Natural immunity to COVID-19 is as effective as the vaccine, according to a new study, undermining vaccine mandates championed by Democrats that forced thousands of Americans to leave the workforce.
The Lancet, a peer-reviewed medical journal, recognized natural immunity as equivalent to two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines in preventing reinfection of the virus or a serious case of infection, the New York Post reported on Monday. Past infection reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 88 percent for 10 months, the study found.
"Those with a documented infection should be treated similarly to those who have been fully vaccinated with high-quality vaccines," lead researcher Dr. Christopher Murray wrote in a statement.
The study comes in the wake of the Biden administration's federal vaccine mandates, which resulted in thousands of federal employees either being fired or forced to resign without guarantee of back pay or rehiring. The mandates made no exceptions for natural immunity—all while Biden called the disease a "pandemic of the unvaccinated." The Pentagon discharged more than 8,400 military service members for refusing the vaccine and has no plans to issue back pay after rescinding the mandate last month.
"Right now, we are not pursuing, as a matter of policy, back pay for those who refused the vaccine," said Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, a spokesman for the Department of Defense.
Since the vaccines were made available to the public in 2021, the CDC has published long-term side effects of the vaccine, such as heart inflammation.
The Lancet report comes just after the Cochrane Library medical database announced its findings that masks of any kind generally make "little or no difference" against COVID-19. As one clinical professor put it, "This amounts to the scientific nail in the coffin for mask mandates." Democratic governors across the country enforced mask mandates for much of the pandemic.
The Lancet in a 2020 statement insisted there was no "scientifically validated evidence" of COVID originating from a lab, even as Republicans raised the prospect that the virus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The Department of Energy has concluded that the pandemic likely emerged from a lab leak, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.