Is there any reason to think vaccinations are more effective than actually surviving covid?

Vaccinations have been touted as being 95% effective, but ISTM that by all indications actually having had covid is a lot more effective than that. I would venture at least 99% effective, based on people I know (and know of) who have gotten or not gotten covid over the past 10 months or so.

My parents are getting vaccinated today. Personally, if I were them I wouldn’t do it, because they have both had covid before and have tested positive for antibodies pretty recently. But I didn’t say anything to them because they were both pretty miserable when they got it and want to do everything possible to avoid suffering a similar fate or worse again.

But I have a young relative who is concerned about this in her own case. She also had covid, but she is training to become a nurse, and as part of her program needs to work in a hospital, and needs to be vaccinated. But she is pregnant, and is unsure of the effects of vaccination on her baby, and while it’s probably low risk it may not be zero risk, and she feels if she already had covid there’s no reason for her to get vaccinated now. But some big shot in the program she’s in said there would be no exceptions for people who already had covid, because they don’t recognize having had covid as being a valid protection against covid.

The sense I got from what that guy said - as it was relayed to me - was that it was one of these overly rigid scientific standard things. There had been published peer reviewed scientific studies on the effects of vaccines and there had not been comparable published studies on the protective effects of having had it, so we recognize one and not the other, despite what appears to be overwhelming empirical evidence. (But I might have gotten it wrong.)

There was an article in the WaPo this morning about the topic. I only read whatever they send me in an email, and did not read the actual article, but the general gist is that you never know how long immunity lasts and also from a public health standpoint it’s difficult to verify who did or did not have it. So they say public health experts are recommending that everyone get the shots but that people who have had it could voluntarily hold back while there are other people on line for it.

On the subject of your young relative, my understanding is that it’s not recommended for pregnant women at this point. So, while the big shot is not granting exceptions for having had it, he or she should grant the exception for her pregnancy.

On the more general question, there are cases of people getting it twice, plus no one really knows how long immunity lasts, so someone having had it in, say, June may still benefit from the vaccine. Also, there are false positive tests, even anti-body tests, so someone who thought they had it could have been wrong. Finally, lots of people are claiming they’ve had it based on some sickness they had (without getting any testing done), and it would be difficult to separate out the people who assume they’ve had it from the rest of the population. It’s just easier to give it to everyone eligible.

Are there side effects to the vaccine? What’s the downside?

As the Canadian health groups reports:

Which is safer, COVID-19 vaccination or infection?

The data is clear: vaccination.

Serious side-effects from both clinical trials and widespread vaccination for COVID-19 have been very rare, and even those that have appeared, such as occasional severe allergic reactions, generally don’t require hospitalization.

On the other hand, as of Jan. 7, COVID-19 had killed more than 16,000 Canadians and put more than 27,000 — about eight per cent of those confirmed to have the disease — in hospital, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Around the world, 1.89 million people have died of the disease.

While older adults and those with pre-existing conditions such as obesity and diabetes are more vulnerable, it hasn’t been that rare for young, healthy adults to become severely ill or die. Up to 12 per cent of hospitalized cases during the spring peak in Canada involved people younger than 40.

What’s the upside for taking a novel vaccine for a novel disease you’ve already had?

It hasn’t been extensively tested on pregnant women. That’s good enough to refuse, imho.

Getting Covid for the sake of being immune to Covid is like getting deliberately stung by a bee so that that bee can’t sting you any more (it’s lost its stinger.) It’s incurring the very thing you want to prevent; self-contradictory.

The vaccine is better in just about any circumstance.

Employment. There are going to be situations where only those who are vaccinated will be able to work in a given industry.

Looking at the data I agree with the CDC, pregnant women should have a choice of getting the vaccine; but people at risk, even if pregnant, should consider it.

Pregnant people are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19

Observational data demonstrate that, while the chances for these severe health effects are low, pregnant people with COVID-19 have an increased risk of severe illness, including illness that results in ICU admission, mechanical ventilation, and death compared with non-pregnant women of reproductive age. Additionally, pregnant people with COVID-19 might be at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, compared with pregnant women without COVID-19.

There are limited data about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for people who are pregnant

Until findings are available from clinical trials and additional studies, only limited data are available on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, including mRNA vaccines, administered during pregnancy:

  • Limited data are currently available from animal developmental and reproductive toxicity studies. No safety concerns were demonstrated in rats that received Moderna COVID-19 vaccine before or during pregnancy; studies of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are ongoing.
  • Studies in people who are pregnant are planned.
  • Both vaccine manufacturers are monitoring people in the clinical trials who became pregnant.

CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have safety monitoring systems in place to capture information about vaccination during pregnancy and will closely monitor reports.

If I understand correctly, no one in this thread is suggesting that. This thread is about the wisdom of vaccinations for people who have already had Covid (not that they deliberately got Covid for the sake of getting immunity).

Here’s what I wrote. You’re welcome to point out where you disagree.

I don’t think my earlier response was that long. I agree with you on the subject of pregnant women, and addressed that in my earlier post as well.

Too bad that the title of the thread is :

Is there any reason to think vaccinations are more effective than actually surviving covid?

The answer is that yes, there are very good reasons.

I read it. I know there’s some cases of reinfection. A very low rate. Are you guaranteeing how well these vaccine work on someone who’s already had an infection? Is it better than the incredibly low reinfection rate? Otherwise you haven’t told me the upside.

Here you go, again. False positives, mistakenly thinking they had it when they’ve had something else.

I’m not guaranteeing shit, since I’m not an doctor, epidemiologist, or anything like that. Seriously, WTF?

Pragmatically speaking. And reading other sources, I think that now, because of the shortages of vaccines, the ones that already got sick and got better should wait until all others that never got sick consider getting the shot.

The title of the OP is confusing, because it suggests the question that some people are responding to, but it is really about whether one should get a vaccination having already recovered.

The various public health agencies are saying yes, but I think that that answer is really not based on actual medical evidence but based on some tricky reasoning.

  1. There are a lot of people who “think” they’ve had Covid but really haven’t. I know multiple people who got flu-like symptoms in the Feb-April range when testing was essentially unavailable who think they had it. It’s possible they did, but like 99% of people with flu-like symptoms in that time period in the US did not have Covid. But people are bad at statistics. You really don’t want to discourage those people from getting a vaccine.
  2. There’s essentially no data yet on people who recovered from Covid and got a vaccine, so it’s hard to say whether it actually helps much, but there’s lots of data that the vaccine has extremely little downside, so even if the additional protection is minor, it’s still probably better to get it. I agree that people who have recovered from known Covid (a real positive test result, not “that sickness I had was probably Covid”) should probably wait until others have been vaccinated.

My point was you were pointing to reinfection as a reason to get the vaccine but as far as I’ve seen, immunity from reinfection seems to be better than the “95%” efficacy rate of the initial vaccines. So you weren’t really making a valid point, imho.

Plus, we don’t have much data at all on the safety of the vaccine on people who’ve already had the disease. There could be something lurking there.

This is pretty much my last post in this thread, at least until the OP returns. iamthewalrus3 laid it out better than I did, anyway.

On the reinfection question, the disease has only been around about a year, and the vast majority of the people who got it, got it less than a year ago, probably less than six months ago. So, we have no idea at all if immunity lasts more than six months or a year.

There has been no indication of any issue with people getting vaccinated after already having had the disease. Are there any other vaccines where this is an issue? If not, why bring it up?

His point is that none of them know of they are (still) immune, and thus have every reason to take the shot and make their chances greater.

You’d have to be an idiot to depend on the thing that science doesn’t have data on to protect you, rather than the extensively studied vaccune, let alone rely on a self-diagnosis of having had the virus. The majority of people who had the virus still were never tested, remember.

We even have reason to think the vaccine immunity may last longer, given that it can leave the spike protein exposed longer. And it won’t hurt if it is the same or shorter.

It was a problem in the animal trials of the vaccines for SARS-I. The vaccines ended up making them extra susceptible. I’m not an expert either and I assume that these mRNA vaccines don’t have the exact same problem but this isn’t a pure fantasy land concern.

But aren’t some people contending that, relative to normal procedures, these vaccines haven’t been ‘extensively studied’ after all? Here’s Sebastian Rushworth’s recent take on it, which looks to be a pretty balanced one and where he talks about the strengths and weaknesses of the various trials.

I guess there’s a fair argument to be made that ‘science has’ plenty of data on natural infections, this far into the game, and actually comparatively little as yet on immunity or side effects from the vaccines.

Who is Sebastian Rushworth and why should I care what he says? When I searched for him, all I found were his website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.