COVID-19 Vaccine Seems to Protect Against Variants Better Than Previous Infection

Transmission electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, isolated from a patient (click for credit)
Since I wrote about the Pfizer vaccine being shown to be effective against COVID-19, people have asked me whether or not those who were previously infected should also get the vaccine. While I tell everyone to talk with a physician who is familiar with their medical history, as a scientist, I didn’t think vaccination after infection was beneficial. That’s certainly true for the vast majority of pathogenic viruses, so it made sense that it was true for the virus that causes COVID-19. In addition, two studies (here and here) indicated that immunity from infection was slightly more effective than immunity from the vaccine. However, a new study has just been published that has changed my mind on the issue.

The study looked at 246 patients who had been infected by COVID-19 in 2020 and then had a laboratory-confirmed reinfection in May or June of this year. It then matched them with 492 people who were roughly the same gender, roughly the same age, had been infected with COVID-19 at roughly the same time in 2020, and had not been reinfected with the disease. It compared the vaccination status of the 246 participants and the 492 controls. It found that those who had been infected but had not been vaccinated were 2.34 times (that number is poorly known, see below) more likely to be reinfected with COVID-19 than those who had been infected and were fully vaccinated (either two doses of the mRNA vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson). Thus, the study indicates that vaccination after infection provides more protection than infection alone.

Why does this study contradict the two previous studies? Most likely, it’s because of the variants that have appeared. The earlier studies looked at reinfections that occurred before the variants had become prevalent in the U.S. The reinfections in this new study were more recent, so they probably contained more variants than the previous studies. Indeed, both of the previous studies list variants as an issue that they don’t address well. This interpretation is supported by another study that indicates vaccine-produced antibodies are significantly more effective against variants of the virus than those produced from infection.

Now I do have to include a couple of important caveats. First, this is a pretty small study, as a result, the statistical error is large. The study says people who were infected and not fully vaccinated were 2.34 times more likely to get reinfected. However, when the small nature of the study is taken into account, that number has a 95% chance of being as low as 1.58 or as high as 3.47. That’s a pretty wide range, indicating that the risk is not well known. However, despite the wide range, the conclusion that the vaccine offers more protection to those who had been previously infected is reasonable.

The study lists five limitations, each of which needs to be considered as additional caveats. However, I will highlight only one of them:

…persons who have been vaccinated are possibly less likely to get tested. Therefore, the association of reinfection and lack of vaccination might be overestimated.

I agree with that. I know many people (my wife included) who got tested for COVID-19 before being vaccinated, but have not been tested since being vaccinated. Since the study is small, it is possible that this issue could radically change the result. Thus, more studies need to be done.

Based on the information that exists right now, however, I do think that those who were infected with COVID-19 would probably be better protected if they got vaccinated. We don’t know that for sure, but the data are certainly leaning in that direction. Of course, no one should get any medical treatment (vaccine or otherwise) without getting the advice of a physician who is familiar with his or her medical history. Everything you put in your body (including food) comes with a risk, and your medical history helps a physician determine that risk.

51 thoughts on “COVID-19 Vaccine Seems to Protect Against Variants Better Than Previous Infection”

  1. It’s a scam. Israel is the country with most vaccinated and are having an outbreak. Interestingly, the vast majority of hospitalizations are from vaccinated people.
    So much misinformation is being given in the west and you are being deceived as well.
    There is NO available test for delta variant. How can you or anyone else call it so? I’m sure it will be confirmed at some point that this increase in cases is just “regular” covid infection perhaps even caused by this still not fda approved “vaccine.”
    Similar study is also in a Massachusetts city.
    We should do and encourage others to do deep research before you are vaccinated. It’s amazing what many reputable doctors from all over the world are showing with personal experience of the subject which is censured by media, social media and just doctors that just sheepishly follow today’s corrupt and politicized governmental agencies, including health!

    1. The link you give explains what’s going on there:

      Among adults, about 85% have been vaccinated which means that Israel’s vaccinated community is five times larger than its unvaccinated community.

      “Countries with high vaccination will see mostly vaccinated people getting ill from COVID,” wrote Arieh Kovler, a political analyst, on Hat Tip.

      So, there are about 5 times as many vaccinated people as unvaccinated people. The vaccinated people get the disease at a MUCH lower rate, but a small percentage of a big number (the vaccinated population) is more than a large percentage of a small number (the unvaccinated population).

      As your link goes on to say:

      What does Israel’s experience show about vaccines?

      The Israel Health Ministry’s data analysis has produced some new estimates about the effectiveness of Pfizer vaccines, according to The Washington Post:

      In protecting against infection, Pfizer vaccines are 95% effective for the alpha variant but only 64% effective for the delta variant.

      In preventing symptomatic COVID-19 cases, Pfizer vaccines are 97% effective for the alpha variant but only 64% effective for the delta variant.

      In preventing hospitalization and serious disease, Pfizer vaccines are 97.5% effective for the alpha variant and still 93% effective for the delta variant.

        1. But once again, it does say, “Individuals who were both previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 and given a single dose of the vaccine gained additional protection against the Delta variant.” So it does seem to indicate that the vaccine offers something more when it comes to variants.

