The CDC is at it again with distorting the Coronavirus narrative. This time, in a press released titled, “New CDC Study: Vaccination Offers Higher Protection than Previous COVID-19 Infection,” the CDC is distorting the truth on natural immunity through leaving out key details.
See the press release here: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s0806-vaccination-protection.html
Cutting to the chase, the CDC suggests that being vaccinated provides better immunity than natural immunity, but the study they rely on is about those who contracted Coronavirus and then subsequently received the vaccine.
The misleading element is that, instead of comparing those who got the shot without prior infection, the CDC is relying on the confounding variable of those who already contracted the virus.
Quoting the CDC: “In today’s MMWR, a study of COVID-19 infections in Kentucky among people who were previously infected with SAR-CoV-2 shows that unvaccinated individuals are more than twice as likely to be reinfected with COVID-19 than those who were fully vaccinated after initially contracting the virus.”
By leaving out those who got the shot but never contracted the virus prior, the headline misleads people to think that ALL vaccinations are more effective than natural immunity and that it’s vaccination itself that is driving the bulk of the improvement.
On top of that, the comparative rate of “2.34 times less likely to be reinfected” does not speak to the actual risk of reinfection in raw numbers, nor does it speak to what the outcomes are for those who are already recovered.
In essence, the CDC is misleading people about vaccine efficacy in independent form and is hiding the extent to which natural recovery played a role in immunity generally.
The study they relied on also suffers from some serious issues. Of most importance, noted even by the study’s authors, is that the reinfections looked at were not confirmed through whole-genome sequencing, that is, it’s not certain the reinfection was even the Sars-2 virus.
On top of that, viral shedding may have continued past the point of infection to create a positive test result even though there was no subsequent reinfection.
See the researcher’s commentary on those issues here:
Reduced Risk of Reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 After COVID-19 Vaccination — Kentucky, May–June 2021
Of course, the misleading headline and study limitations are not stopping “fact checkers” (more like fraud presenters) from claiming that vaccine-induced immunity is more effective and longer-lasting than natural recovery in all cases.
So, if you see someone parroting this distortion from the CDC’s press release headline, be sure to call them out on it.