GOP adopts natural immunity as an alternative to vaccines

GOP adopts natural immunity as an alternative to vaccines

TALLASSEE, Florida (AP) – Republicans fighting President Joe Biden’s coronavirus vaccine mandates are using a new weapon against White House rules: natural immunity.

They maintain that people who have recovered from the virus have enough immunity and enough antibodies to not need COVID-19 vaccines, and Republicans have based this concept as a kind of alternative vaccine.

Florida put natural immunity into state law this week as Republican lawmakers elsewhere push similar measures to bypass vaccine mandates. Lawsuits involving states also began to build on the idea. Conservative federal lawmakers have appealed to regulators to take them into account when drafting states.

Scientists acknowledge that people previously infected with COVID-19 have a certain level of immunity, but these vaccines provide a more consistent level of protection. And natural immunity is far from a one-size-fits-all scenario, which makes enacting blanket exceptions for vaccines complicated.

That’s because how much immunity COVID-19 survivors have depends on how long they’ve been infected, how sick they are, and whether the type of virus they have is different from the mutants circulating now. For example, someone who had a minor issue a year ago is very different from someone who had a serious condition during the summer when the delta variant was raging across the country. It’s also difficult to get a reliable test to see if someone is protected from future infections.

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