      1. Hi Jay I can’t find the quote you mentioned in the article I posted, , “Individuals who were both previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 and given a single dose of the vaccine gained additional protection against the Delta variant.”
        But it does say this at the bottom
        “by contrast, Israelis who were vaccinated were 6.72 times more likely to get infected after the shot than after natural infection, with over 3,000 of the 5,193,499, or 0.0578%, of Israelis who were vaccinated getting infected in the latest wave.

        According to the report by Channel 13, the disparity has confounded – and divided – Health Ministry experts, with some saying the data proves the higher level of immunity provided by natural infection versus vaccination, while others remained unconvinced.”

        1. Thanks Jay . thanks for pointing me to the actual study.
          so this is the last paragraph
          This analysis demonstrated that natural immunity affords longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization due to the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, compared to the BNT162b2 two-dose vaccine-induced immunity. Notably, individuals who were previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 and
          given a single dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine gained additional protection against the Delta variant. The long-term protection provided by a third dose, recently administered in Israel, is still unknown.
          Am i missing something here? cause it does seem to say that natural immunity is better and longer lasting than 2 doses of vaccine. (are they referring to regular covid here?) But a previous infection and one dose of vaccine is even better against delta?
          And BTW if the PCR test is no longer being recommended because it’s so inaccurate. how are they sure that all positives now are delta variant? wouldn’t that require extensive lab work to tell them apart?
          Thanks Keith

        2. I think what they are saying is that if you just look at COVID-19 as a whole (regardless of variant), then infection alone is better than vaccine alone. However, because of the delta variant, infection + vaccine is even better.

          You don’t have to do the PCR test to determine it’s the delta variant. Most likely, they did genomic sequencing, which is essentially what a company like 23andMe does. It’s not very time-consuming or expensive.

        3. Jay~ I just went to the study as well, thanks for sharing the link.

          The final sentence of the conclusion on page 3 and the next to last sentence on page 17 are similar, but the last paragraph on page 15 seems to be a little confusing… in that they use inconclusive terms here… “seem to gain” and “could not demonstrate significance.”

          “Individuals who were previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 seem to gain additional
          protection from a subsequent single-dose vaccine regimen. Though this finding
          corresponds to previous reports24,25, we could not demonstrate significance in our

          I will also add a link to a facebook post my childhood friend who is a practicing physician (in a traditional setting) with a degree in micro biology and her husband with a doctorate in molecular biology shared. Their family had covid in December last year, and they are *not proponents of those with natural immunity getting vaccinated. This doctor spells out some of their reasoning. (long post, so I’ll copy the relevant part here)
          “At least in the short term, and even with the Delta Variant, vaccines lead to a significant relative risk reduction for severe disease in all age groups. Depending on which data set one looks at, and which group, that benefit ranges from 80% to nearly 100%.
          Now let’s add some nuance. That benefit often doesn’t reach statistical significance in those with prior infection. The majority of the studies looking at vaccinating those with a prior infection show no benefit or limited benefit. Current CDC recommendations are to be vaccinated in this group, but these are primarily looking at antibody studies, not real life cohorts. I am in fact aware of only one real life study suggesting a benefit, and I believe that study is flawed for a variety of reasons that I’ve gone in to before.
          To further add nuance, there is a relative risk reduction in all groups, but the absolute risk reduction is small in groups that don’t become particularly ill in the first place. A significant relative reduction in hospitalization is huge when it comes to older adults that will likely see up to 20% or more of all infected people require inpatient medical care. The absolute benefit is much smaller in those under 30 without medical comorbidities that will likely see under 1% become hospitalized. This isn’t an argument to state that individuals under 30 shouldn’t be vaccinated, but the relative impact both individually and on society is much smaller in this group. ”

          Just more food for thought from a couple of practicing physicians. 🙂

      1. Because the majority of people in the study were vaccinated. According to the study, 69% of MA was vaccinated at that time:

        Vaccination coverage among eligible Massachusetts residents was 69%. (

        Since the study was restricted to a small locality, it’s likely that the vaccination rate was even higher among the people in the study.

        As I said before, the vaccinated people get the disease at a MUCH lower rate, but a small percentage of a big number (the vaccinated population) is more than a large percentage of a small number (the unvaccinated population).

        1. A couple of things, Jay.
          If you have time, I’d love to see you address these. Don’t entirely speak to the natural immunity question, but rather the vaccination effectiveness in general.

          Re: the MA incident in P-Town… this is a tourist area (catering to a specific lifestyle, with visitors from all over, not just the locality)
          According to the numbers
          649 total cases
          346 fully vaccinated, 274 (79% of whom were symptomatic), 4 (1.15% of breakthrough cases)hospitalized
          303 either partially or unvaccinated status of which 1 was hospitalized (0.3% of partial or unvaccinated cases) hospitalized.

          That suggests that the fully vaccinated were hospitalized at a higher rate than the unvaccinated/partially vaccinated. (?)

          re: Israel… the articles and the studies all show their implicit bias~ but the data speaks for itself.

          Yes, there are higher numbers of vaccinated getting sick because more of the population is vaccinated, but according to the charts, looking specifically at the
          *Investigate morbidity and immunization tab and the
          **Severely ill-Immunization and **Daily Verified Immunization charts (You have to adjust to the general population, not the over-60 crowd). These charts are per 100,000 people in each vaccination population (so the numbers are a more accurate assessment of effectiveness, yes? Comparing apples to apples as it were)
          Those immunized are still topping or equalling the non-immunized in both cases and severity per 100,000 of their specific immunization status population.

