September 17, 2021

Immunity, according to the CDC website, is “Protection from an infectious disease. If you are immune to a disease, you can be exposed to it without being infected.” They explain that “Immunity to a disease is achieved through the presence of antibodies to that disease in a person’s system.” These antibodies are “disease specific.”

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There are two types of immunity, active and passive. “Active immunity results when exposure to a disease organism triggers the immune system to produce antibodies to that disease.”  This occurs “through infection with the actual disease, resulting in natural immunity, or introduction of a killed or weakened form of the disease organism through vaccination.”

COVID has added a twist to the vaccine concept by using messenger RNA rather than an attenuated virus to create immunity. This is a new approach to “vaccination” and if validated as safe and effective, opens the door to disease prevention on a previously unimaginable scale. But with all new technologies, like self-driving cars, the proof is in the pudding.

In addition, breakthrough infections, on the rise, challenge the definition of immunity as “being exposed without being infected.” This would explain the CDC’s recent decision to change the definition of vaccine from immunity to only protection.

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These immunology basics are taught in high school biology classes and if understandable to teenagers, they should be clear to the medical establishment and leaders of our national health institutions.

Yet Dr. Anthony Fauci appears to struggle with these basic concepts, as he had difficulty discussing natural immunity in a recent interview with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

I must add the standard and unfortunately necessary disclaimer that I am not anti-vaccine, having been personally vaccinated before Christmas of last year. Nor am I offering medical advice. Instead, I’ll emphasize that the current vaccines reduce the risk of severe COVID illness – hospitalization and death – and for those at highest risk, make good sense, in conjunction with consultation with one’s own physician. Sorry, but this is a necessary paragraph these days.

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