The vaccine mandates are an exploding cigar. Not only are they causing severe societal dislocation, but they have been implemented in a one-size-fits-all approach that is not justified by current scientific understandings.
A recent letter in the New England Journal of Medicine illustrates the point. Based on the study of reinfection in Qatar, people with natural immunity rarely became severely ill upon reinfection — with none dying. From, “Severity of sARS-CoV-2 Reinfection Compared with Primary Infections”:
There were no cases of critical disease at reinfection and 28 cases at primary infection (Table S3), for an odds ratio of 0.00 (95% CI, 0.00 to 0.64). There were no cases of death from Covid-19 at reinfection and 7 cases at primary infection, resulting in an odds ratio of 0.00 (95% CI, 0.00 to 2.57). The odds of the composite outcome of severe, critical, or fatal disease at reinfection were 0.10 times (95% CI, 0.03 to 0.25) that at primary infection. Sensitivity analyses were consistent with these results (Table S2).
Reinfections had 90% 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. Reinfections were rare and were generally mild, perhaps because of the primed immune system after primary infection.
In earlier studies, we assessed the efficacy of previous natural infection as protection against reinfection with SARS-CoV-22,3 as being 85% or greater. Accordingly, for a person who has already had a primary infection, the risk of having a severe reinfection is only approximately 1% of the risk of a previously uninfected person having a severe primary infection.
This data are highly relevant to the “mandates” debate. Yes, people with natural immunity can become reinfected. But people who are fully vaccinated can be infected too. The vaccines do reduce severity of disease and reduce likelihood of death. But apparently, so does natural resistance caused by surviving a primary infection.
This being so, what justifies forcing persons with natural immunity to accept the vaccine when they already are protected against severe disease? What justifies firing such persons from employment?
Most of us are already protected either by natural or vaccine-generated immunity voluntarily received. Policy should recognize that truth and be tailored accordingly. The best public and private policies toward vaccines would be to encourage people to receive protection — but eschew coercion.