          Thanks for taking a look at this.

        2. For the MA incident, the data do not suggest that vaccinated people were hospitalized at a higher rate, because you don’t know how many were vaccinated and how many weren’t. If 10,000 of the people at these events were vaccinated and 1,000 were not, then the rate of vaccinated people being hospitalized would be 346/10,000, or 0.0346, while the unvaccinated rate would be 303/1000, or .303, which is 10x higher. Thus, there is no way to interpret those data unless you know how many were vaccinated and how many weren’t. At that time, 70% of MA was vaccinated. So, if that was the case for the people in the area, that would mean the vaccinated people were hospitalized at half the rate as the unvaccinated people.

          For the Israel data, I don’t see what you mean. I am using the “English” option, so assuming the translation is right, the blue bars and dots are unvaccinated people. They are all higher than the other colors (the partially and fully vaccinated people), so there are more unvaccinated sick people than vaccinated sick people, the way I read the graphs. Also, once again, you don’t know how much of Israel is vaccinated. If 70% of Israel is vaccinated, and the vaccinated people make up 25% of the sick people, then the unvaccinated people are six times more likely to be sick than the vaccinated people.

          Now here in the U.S., the numbers are easy to understand and verify, and several independent state health departments agree: those who are unvaccinated make up the majority of the serious cases of COVID-19. Just over half of the U.S. is vaccinated, so the vaccinated and unvaccinated populations are relatively equal, making the comparison easy. Since the majority of serious cases are unvaccinated, and since there are slightly fewer unvaccinated people than vaccinated people, then unvaccinated people are at a significantly higher risk. This, of course, agrees with all the studies, which indicate that the vaccines significantly reduce your risk of getting COVID-19.

      1. Actually, all the studies are antithetical to your position. The author of the article doesn’t understand the report he is commenting on! Here is the actual report:

        The author is basing his argument on Table 6. There were 33,206 cases, and of those it was known that 19,573 were unvaccinated. Thus, Mercola claims that the remainder (13,633) were vaccinated, but that is 100% false! The table shows you that 2,166 were less than 21 days after dose 1, 5,393 were 21 days or more after dose 1, and 1,785 were 14 days or more past dose 2. That means only 1,785 were fully vaccinated. Thus, the unvaccinated were therefore 59% of the cases, the fully vaccinated were 5% of the cases, the partially vaccinated were 23% of the cases, and the remainder had an unknown vaccination status. Thus, fully-vaccinated people were also 12x less likely to get the disease than the unvaccinated, which is consistent with all the other studies that indicate the vaccine significantly reduces your chances to get the disease.

        1. Without seeing a breakdown of demographics, I can’t say for sure, but my gut feeling is that the older a person is, the more likely he or she is to be fully vaccinated, since the elderly were vaccinated first. Thus, the higher death rate might be due to the fact that the average age of the fully vaccinated group is a lot higher.

  2. With so much political and social pressure swirling around this issue, data is so important. Thanks for the heads up on this study. I wish the sample size was larger, but as you say, it still may indicate an important correlation. One question I have: are labs really doing enough genomic sequencing to accurately be able to say which variant people are getting?

    For what it’s worth, I would just add this to the topic of vaccination-post-covid, at least with respect to children’s unique immune responses (link to the full article below, which has a lot more interesting findings):

    “As we’ve seen with COVID-19 infection, a stronger immune response isn’t always optimal. Inflammation, when dysregulated, can lead to cytokine storm and sepsis with disease.”

    “The Israeli report (54) identified a potentially higher risk of post-vaccine myocarditis in those with a history of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Studies have shown that those with a history of prior infection have up to a 10-20X HIGHER antibody response after each vaccine dose than those with no evidence of prior infection. My concern for children, and those with prior infection who receive a vaccine, is that theoretically, this stronger immune response could increase the risk of a dysregulated inflammatory response and serious adverse vaccine events, like myocarditis.”

  3. Hi Dr. Wile, I just want to say thank you for taking the time to address something that concerns so many of us. You are well respected in our family and we appreciate hearing your perspective. So much of what is out there seems so politicized and I know that you do not have a hat in the ring, so to speak, for the current covid mandates and recommendations. I am wondering if you can tell me if this research is from a reputable group, if you’ve seen it, or can comment on whether or not it shows promise for our natural immunity. I understand if you don’t have time, but am trying hard to make sense of all I read for my family’s sake. Here is the article:

    Thank you again for your posts on your understanding of what is true in all the bombardment of opinions out there.

    1. The study you link is reputable, but it doesn’t adress the issue I am discussing in this article. It shows that those who had COVID-19 are likely to retain immunity for a long time, and that makes sense. However, when it comes to variants, the authors state:

      The immune response to natural infection is likely to provide some degree of protective immunity even against SARS-CoV-2 variants because the CD4+ and CD8+ T cell epitopes will likely be conserved.

      While I agree with the statement, the key words are “some degree of.” Yes, infection provides some degree of immunity against other variants, but it seems that the vaccine provides more, at least based on the study I wrote about.

