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Unvaccinated Americans previously infected with COVID-19 more at risk than the vaccinated


A vaccinated person with no history of previous Covid infection is more protected than an unvaccinated person who previously contracted the virus, a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study finds.

Researchers from the agency found unvaccinated Covid survivors were 5.5 times more likely to be hospitalized with the virus than a someone who has had their shots 

While previous infection does provide people with some protection from Covid, the findings show the value of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The CDC recommends for all eligible Americans to get vaccinated, even if they previously have had COVID-19.

A CDC study found that unvaccinated Covid survivors were 5.5 times as likely to be hospitalized with the virus three to six months later than people who had never contracted the virus but are fully vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine. Pictured: A woman in Chicago, Illinois, receives a shot of a COVID-19 vaccine on October 15

A CDC study found that unvaccinated Covid survivors were 5.5 times as likely to be hospitalized with the virus three to six months later than people who had never contracted the virus but are fully vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine. Pictured: A woman in Chicago, Illinois, receives a shot of a COVID-19 vaccine on October 15

Messenger RNA, or mRNA, vaccines work by delivering a type of 'instruction kit' into a person's body that will build a spike protein similar to the one that activates infection of COVID-19 (file photo)

Messenger RNA, or mRNA, vaccines work by delivering a type of ‘instruction kit’ into a person’s body that will build a spike protein similar to the one that activates infection of COVID-19 (file photo)

For the report, published  on Friday, researchers gathered data from 187 hospitals across nine states from January 2021 to September 2021.

They gathered testing and hospitalization records from people who met two distinct categories.

One group was made up of people who were unvaccinated but had previously recovered from the virus between 90 to 179 days ago – someone who would have natural antibodies but none from the mRNA vaccines.

The second group was people who had received either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines between 90 to 179 days ago, but did not have any previous infection.

The latter group would only have antibodies from the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines, and no natural defenses from the virus. 

Researchers made adjustments based on overall vaccination rate and other factors that would impact a person’s likelihood to be hospitalized including age, comorbidities and more.

After adjustments, they found that an unvaccinated Covid survivor was 5.49 times as likely to be hospitalized with Covid than a fully vaccinated person.

The team also determined that recipients of the Moderna vaccine faced the lowest likelihood of hospitalizations, though the Pfizer jab is also very effective.

‘The benefit of vaccination compared with infection without vaccination appeared to be higher for recipients of Moderna than Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is consistent with a recent study that found higher vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 hospitalizations for Moderna vaccine recipients than for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine recipients,’ researchers wrote.

The findings suggest the mRNA vaccines are the best way to protect a person from Covid, though the Johnson & Johnson shot – which is only one dose – was not included in the study.

Messenger RNA, or mRNA, vaccines work by delivering a type of ‘instruction kit’ into a person’s body that will build a spike protein similar to the one that activates infection of COVID-19.

A person’s immune system will destroy this spike protein, and learn how to destroy it if Covid cells ever enter the body. 

This is not the first CDC study to come to this conclusion.

In August, the agency published a study that found people relying on natural antibodies were twice as likely to get infected with the virus than someone who is vaccinated. 

Now, with this new study, the agency has found that the vaccine is also more effective at preventing hospitalization.

As of Friday afternoon, two-thirds of Americans have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, with a majority having received one of the mRNA vaccines in the study.

Over 176 million of the 192 million fully vaccinated Americans were jabbed with either one of those shots as well.



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