Dr. Anthony Fauci said he did not have a "firm answer" when asked if natural immunity offered better protection from COVID-19 than the vaccine.
Fauci, who is President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser, was asked on Friday by CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta whether people who have tested positive for the virus should still get a shot. He cited data from Israel in August suggesting people who recovered from COVID-19 had a lower risk of contracting the delta variant than those who got a full Pfizer vaccine.
"I don't have a really firm answer for you on that. That's something that we're going to have to discuss regarding the durability of the response," Fauci said.
The research from Israel, Fauci noted, did not address the durability that natural immunity offers, and he said that it is possible for a person to recover from COVID-19 and receive natural immunity, but then, that person might not be protected for nearly as long as the protection the vaccine offers.
"I think that is something that we need to sit down and discuss seriously," he added.
There has been debate about whether those who have been infected with COVID-19 need to get the vaccine.
“Until they show me evidence that people who have already had the infection are dying in large numbers or being hospitalized or getting very sick, I just made my own personal decision that I’m not getting vaccinated because I’ve already had the disease, and I have natural immunity," Sen. Rand Paul said in a radio interview in May.
The Biden administration revealed a new federal vaccine mandate last week that affects up to 100 million people in a bid to curb COVID-19.
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Original Author: Asher Notheis
Original Location: Fauci lacks 'firm answer' on COVID-19 natural immunity question