunity through infection or a mix of infection and vaccination.

There’s a tetanus booster that doesn’t include pertussis, and I got that one. The current pertussis shot isn’t so bad, but the old one was really unpleasant, and I reduced the side effects of getting my tetanus shot by avoiding pertussis. Maybe they don’t sell the xPertussis one now that they’ve improved the pertussis shot. I dunno. But it was the pertussis component that was really painful with the old one.

I also had a bad reaction to a measles shot in my youth. Bad enough that my mom got a medical exemption for me from some later round of measles vaccines. (Or maybe she got my brothers exempted, I’m not 100% certain of the details, and by the time i cared about the details, my mom’s memory wasn’t reliable, either.) Anyway, when we had that measles breakout a few years ago, i wasn’t certain i was fully vaccinated against measles, but i was also afraid of getting vaccinated. After talking with my doctor, i got an antibody titer instead of just getting boosted. Since i “passed” that test, i didn’t get another measles shot.

I don’t see where you posted any facts.


During May–November 2021, case and hospitalization rates were highest among persons who were unvaccinated without a previous diagnosis. Before Delta became the predominant variant in June, case rates were higher among persons who survived a previous infection than persons who were vaccinated alone. By early October, persons who survived a previous infection had lower case rates than persons who were vaccinated alone.

Conclusions This study demonstrated that natural immunity confers longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, compared to the BNT162b2 two-dose vaccine-induced immunity. Individuals who were both previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 and given a single dose of the vaccine gained additional protection against the Delta variant.

Here I am, pissed that I can’t get a COVID booster shot, while a couple of Dopers, including one I normally respect, are afraid of a little jab, like second graders. No, wait, when I was in second grade the jabs were for diphtheria, tetanus, and polio, diseases for which you didn’t want natural immunity. I’m disappointed.

Just quit making excuses and get the shot like grown-ups.