Quoting from Martin Makary, MD and Monica Gandhi, MD in MedPageToday:
Gandhi: my favorite paper had natural immunities which I will tout to the ends of the Earth because I just couldn’t believe how well done it was — it was this Science paper that was just published in November — because it had the longest data.
This was Jennifer Dan and colleagues from UCSD, and showing that if you follow these 888 people with COVID-19 with a wide range of severity of illness, some hospitalized, some asymptomatic and mild infection, that you get profoundly robust antibodies, expected, memory B cells that don’t even seem to have a half-life. [In other words, they do not reduce in number over the 8 months of measurement–Nass]
They just keep on going at the same level, so they’re estimating it could be lifelong memory B cells, and then memory T cells that are so high that they emulate the half-life of what happens after a yellow fever vaccination with memory T cells. The yellow fever vaccination is once in a lifetime…[So the T cells probably last a lifetime–Nass]
Then this recent data that’s gotten a lot of attention, the Science paper, would suggest you could wait 8 months. It actually could, by the half-life extrapolations, it’s suggesting you could wait many years [before immunity would wane–Nass]. But at least if we want to be very strict about it, the Science paper went out to 8 months and you have profoundly strong immunity at 8 months after natural infection, very strong from all arms of the immune system, so you could at least wait 8 months.
If people have had it for sure, they’ve been confirmed to have the positive COVID test or the antibodies, they should step aside in the vaccine line in order for us to save the most number of lives.
Gandhi: They should step aside.
So the CDC could say, very well grounded in excellent data, that you should wait 8 months. Just let everyone else get it [the vaccine] first and then you can wait at least 8 months. They could very well say that on strong scientific data and it would help because people are estimating that at least 14% of the U.S. population and up to 20%… Paul Offit said maybe 20% of the U.S. population has had natural COVID-19 infection, which is not surprising. We’ve been the epicenter of the pandemic. [CDC estimated that 16% of the population had had Covid in December–Nass.]