  4. Dr. Wile,

    Here is something that I saw from a person I follow on social media. I know it doesn’t really address the issue that you are dealing with here, but this is the kind of rhetoric and actions that we will no doubt be hearing more about in coming days. I think that the more that you can write on this topic, condense your thoughts for your audience, the better!

    Here it is:

    The following is the text of an email I sent to higher administration and my Dean:

    “The purpose of this email is to notify you that I will not be appearing at the Fall Convocation next week to collect the prestigious “Patricia Christmore Teaching Excellence Award.” While it was an honor to be recognized by my colleagues as the award recipient for the College of Business, I cannot in good conscience participate in a ceremony that further cements or perpetuates false narratives.

    As you are aware, NMSU has recently mandated that faculty and students must take an experimental drug vaccine or else be subjected to weekly invasive testing.

    I was honored with the award, I think, because my students appreciate that I cultivate in them an ability to think critically.

    The convocation ceremony, however, is bereft of critical thinking. We are told to “celebrate” our achievement by refraining from shaking hands, doing fist or elbow bumps, all while continuing to wear restrictive masks. Instead of my family enjoying the moment, they must be muzzled. The award winners receive 1 minute to breathe the fresh air and deliver remarks. This does not represent a “celebration,” but rather an event rooted in fear and arbitrary compliance.

    Here are some facts to consider.

    The former Pfizer chief recently stated: “Children are 50x more likely to die from the Covid Vaccine than the virus.” Yet, we are putting our student population at risk with the above mandate, and we aren’t taking responsibility for that decision.

    The Moderna vaccine packaging has virtually no instructions concerning the safety of the vaccine, because the risks are largely unknown. This is a violation of the Hippocratic oath and the requirement to provide informed consent.

    According to the VAERS website, over 11,940 deaths have been reported, 518,769 adverse events, 12,808 persons have been left permanently disabled, 22,286 have reported severe allergic reactions, 1,272 young women have suffered miscarriages, and 4,799 persons have suffered heart attacks. 62% of patients had elevated D-Dimer levels 4 to 7 days after the “vaccine.” Elevated D-dimer levels are usually found after a clot has been formed.

    To put this into context, after there were only 32 deaths from the Swine Flu vaccine in 1976, the FDA halted the program. And yet we are mandating a non-approved FDA experimental drug?

    All of this imposed risk is being passed off to faculty and students when Covid has a 99.8% survivability rate.

    Is the university going to be held responsible for the students’ medical bills, life insurance, or other complications?

    Finally, the mask mandate. The science is clear. States that have not locked down or imposed mask mandates, have fared better than those that have.

    By “celebrating” at a convocation in a manner that defies the above “science” we are perpetuating a lie that is antithetical to individual liberty, free thought, and bodily automony.

    I am a free thinker, not a slave. I will create an environment for free thinkers, not slaves.

    I hope the university is ready for the storm it is creating.

    History will not judge those who are simply going along with this madness kindly.

    Best regards,

    David K. Clements
    Assistant Professor of Law
    New Mexico State University
    College of Business
    Finance Department

    1. While Professor Clements has every right to his opinion and to act on it, please understand that his statements are contrary to the facts. I cannot find any reference other than Twitter memes that say the Pfizer Chief said, “Children are 50x more likely to die from the Covid Vaccine than the virus.” There are certainly no data to support such a wild statment. Also, the VAERS does not connect adverse effects to the vaccine. It simply lists those that happened within a window of time (usually several days) after the vaccine. Since lots of people die every day, and since lots of vaccines are being given every day, many people will die within a few days of the vaccine simply by coincidence. The same can be said of all adverse effects. It takes studies to connect those deaths to the vaccine, and studies indicate that so far, only three of the deaths come from the vaccine, and it is the Johnson & Johnson one. ( Thus, using the VAERS to count vaccine-related adverse effects is either fundamentally dishonest or woefully ignorant.

      1. Dr. Wile,

        Thanks for answering. Will dig more. I think with the VAERS data, the claim is made that it is significantly different than most normal years. Thanks.


        1. Of course it is significantly different! Think about it. Most vaccines are given to children, adolescents, and teens. They don’t die very often. Now we have a vaccine given to every old person who will take it. Old people die a lot. Thus, you would expect a HUGE number of coincidental deaths, simply due to the age of the people getting the vaccine.

        2. Dr. Wile,

          Thanks for talking with me sir. Appreciated! And, fair enough. Still, it is suggestive, isn’t it? The kind of thing we should be eager to look into more, especially given the history of mRNA “vaccine” failures? It seems odd to me that everyone is so gung-ho about causing human bodies to produce a specific spiked protein in order to cause us to produce antibodies against it… A bit of hubris, perhaps?


        3. It’s only suggestive of the age profile to whom the vaccines are being given. Certainly, studies are being done to make sure that the deaths reported in VAERS are coincidental, and so far, three have been connected to the traditional vaccine by Johnson & Johnson. None have been connected to the mRNA vaccine, which is consistent with the clinical trials, where no long-term, serious adverse effects were seen in nearly 22,000 patients.

