For all „TL;DR“ fans: „Yes, but …“
There are several videos and texts on the net which refer to studies from Israel and others and state that the natural immunity against Covid (i.e. a survived infection with the virus) works better against a new infection than that acquired by vaccination. The studies mention factors between 8 and 27 times. But while some reports are at least halfway factually and technically correctly, vaccination opponents use the information for their misleading propaganda, as usual without really extensively thinking about the problem …
First of all, let’s get to the facts. I refer here to information from a pre-publication (without peer-review process) of this study: Link
This looked at a total of 16215 vaccinated and recovered individuals each from comparison groups, of which a total of 257 covid cases occurred. The study ultimately concluded that the effect of immunity acquired through infection is more protective against reinfection or its consequences than vaccination with the BioNTech agent. The probability of infection or re-infection was about 13x higher for vaccinated individuals (although it was noted that due to possible lack of testing for non-symptomatic cases, the factor could be different). Symptomatic disease occurred at a ratio as high as 27:1. Serious(er) illness leading to hospitalization occurred 8-fold more frequently in vaccinated (8 vaccinated vs. 1 unvaccinated).
In a second observation, ignoring time since initial vaccination/first illness, the factor from vaccinated to unvaccinated was somewhat lower (between about 6 and 7-fold for all cases).
In contrast, in a third observation comparing recovered to recovered with one dose of vaccination, the probability of disease as well as symptomatic disease for the group of the latter was only just over half compared to those recovered without subsequent vaccination.
As the study also mentions, several limitations apply with regard to significance. For example, the results were evaluated while the delta variant was the dominant version of the corona virus. Thus, statements regarding other variants can only be made with caution. Furthermore, only the BioNTech vaccine was evaluated, so it is unclear to what extent the results can be applied to the other vaccines. Also the effect of the booster vaccination, as it is currently administered in Israel and other countries, is still unclear. Furthermore, the social behavior of the investigated persons was not evaluated, such as social distancing or mask use – but it is precisely this that could increase the dangers for vaccinated persons in an everyday study, who take higher risks than unvaccinated persons due to their behavior.
Pre-existing conditions, on the other hand, had little effect on the overall result in the study.
So far, so good …
So we can conclude that the general statement that a survived Covid19 infection protects better against a recurrence of the disease than the vaccination thus – based on this one study – can at least be considered possible or probable. However, this is the case with many vaccines.
There are some diseases for which the vaccination almost completely prevents a later disease, or works better than being cured. These include, for example, vaccination against polio, chickenpox, measles, HPV, pneumococcus and others. In contrast, vaccinations against influenza, for example, have the primary purpose not of preventing infection, but of reducing or minimizing the effects on humans.
Just as a reminder, there are currently over 240 million known cases of covid19 worldwide. These have led to the death of the infected person in just under 5 million cases. This means that for every 100 people infected, about 2 die. Yes, of course there are gradations with regard to age or previous illnesses/conditions, but who can – may – presume to lower the value of a person because of their age or previous illnesses? Except perhaps some sociopaths.
Furthermore we have the issue of Long Covid – something that especially vaccination critics/opponents deny anyway, although it has been and is being researched very well. The long-term effects on the state of health of sick people are real! According to various studies, the number of those who suffer from health condition limitations well beyond the duration of the actual covid disease is reported to be between 20 and 80%(!) (some studies have been collected here).
These numbers – even if you „only“ take the 2% mortality and „only“ 20% Long Covid – must be put in relation to the cases of vaccine damage that have occurred so far (which were rare anyway, and of which in the vast majority of cases were completely cured by short treatment). And no, the usual flu-like symptoms or an arm aching for 2-3 days can NOT be considered a relevant complication in this context. In this report from the Paul Ehrlich Institute, serious side effects were found in about one in 10000 vaccinations. The report, which covers the first 8 months of vaccinations in Germany (12/27/20 – 8/31/21) includes results from about 102 million vaccinations. In these approximately 50+ million people, side effects were reported in 0.1% of cases, but largely fall under the classification of „flu symptoms“ („pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue and fever“) – so not a side effect, but a result of the body’s immune response. And also done after 3 days.
Really noteworthy cases of side effects (AESI, Adverse Events of Special Interest) out of those 50 million people occurred only in a total of about 1600 cases. A total of 15 deaths related to the vaccinations were recorded. 15. Out of over 50 million people. That is 0.00003%, or 3 out of every 100000 people vaccinated. We recall, 2 out of every 100 unvaccinated people die, and 20 or more suffer long-term covid19 consequences. How can one then, as a person even halfway capable of thinking, prefer to fall ill unvaccinated instead of protecting oneself against the consequences of the disease by vaccination??? And even if the vaccination is not as effective as the disease in terms of protection against recurrence – the almost 70000x lower risk of dying from the acquisition of the immunization through vaccination puts the higher risk of a later breakthrough disease into perspective sufficiently.