Natural or vaccine immunity: Which is more protective?

Because some people with COVID-19 can have very mild symptoms, some may see natural infection as preferable to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The fact is that natural immunity or protection from COVID-19 is not preferable to getting vaccinated.

While it’s true that having COVID-19 may create some protection, known as natural immunity, to COVID-19, at this point we aren’t sure how long this immunity will last. It’s also not clear who will and who won’t create effective antibodies. Since this is a new virus, our immune systems are not adapted to create effective natural immune responses to this virus.

The risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 outweighs the benefit of natural immunity. Given the variability in immune response, a lot of people who get infected naturally can get reinfected again, in sometimes as short as a few months.

Even for those who don’t have specific risk factors for COVID-19 such as chronic illness or older age, there’s no way to predict that they will avoid serious illness. If an individual does develop a mild case of COVID-19, they can still spread the virus to others who may not be as fortunate. Also, scientists are still learning about the long-term effects of COVID-19, but some people continue to have some longer-term effects from their illness.

Vaccines in use in Oregon have been tested in large clinical trials and the FDA has determined that they are safe and effective. Millions of people in the U.S. have been vaccinated and even more worldwide.  

The vaccine is safe, effective and the best way to avoid severe illness from COVID-19.

To find a vaccine in your area, go to How to Find a COVID-19 Vaccine in Oregon.