Pfizer board member warns policymakers: “Natural immunity confers durable protection and we should start assimilating that into our policy discussion”
As you may recall, the latest study from Israel found that “having SARS-CoV-2 once confers much greater immunity than a vaccine.” The study, which was published on August 25, found that natural immune protection that develops after a SARS-CoV-2 infection offers considerably more of a shield against the Delta variant of the pandemic coronavirus than two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Almost a week later after the report came out, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who is a Pfizer board member, is now saying that “natural immunity confers durable protection” and also warning policymakers to “start assimilating that into our policy discussion.”
“The balance of the evidence demonstrates that natural immunity confers a durable protection,” Gottlieb said during an interview with CNBC Squawk Box, referring to the same Israeli study that found prior COVID-19 infection confers much more protection against the virus than any vaccine
Gottlieb also cautioned that we should “be careful about concluding that natural immunity is more robust.” CNBC Ross Sorkin also shared a clip of the interview in a Twitter post.
“The balance of the evidence demonstrates that natural immunity confers a durable protection,” says
@ScottGottliebMD. “We should start assimilating that into our policy discussions. I’d be careful about concluding that natural immunity is more robust.”
Below is a Twitter video of the interview.
"The balance of the evidence demonstrates that natural immunity confers a durable protection," says @ScottGottliebMD. "We should start assimilating that into our policy discussions. I'd be careful about concluding that natural immunity is more robust." pic.twitter.com/T44JqpRPos
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) August 30, 2021
Below is an excerpt from the Israeli study that should put an end to the debate over vaccines versus natural immunity.
“Although the results could suggest waning natural immunity against the Delta variant, those vaccinated are still at a 5.96-fold increased risk for breakthrough infection and at a 7.13-fold increased risk for symptomatic disease compared to those previously infected. SARS-CoV-2-naïve vaccinees were also at a greater risk for COVID-19-related-hospitalization compared to those who were previously infected. Individuals who were previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 seem to gain additional protection from a subsequent single-dose vaccine regimen.”