          It doesn’t seem odd to me that people are gung-ho about this vaccine. It has fewer foreigh chemicals than a traditional vaccine, which leads to fewer side effects. Also, since it is using mRNA, we know there is a very short half-life (14 days) of it staying in the body. These are very positive aspects of the vaccine. I also don’t see it as hubris at all. It is simply a very clever application of biological knowledge that we have understood for nearly 40 years.

        4. Dr. Wile,

          Again, thanks for interacting with me. I am a bit shocked and astounded by your answers, really. We are injecting billions of people with these experimental vaccines worldwide, with little knowledge of their long-term consequences.

          Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, according to section 5.5 of the contract:

          “Purchaser acknowledges that the Vaccine and materials related to the Vaccine, and their components and constituent materials are being rapidly developed due to the emergency circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to be studied after provision of the Vaccine to Purchaser under this Agreement.

          “Purchaser further acknowledges that the long-term effects and efficacy of the Vaccine are not currently known and that there may be adverse effects of the Vaccine that are not currently known.”

          This gives you no pause, really? Legal liability out the window? My wife tells me also that most insurance programs will not cover your medical costs if you take part in a clinical trial for an experimental vaccine.

          What is your opinion of other medical doctors who insist that this is colossal hubris, and argue with information like the following. Perhaps you might be willing to do a response to a post like this one?:

          Thank you again,
          Nathan Rinne

        5. I don’t understand why you are shocked by my answers. I agree that we aren’t sure of the long-term consequences of the mRNA vaccines. Based on all that we know, there shouldn’t be any consequences past 14 days after the last injection, because by that time, the cells cannot make any more spike proteins. However, that’s just what we know. It’s possible there’s something we don’t know that might cause some long-term consequence.

          At the same time, however, we also don’t know the long-term consequence of contracting COVID-19. What we know for certain is that the short-term consequences of COVID-19 are significantly worse than the short-term consequences of the vaccines. Thus, the most reasonable position is that the long-term effects of COVID-19 are also worse than the long-term consequences of the vaccine.

          I personally think the medical doctors who believe this is colossal hubris are not basing that view on the data. The data indicate that the risk of not being vaccinated is much higher than the risk of being vaccinated, so from a scientific point of view, vaccination is the best option. The article you link, for example, is worried that the spike protein is going to produce high blood pressure, which will result in “heart failure within a few short years.” The problem, of course, is that the data say that isn’t possible, since the spike protein becomes undetectable in the body in a few days after the second dose. Thus, the data say that these clots cannot produce problems that take more than several weeks to develop. Once again, there may be long-term consequences caused by things we don’t understand, but that is also true for the disease.

        6. Dr. Wile,

          Thank you again for replying to me and challenging me. I certainly get every impression that if I don’t take you and your seasoned and reasoned judgement seriously, I could pay dearly for it! All, that said, the man you are saying doesn’t understand the issue, Dr Charles Hoffe has evidently “been practicing medicine for 28 years in the small, rural town of Lytton in British Columbia, Canada.” After he administered about 900 doses of the Moderna experimental mRNA injection he came forward to warn about the kinds of reactions he saw in his patients, including death. He was fired from his job for this, and so he paid a bit of a cost for the scientific testing which he purportedly did. Therefore, it makes good sense, I think, to try talking with him as well, and I am trying to do that right now. BTW, here is a letter he wrote about his concerns many months ago:

          Pax Christi, in whom all disease and disaster and designs of men are defeated!


        7. I really don’t understand why you say, “I certainly get every impression that if I don’t take you and your seasoned and reasoned judgement seriously, I could pay dearly for it!” I have never even suggested that in anything I have posted or written to you. I am simply trying to tell you what the data say. I am sorry you haven’t been reading seriously enough to notice that.

          Dr. Hoffe’s experience tells me very little about his understanding of the issue. If you are going by experience, then the most experienced, most knowledgable doctors say that the vaccine is safe and effective. However, I don’t make my decision based on others’ experience or knowledge. I make them based on the data. In fact, it’s when I compare Dr. Hoffe’s specific statements to the data that I can tell he doesn’t understand the issue. Indeed, the very letter you link indicates that he doesn’t understand the vaccine much at all. He calls it “gene modification therapy,” which is absolutely false. As any high-school biology student knows, a gene is a sequence of nucleotides on a chromosoome. That means it’s on DNA. There is no DNA in the vaccine. Thus, anyone who calls the vaccine “gene modification therapy” needs to go back to his or her high school biology text.

          We have been studying mRNA in cells for more than 50 years now. We know how it is produced and where it goes. It is made in the nucleus (where the DNA is), exits the nucleus, and never comes back. In a matter of days after exiting the nucleus, It is decomposed by a group of enzymes called exonucleases. Thus, not only does the vaccine not contain any genes, it cannot affect any genes. Once again, anyone who wants to comment on an mRNA vaccine should at least understand that basic level of molecular biology!

          Hopefully, Dr. Hoffe reported the side effects he wrote about to the VAERS. That way, someone who actually understands the vaccine can study them to see if there is any possible connection to the vaccine. Dr. Hoffe clearly isn’t qualified to make such an evaluation, since he doesn’t even seem to know what the vaccine is.

        8. Dr. Wile,

          Once again, thank you for interacting with me here. I consider it as a great gift, and am thankful for the time that you take to communicate with your readers here.

