Over 50% of U.S. Population Has Contracted COVID-19, CDC Says | MedPage Today

Nearly 58% to be more precise. And with seroprevalence of about 75% in children and adolescents. This is despite lower vaccination rates in children and adolescents compared to adults and senior citizens.

Check out the responses by Kristie Clarke, MD, of the CDC’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Team:

She noted that they examined data on the proportion of the population who developed antibodies to the nucleocapsid protein, which only appear after infection, not vaccination.

When asked why seroprevalence appeared to be so much higher in children and adolescents versus older adults (for whom seroprevalence was only 33%), Clarke pointed out that younger populations have the lowest vaccination rates, at 28% for kids ages 5 to 11 versus 90% for adults ages 65 and up.

What is Dr. Clarke saying?  Is she implying that a higher rate of infection among children, and the resultant higher seropositivity is a because there is a lower rate of immunization in that demographic?  If that is her point, what are we to conclude about the immunogenicity of the vaccine in a demographic with a significant higher rate of vaccination (90%), but which shows lower seropositivity (33%).  While levels/types of antibodies don’t necessarily translate to protection against infection, it seems unreasonable that anyone would argue that fewer antibodies generated by a vaccine, compared to natural infection, would result in better protection.

There were no comments as to the broader immunologic response after natural infection with no mention of any possible downside due to fact that the vaccine doesn’t trigger nucleocapsid antibodies.

Note that all the emphasis is on vaccination to reduce severity of symptoms with the caution against assuming prior infection is protective; yet we know it is. Almost all talk of immunity is framed in terms of vaccination with very cautious wording of any protection from natural infection.

This narrative goes against what we know from several good studies over the past 18 months. All the CDC would have to do is to replicate the design of the Israeli study that was done during the delta phase and look at rate of test positivity, symptoms and hospitalization and death rates among those with documented positive serology from previous infection and compare those same parameters to vaccine recipients who were virus-naïve.

So why don’t they do that study?  Well, it might reassure us that natural immunity is protective, to a great degree, against both reinfection and severe symptomatic disease.

Her quote is, “reinfection happens”.  How odd that there is little talk of breakthrough infections even though vast majority of cases (presumed to be Omicron) since January 2022 have occurred in vaccinated individuals.

If children, who generally have milder COVID infections, and who have higher percentage of seropositivity and the antibody response is different after natural infection, then they should be included in the study design.  It might help determine if children have innate protection against COVID and also help determine the relative difference, if any, between protection from subsequent infection from vaccine vs that of previous infection.

Those who have followed data on immunity know that there is solid evidence that naturally derived immunity is robust and more durable than vaccine-induced protection.  Yet, the CDC would rather stop short of doing confirmation studies and instead put forth cautionary statements on issues supported by significant body of work as if it’s still preliminary.

Source: Over 50% of U.S. Population Has Contracted COVID-19, CDC Says | MedPage Today

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