Researchers find life-long immunity to Spanish flu, can natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2 offer the same?
The following article was published on August 19, 2008 by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP).
The article reports on the findings of a new study that showed that survivors of the 1918 influenza pandemic still had antibodies that reacted against the virus, almost 100 years after. The article said, “The group found that 100% of the subjects had serum-neutralizing activity against the 1918 virus and 94% showed serologic reactivity”.
The researchers also discovered that the same antibodies cross-reacted with the proteins related to the 1930 swine flu virus, but it did not react against more contemporary influenza strains. The researchers said, “The B cells have been waiting for at least 60 years, if not 90 years, for that flu to come around again…That’s amazing because it’s the longest memory anyone’s ever demonstrated”. And because the antibodies did not react against more contemporary influenza strain, the researchers say that it “strongly suggests that recent exposures do not account for this immunity”.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said this in reaction “recent studies have projected that immunity lasts several decades; the current study provides proof…This is the mother of all immunological memory”.
Editor’s Note: We know from previous research that the same long-term immunity can be found among SARS-CoV (also known as SARS) survivors [see New study found pre-existing SARS-CoV-2 immunity in general population]. If survivors of the more deadly viruses, SARS and the 1918 Influenza outbreak, could develop robust immune responses decades after they first encountered the virus strain, why do health experts today decry the long-term immunity granted by natural SARS-CoV-2 infection? Clearly, the insistence that there is no long-term immunity for SARS-CoV-2 is not based on science! In fact, recently published research has debunked this belief [see New study finds mild COVID creates lasting antibody producing cells].
Also, the belief that there is no pre-existing immunity against SARS-CoV-2, is really just that – a belief. It has no scientific evidence. In fact, researches in 2020 showed the opposite. In the article Can antibodies against common cold fight against COVID-19? Two researches found that antibodies that fight against the common cold cross-reacts with SARS-CoV-2 and that even those with no prior exposure to SARS-CoV-2 have helper T-cells that can recognize and react against the virus. SARS-CoV-2 is not so novel after all.
Also, take note that the study cited below only measured antibody-based immunity, not cell-based immunity [see The huge disparity between immunity from natural infection and vaccine-induced immunity to know the difference]. New researches are showing that natural immunity protects recovered COVID patients from reinfection and cell-based immunity offers protection to future variants of SARS-CoV-2 [see Study of 10-million person-identifiable PCR-test in Denmark shows young people protected from SARS-CoV-2 reinfection New study: T-cells induced by COVID infection can respond to new SARS-CoV-2 variants and Our immune system evolves to fight coronavirus variants].
On the other hand, current COVID vaccines are known to be useless for some SARS-CoV-2 strains, and the protection they offer is very short [see Pro-vaccine immunologist: “I would probably prefer to have natural immunity”]. Moreover, vaccines are dangerous [see New study: Vaccines are the likely cause of adverse effects and deaths following vaccination].
Why would anyone choose vaccines over natural immunity? Well, only one explanation makes sense. There is no money to gain with natural immunity [vaccine manufacturers stand to gain billions from their sales, see Pfizer to earn $15billlion in vaccine sales in 2021].
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