          “I really don’t understand why you say, I certainly get every impression that if I don’t take you and your seasoned and reasoned judgement seriously, I could pay dearly for it!’ I have never even suggested that in anything I have posted or written to you. I am simply trying to tell you what the data say. I am sorry you haven’t been reading seriously enough to notice that.”

          Let me clarify what I mean here: I think a lot of my hesitation has to do not so much with the data but regarding the people who are shaping the studies themselves, and choosing what to measure. In other words, the question of larger context comes up, just as it often does in the creation-evolution debates (what are we looking for? why? are we being really careful to hold our biases in check?) There is also the whole “how to lie with statistics” thing we all kind of understand, and so that is there too (not saying you are lying, but that right now things like the “reproducibility” issues in science have also made it so that fewer people trust than before: why all the issues?) As gov’t and science are also seen as going hand in hand more and more, of course there are also wider factors like this for many as well:

          “We have been studying mRNA in cells for more than 50 years now. We know how it is produced and where it goes. It is made in the nucleus (where the DNA is), exits the nucleus, and never comes back. In a matter of days after exiting the nucleus, It is decomposed by a group of enzymes called exonucleases. Thus, not only does the vaccine not contain any genes, it cannot affect any genes. Once again, anyone who wants to comment on an mRNA vaccine should at least understand that basic level of molecular biology!”

          Thank you for this. I think for most laypersons that it is pretty hard to keep track of these things and to understand who all the players are here, but yes, that does sound like something a doctor should understand. At the same time, I remember in my college genetics classes hearing about how the line between DNA and RNA was not always so cut and dry. Could things like this possibly have any relevance?:

          One more thing. Earlier, regarding the VAERS data, you said: “Most vaccines are given to children, adolescents, and teens. They don’t die very often. Now we have a vaccine given to every old person who will take it. Old people die a lot. Thus, you would expect a HUGE number of coincidental deaths, simply due to the age of the people getting the vaccine.”

          Well, regarding adverse events *not* leading to death, it looks like there are essentially 76k reports for the 10 years of the 30s and 77k reports for the 15 years of late 60s-70s (If most of this is driven by elderly high-risk reporting why is this happening?):

          As a friend of mine asks when looking at this data: “How many vaccines are 30-39 year olds given? One tetanus booster for the whole decade and a flu shot each year if they choose to take it? Compared to children 0-5 getting stuck all the time? Wouldn’t we expect to see orders of magnitude greater reporting for 5 and under compared to 30s? And yet the COVID shots are not available to 0-5 and they are for 30-39.”

          He also notes: “44.7% of the reports are coming from people 18-49. That’s assuming that *none* of the 30k “unknown age” fall within that age span.”

          Thank you again for your help and all your patience!


        9. Your clarification also makes no sense to me. You specifically said,”I certainly get every impression that if I don’t take you and your seasoned and reasoned judgement seriously, I could pay dearly for it!” However, your clarification says your hesitation is about larger context. I am not discussing larger contexts here. I am discussing the data. Thus, I still don’t understand why you would make such a statement to me, since I have not even suggested that you will dearly pay for not listening to me. I agree with you that there are wider factors at play, and that’s why I concentrate on the data, not the pronouncements from government or other sources.

          Yes, the division between DNA and mRNA is VERY cut and dry. In fact, the very link you give me shows this. In order to take information from RNA and put it into DNA, there needs to be something to convert between these two very different forms. That’s what a reverse transcriptase is. Siome viruses, for example, have a reverse transcriptase built into them so that they can take information from their RNA and write it into the host cell’s DNA. This is because RNA and DNA are so different. If you are worried that mRNA can somehow be written in DNA by reverse transcriptase, once again remember that mRNA never gets back to the nucleus, which is where the DNA is. Thus, it is simply not possible. The only way for RNA to be reverse transcribed into DNA is for it to be accompanied by a host of proteins that allow it to get transported into the nucleus and transcribed. A virus has those things (the vaccine does not), and the RNA in a virus is not mRNA. And remember, mRNA exists for only about 100 hours before it is decomposed.

          I can’t make heads or tails of the screenshot you gave me, since it has no context whatsoever. It most likely was generated incorrectly, since it reports adverse effects in children who are too young to get the shot. In addition, if the query used to generate the data covered very recent dates, it’s possible that there is a lot of error. As the screen shot itself says, “VAERS data in CDC WONDER are updated every Friday. Hence, results for the same query can change from week to week.” However, the most important thing to remember is something you have consistenly ignored, which is the message at the bottom: “Submitting a report to VAERS does not mean that healthcare personel or the vaccine caused or contributed to the adverse effect.”

          You keep thanking me for my patience, but it has come to an end. You accuse me of saying things that I haven’t said, and you don’t seem to pay attention to the data that I have shared with you. I have no desire to continue wasting my time on this discussion.

      2. Dr. Wile,

        My wife said he probably said it given the way he usually talks about this stuff, he most likely said that (see this, for example!: He probably said it in a YouTube video. Keep in mind you won’t find a lot of this stuff on Google or YouTube because a lot of the more prominent and influential sites that are remaining holdouts and skeptical have been shadowbanned or banned outright.


