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Pierce Health Describes How Vaccination Vs. Natural Immunity

PIERCE COUNTY, WASHINGTON — The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department is urging residents to get vaccinated, even if they have already been infected with COVID-19 and believe they have natural immunity to the coronavirus. TPCHD’s Jax Hermer explains in a recent blog post that natural immunity isn’t well understood enough right now to guarantee protection against COVID-19.”The natural immunity your body develops after fighting a disease is fantastic.

However, the level of protection—and the length of time you are protected—varies from person to person and disease to disease “Hermer writes “We’re still learning about natural COVID-19 immunity.” As the health department points out, the vaccines are not 100 percent effective, but they have been shown to prevent serious infections, hospitalizations, and deaths in the majority of patients. According to the Pierce County Health Department, unvaccinated COVID-19 patients are ten times more likely to die from COVID-19 complications. Meanwhile, natural immunity is beset by a slew of unknowns. TPCHD cites a recent study that discovered that more than one-third of COVID-19 infections produced no protective antibodies at all.

Immunity to SARS‐CoV‐2 induced by infection or vaccination - Castro Dopico  - - Journal of Internal Medicine - Wiley Online Library

In patients who did produce antibodies, immunity was found to fade in just two months. Despite recent improvements, Pierce County continues to struggle with low vaccination rates and, as a result, has higher case rates than many of its peers. According to the most recent update from the county’s COVID-19 dashboard, the county’s case rate over the last two weeks has been 536.3 coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents, and just over one million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered to Pierce County residents.

All of this is to say that the health department continues to urge everyone to get vaccinated, even if they believe they are already immune due to natural immunity. It’s better to be safe than sorry, after all.


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