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Researchers Review COVID Database, Make a Huge Discovery When They Exclude Vaccinated People

  A new study touts the power of natural immunity to fight off the worst effects of the coronavirus. The researchers, who reported their res...

 A new study touts the power of natural immunity to fight off the worst effects of the coronavirus.

The researchers, who reported their results last week in the New England Journal of Medicine, examined 353,326 COVID-19 patients in the Arabian Peninsula nation of Qatar who were infected anywhere between Feb. 28, 2020, and April 28, 2021.

The research excluded about 87,500 people who were vaccinated over the time span of the study.

Out of the rest of the group studied, only 1,304 contracted COVID-19 again, with none requiring intensive care treatment for the disease, formally known as SARS-CoV-2.

“In earlier studies, we assessed the efficacy of previous natural infection as protection against reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 as being 85 percent or greater,” the researchers, from Qatar’s National Study Group for COVID-19 Epidemiology,  wrote.

“Accordingly, for a person who has already had a primary infection, the risk of having a severe reinfection is only approximately 1 percent of the risk of a previously uninfected person having a severe primary infection.”

The researchers noted that the duration of natural immunity needs to be better understood.

“It needs to be determined whether such protection against severe disease at reinfection lasts for a longer period, analogous to the immunity that develops against other seasonal ‘common cold’ coronaviruses, which elicit short-term immunity against mild reinfection but longer-term immunity against more severe illness with reinfection,” the study said.

“If this were the case with SARS-CoV-2, the virus (or at least the variants studied to date) could adopt a more benign pattern of infection when it becomes endemic,” the study said.

The study noted that once-infected individuals have “90 percent lower odds of resulting in hospitalization or death than primary infections.”

“Four reinfections were severe enough to lead to acute care hospitalization. None led to hospitalization in an ICU, and none ended in death,” the study reported.

“Reinfections were rare and were generally mild, perhaps because of the primed immune system after primary infection.”

“When you have only 1,300 reinfections among that many people, and four cases of severe disease, that’s pretty remarkable,” said John Alcorn, an expert in immunology and professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh, according to CNN.

Alcorn was not part of the team that conducted the study.

One potential weak spot in the study, according to CNN: It was limited to citizens of Qatar, and might not be universally replicable.

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