        1. Well, if Clements is going to say that a person made a statement, he needs to show me evidence that the statement was made. Yes, Dr. Yeadon is clearly anti-vaccine when it comes to COVID-19, but there is no evidence he made the statement that Clements attributes to him. Even if he did, that statement still has no data to back it up. Indeed, the data say that it is not a reasonable statement.

          As a side note, Dr. Yeadon was Vice President & Chief Scientist for Allergy & Respiratory at Pfizer. He had nothing to do with their vaccine work. Also, please note that back in October, he wrote:

          The more likely situation is that the susceptible population is now sufficiently depleted (now <40%, perhaps <30%) and the immune population sufficiently large that there will not be another large, national scale outbreak of COVID-19. Limited, regional outbreaks will be self-limiting and the pandemic is effectively over.

          Thus, he doesn’t seem to be a reliable source on the issue.

      3. Dr. Wile,

        Once again I thank you for your ongoing interaction with me here. I hope that our conversation is beneficial to others as well.

        “Based on all that we know, there shouldn’t be any consequences past 14 days after the last injection, because by that time, the cells cannot make any more spike proteins. However, that’s just what we know.”

        Do you know of the studies that you are aware of that demonstrate this is the case?

        “The problem, of course, is that the data say that isn’t possible, since the spike protein becomes undetectable in the body in a few days after the second dose. Thus, the data say that these clots cannot produce problems that take more than several weeks to develop.”

        But the article I linked to specifically said: “The clots I’m talking about are microscopic and too small to find on any scan. They can thus only be detected using the D-dimer test.” I did not read in full the study mentioned in the short summary article you link to, but I did go to the actual article and did a “control f” search for “D-dimer” and turned up nothing.


        1. There are lots of studies that show mRNA doesn’t last long. This study, for example, says that the median half-life for mRNAs is 10 hours. In general, after 10 half-lives, a chemical loses any ability to affect its surroundings, so that means mRNA is generally gone after 100 hours and thus protein production stops. Based on these measurements, the half-life of the mRNA used in the vaccine is 8-10 hours.

          Once again, the authors of the link you gave me about blood clots don’t seem to understand the data. As the article I linked indicates, scans were not used to detect the spike protein. A “single-molecule array (Simoa) assay” was used, which means that the technique would be able to find a single molecule, if it exists. This isn’t a D-dimer test, which is much less sensitive, since there must be multiple cells, not just one molecule.

  5. Hi Dr. Wile,

    Thanks for your calm and rational analysis. I am a 29 year old male going to school to be a nurse practitioner, and looking down the barrel of vaccine mandates and weighing whether I really want to comply with them. I’ve had Covid and am not enthusiastic about the vaccine, but I’m not completely opposed either. To be honest a great deal of my dissent is just distaste for the advertising strategy, which is split equal ways between draconian mandate, dubious media coverage, and genuine evidence. It’s hard to swallow the latter when both of the former are so bitter.

    The main issue I have is that I do not feel I can trust the evidence I’m being given from the “respectable” sources. (The quotes make it look like I’m being acerbic, but that’s not the intention.) I’ve read a few compelling articles that look at the statistics that are presented as the clear rationale for taking the vaccine, but reveal that the statistics are disingenuous and designed to make the vaccine look more effective than it really is.

    Similarly, data from the vaccine trials seem to leave out a great deal of data, and while I’m averse to assuming malicious intent, a lack of rationale from the companies performing the study does not help.
    (i realize that children’s health defense is a dubious source, but the material for this article is purely the study of the pfizer vaccine and the questions that material raises)

    Do you have any insight as to these statistics and whether there is a reasonable non-insidious explanation?

    Thank you again. I grew up on your textbooks! My mom is a huge fan.

    1. Hi Joshua,

      Thanks for your kind words. In reference to your first link, it is true that the U.S. does a poor job of tracking statistics, and an even worse job of communicating them properly. Yes, we should report partially-vaccinated people differently from unvaccinated people and fully-vaccinated people. At the same time, he is 100% incorrect that vaccines can cause an increase in infections for up to two weeks after the first dose. Indeed, studies show the exact opposite. Even partially-vaccinated people are less likey to contract COVID-19 than unvaccinated people. For example, this study shows that partially-vaccinated people were 81% less likely to get COVID-19 than those who were not vaccinated.

      As for the second link, the person doesn’t seem to trust the PCR test. He seems to think that a lot of the negative PCR tests were false, but there is no reason to believe that. In fact, the false negative rate of the PCR test is very low (about 9%). Here is a good detailed analysis of the argument. As the author says:

      I, too, am firmly committed to more data transparency in trials generally, and to radical transparency for the Covid vaccine trials. But the data from these 2 trials have had an extraordinary amount of scrutiny, and a lot of data has been released. The US FDA re-analyzed the raw data, and reportedly had 150 people on staff doing it on those 2 trials. From their first report, on Tozinameran, it looks like the EMA (European Medicines Agency) did substantial re-analysis too. Then there are the committee members and people from the NIH who pored through it all as well, and the peer reviewers at a medical journal. That’s a good enough start for decision making, especially where communities are in a dire situation and can’t afford to sit on highly efficacious vaccines without using them for months more waiting for perfect information, while people, healthcare services, and societal social and economic fabric are stressed to or past breaking point.

