Fact-check: Does natural immunity provide greater protection from COVID-19 than vaccination?

www.statesman.com
6 min read
standard
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has said vaccine mandates ignore the natural immunity many first responders have gained from getting infected previously.
Fact-check: Does natural immunity provide greater protection from COVID-19 than vaccination?

Show Caption Hide Caption Judge allows Florida schools to issue mask mandates, defying DeSantis A Florida judge ruled against Gov. Ron DeSantis, allowing schools in the state to mandate face-masks while the case is appealed at a higher court. Cover Media - Shareable, Cover Media - Shareable

Ron DeSantis: People who "have recovered (from COVID-19) have very strong immunity."

PolitiFact rating: Mostly True

Here's why: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is pushing back against vaccine mandates, particularly for people who already have been infected.

During a stop in Gainesville, DeSantis accused city officials of threatening to "destroy" the jobs of city workers. The Gainesville City Commission has given employees until Oct. 31 to get fully vaccinated. At an Aug. 5 meeting, the city attorney seemed to take a hard line, saying "You have a choice. If you don't want to get vaccinated, then your choice is to seek employment elsewhere."

DeSantis said mandates ignore the natural immunity many first responders gained from getting the disease earlier in the pandemic.

"The ones that have recovered have very strong immunity," DeSantis said Sept. 13. "That's very clear from every study that's been done."

At a Tampa event later the same day, DeSantis mentioned a study out of Israel.

More: Fact-check: Did the military threaten immediate court martial for vaccination refusal?

"They compared the protection from a previous infection versus the Pfizer protection. They found that Pfizer did provide protection, but the natural immunity was far stronger," he said.

We looked into the studies on natural versus vaccine-driven immunity, and natural immunity delivers a lot of protection. But researchers also see some signs that the best protection comes from a 1-2 punch of natural immunity plus one dose of vaccine.

Importantly, natural immunity comes at a much higher personal risk than…
Jon Greenberg, PolitiFact.com, Austin American-Statesman
Read full article