Research Finds Catching Covid Offers Protection Like Vaccines Do

KHN Morning Briefing – “Natural immunity” from a covid infection provides strong, lasting protection against severe outcomes, new research says — on a par with two doses of an mRNA vaccine.

Separately, a study showed that for adults hospitalized with omicron, the death rate is 1.5 times that of influenza A or B.

NBC News: Natural Immunity As Protective As Covid Vaccine Against Severe Illness

Immunity acquired from a Covid infection provides strong, lasting protection against the most severe outcomes of the illness, according to research published Thursday in The Lancet — protection, experts say, that’s on par with what’s provided through two doses of an mRNA vaccine.

Infection-acquired immunity cut the risk of hospitalization and death from a Covid reinfection by 88% for at least 10 months, the study found. (Syal, 2/16)

CIDRAP: Omicron Hospital Illness 54% Deadlier Than Flu Hospital Cases, Study Finds

Adults hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 Omicron infections in Switzerland died at 1.5 times the rate of those diagnosed as having influenza A or B, shows a multicenter study published yesterday in JAMA Network Open. (Van Beusekom, 2/16)

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In news on covid in California —

San Francisco Chronicle: Growing Signs Of New Bay Area COVID Wave As Wastewater Counts Soar

If it feels like more people you know are getting COVID-19 lately, that may be true. Though the rise is relatively small, it marks a reversal of the downward trend the Bay Area had experienced since early December.

California’s public health leaders are keeping their fingers crossed that the state will be ready to move past the pandemic as the state of emergency comes to an end later this month, despite the recent uptick in coronavirus cases attributed to the fast-moving omicron subvariant XBB.1.5. (Vaziri, 2/16)

San Francisco Chronicle: San Francisco Sets End Date For COVID State Of Emergency

San Francisco announced Thursday that it will end its public health emergency for COVID-19 on Feb. 28, just over three years after it was put into place, marking a new chapter in the city’s pandemic response.

In an interview Thursday, San Francisco health officer Dr. Susan Philip said that the move is a positive one, signaling that COVID-19 is no longer the “really severe threat” that it was three years ago, but that it does not mean that COVID is over. (Echeverria, 2/16)

Meanwhile, the Navy is changing its stance on covid shots —

The Hill: US Navy Will No Longer Require COVID Vaccines For Deployment

The U.S. Navy is rolling back requirements for COVID-19 vaccines, axing the consideration of vaccination status when making decisions about the deployment of sailors. The decision by the Navy reverses a policy that was in place for more than a year, mandating that vaccination status be considered when determining deployment. (Neukam, 2/16)

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