  6. My wife and I got mRNA vaccines. Since the new variants have been appearing, I’ve had this assumption that mRNA vaccines are the best option to be protected against the new variants, because the protein that the mRNA code your body to produce would be the same protein on all the different variants. Is my assumption correct? Do all the different variants have this same protein?

    1. It’s not necessarily the same protein, but it is the most important protein in terms of how the virus infects people. As a result, the virus cannot vary it as much as other proteins. When your body’s immune system attacks the virus, it looks at the entire virus and launches multiple attacks. If the attack that the memory cells remember isn’t the one directed at the spike protein, the immunity might not be as good, since the virus can vary other proteins more than the spike protein. I think that’s why the mRNA vaccines seem to provide better immunity than infection.

      1. Hmm, based on the fact that the spike protein can’t vary very much, it doesn’t seem as if we would need to get booster shots, say, every six months, which is what I’ve been hearing will be recommended in the near future. Then again, it also didn’t seem that a vaccine would be necessary for an individual that had already contracted the virus.

        Do you know of any good, legitimate studies that have shown whether or not a booster shot would be necessary or advisable?

        1. I think you missed the point. There is a lot more to the virus than the spike protein, and when the body is infected, it tries multiple lines of attack. According to this study, there are 332 high-confidence protein–protein interactions between SARS-CoV-2 and human proteins. Any one of those could be the basis of the body’s immune response. If the spike protein isn’t one of the targeted interactions, then the immunity the body will receive will not be based on the spike protein, and might be much less effective against a variant. Since the vaccine gives only the spike protein as a target, then the immunity recieved by the vaccine is guaranteed to be based on the spike protein, which varies less among the variants than the other proteins.

          Right now, there are several trials underway regarding booster shots, but I don’t know of any results.

        2. Well, my point was, or rather should have been, that booster shots would be unnecessary, if and only if operating under the assumption that a booster shot to fight a variant would consist of an mRNA that would code your body to produce a spike protein that was more similar to the spike protein of, say, the delta variant (or perhaps the alpha, bravo, charlie, echo or foxtrot variants). It would be pointless because, as you pointed out, the spike proteins don’t vary very much between the different COVID variants.

          I didn’t think about the possibility of creating new mRNA vaccines that would code the human body to produce proteins other than spike proteins. “…there are 332 high-confidence protein–protein interactions between SARS-CoV-2 and human proteins. Any one of those could be the basis of the body’s immune response.” I suppose any one of those could also be the basis of a new mRNA vaccine.

          I also didn’t consider the possibility of creating good ol’ fashioned weakened virus vaccines that could consist of weakened forms of COVID variants. Perhaps that will be the method implemented by J&J.

          So my question now is, what type of booster shots are being produced and tested?

        3. As I understand it, the current booster shot is just a repeat of one dose of the vaccine. I think they are worried that people with weak immune systems might not have had a strong enough response from the first set of doses. So far, the booster shot is only for people like that. Long-term, some are considering the idea that, just like the flu shot, there will be a new COVID-19 shot every year, targeting specific variants. However, a lot of that depends on whether or not the virus is here to stay and how many variants develop over time.

  7. I have 3 questions related to this:
    1) Since the number of previously infected people getting reinfected is so small, then not quite tripling that number is also very small. I wonder how many previously infected people would have to be vaccinated to prevent 1 case, 1 hospitalization, or 1 death? Do we have that info? How does the risk/benefit analysis of vaccination change for someone already infected? Since infection again is so unlikely, any of the ‘uncommon’ side effects of the vaccine weigh more heavily in the risks category, right?
    2) Is there a specific type of person (immune compromised, elderly, or on immunosuppressants…) that is more likely to get a second infection? Do we have a place where we can find info about that?
    3) Since previously infected people weren’t in the ‘gold-standard’ initial randomized control trials for the vaccine, how are we doing on understanding the safety of vaccinating the previously infected? Could they be more prone to serious reactions? It seems the passive surveillance system, VAERS, is overloaded and data collection from it can’t give us the real info we need. Where can we get the info to show that it is safe to get the vaccine whether one has been infected or not?

    I had covid a couple months ago. I felt tired one evening, then lost my taste and then tested and was positive. I took all kinds of supplements and measures to support my immune system, including ivermectin and quercetin, a zinc ionophore like hydroxychloroquine, (as did my husband and 8 kids). My husband had it before me and didn’t realize it. Five of my kids had stuffy noses. We were over it in a few days. I do not not feel anyone in my family needs the vaccine and would like to see the outcomes of a gold standard study conducted on the previously infected before taking the risks of such a new medical intervention!

    1. Thanks for your comment. In answer to your questions

      1) According to this study, previous infection granted about 80% immunity. Thus, about 20% of the people who were infected could get it again. If the 2.34 number in the study I am discussing is correct, only about 9% would be reinfected if all those people were vaccinated.

      2) Based on the same study I linked in (1), the older you are, the more likely you are to get reinfected. For people 65 and older, previous infection gave only about 47% immunity. That makes sense given the fact that the immune system gets weaker with age. I don’t know of any other studies that look at other health issues.

      3) Based on this study, the side-effects experienced by previously-infected individuals are the same as those of uninfected people, but they happen in about 1.6 times the number of people.

      I have not seen any study like the one you are looking for.

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