by Sharon Rondeau
(Jan. 20, 2022) — In an interview with Fox News host Pete Hegseth during Thursday’s 7:00 p.m. news hour regarding the results of a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the superiority of “natural immunity” to vaccines against the COVID-19 “Delta” variant, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX21) said the government vaccine “mandates” were “never about the science” but more about “the money.”
“Follow the money and you’re going to see what’s driving this,” Roy told Hegseth just after 7:30 p.m. EST.
The study, which gathered data from the states of New York and California, found that once the Delta variant became predominant in June 2021, rates of infection among the unvaccinated who were known to have experienced a previous infection were lower than for vaccinated individuals.
“By November 30, 2021, approximately 130,781 COVID-19–associated deaths, one in six of all U.S. deaths from COVID-19, had occurred in California and New York,*” the report commences. “COVID-19 vaccination protects against infection with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), associated severe illness, and death (1,2); among those who survive, previous SARS-CoV-2 infection also confers protection against severe outcomes in the event of reinfection (3,4).”
Prior to the emergence of Delta, the report states, vaccinated individuals without a history of COVID-19 infection were the least likely to have been hospitalized for the virus.
The “Discussion” section of the report begins with:
This analysis integrated laboratory testing, hospitalization surveillance, and immunization registry data in two large states during May–November 2021, before widespread circulation of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant and before most persons had received additional or booster COVID-19 vaccine doses to protect against waning immunity. Rate estimates from the analysis describe different experiences stratified by COVID-19 vaccination status and previous COVID-19 diagnosis and during times when different SARS-CoV-2 variants predominated. Case rates were initially lowest among vaccinated persons without a previous COVID-19 diagnosis; however, after emergence of the Delta variant and over the course of time, incidence increased sharply in this group, but only slightly among both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons with previously diagnosed COVID-19 (6). Across the entire study period, persons with vaccine- and infection-derived immunity had much lower rates of hospitalization compared with those in unvaccinated persons. These results suggest that vaccination protects against COVID-19 and related hospitalization and that surviving a previous infection protects against a reinfection. Importantly, infection-derived protection was greater after the highly transmissible Delta variant became predominant, coinciding with early declining of vaccine-induced immunity in many persons (5). Similar data accounting for booster doses and as new variants, including Omicron, circulate will need to be assessed.
Despite the implications of natural immunity against the virus and its mutations, the report concludes that “although the epidemiology of COVID-19 might change as new variants emerge, vaccination remains the safest strategy for averting future SARS-CoV-2 infections, hospitalizations, long-term sequelae, and death. Primary vaccination, additional doses, and booster doses are recommended for all eligible persons. Additional future recommendations for vaccine doses might be warranted as the virus and immunity levels change.”
Roy went on to object to the mandate imposed by Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser which became effective Saturday requiring “vaccine card checks” for indoor dining and events involving large numbers of people.
Roy said that rather than buying “a burger” in the capital city, he would travel to Virginia, where some restrictions have just been lifted by newly-sworn-in Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R).
In response to the report, on Wednesday the CDC stated, in part:
Today’s MMWR study finds that during the Delta wave, both COVID-19 vaccination and surviving a prior infection provided protection against infection and hospitalization from COVID-19. Scientists reviewed data from New York and California to determine the level of protection offered by COVID-19 vaccines, previous infection, and both. Between May and November 2021, people who were unvaccinated and did not have a prior COVID-19 infection remained at the highest risk of infection and hospitalization, while those who were previously infected, both with or without prior vaccination, had the greatest protection…
Additionally, a recent study shows with increasing time since prior infection, vaccination provides greater protection against COVID-19 compared to prior infection alone, emphasizing the importance of being up to date on COVID-19 vaccination. Later this week, CDC will publish additional data on COVID-19 vaccines and boosters while Omicron has been circulating.
The CDC’s promotion of “vaccination” and “booster” shots for most Americans continues even as its European counterparts are re-evaluating the advisability of booster shots and some governments begin to ease restrictions.
In Canada, Ontario’s premier, Doug Ford, announced he would “cautiously and gradually ease public health measures” beginning January 31.