Apparently, the vaccine isn’t a waste if you’ve had COVID.
Over the past several months, a series of studies has found that some people mount an extraordinarily powerful immune response against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19. Their bodies produce very high levels of antibodies, but they also make antibodies with great flexibility — likely capable of fighting off the coronavirus variants circulating in the world but also likely effective against variants that may emerge in the future.
“One could reasonably predict that these people will be quite well protected against most — and perhaps all of — the SARS-CoV-2 variants that we are likely to see in the foreseeable future,” says Paul Bieniasz, a virologist at Rockefeller University who helped lead several of the studies.
In fact, the effect covers the original SARS-CoV-1.
Let me offer a contextual note, here. I’m an extreme skeptic of government and news organizations like NPR, and I’m a staunch supporter of individual rights. The idea that Rhode Island mandates a vaccine against a venereal disease (HPV) for school children strikes me as so over the line as to be obvious. (Maybe it’s worth getting or maybe it’s not, but there is zero rationale that children who haven’t been vaccinated present a danger to those who have while in school.)
That said, I’ve got personal experience with the life-changing benefits of cutting-edge medicines, and the mRNA vaccines hold the promise (at least) of improving our health in ways well beyond COVID-19. I’ve long been pointing out that the vaccine is much safer than the disease, itself, for every group of people. If it (or future versions of it) might offer even broader protection, the tolerance for risk from the vaccines ought to go up.
This is all blessings-of-human-ingenuity stuff, which ties back to the blessings of the free market. The government mandates are nuts, but don’t let the politics of that cloud our enthusiasm for and awe about the possibility of human ingenuity to make life better.
Featured image by Photoholgic on Unsplash.