Video: COVID-19 Why it Matters Part 30, natural infection vs. vaccinated immunity

This video series features UW-Green Bay’s Immunologist Brian Merkel on COVID-19 and Why it Matters. This series empowers viewers with knowledge to help them navigate through the pandemic. Merkel has a Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology from the Medical College of Virginia. He is an associate professor in UW-Green Bay’s Human Biology & Biology programs and has an appointment at the Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He will be responding to a number of questions related to COVID-19 and try to get behind the “why” it’s important to be educated in your decision-making as we navigate the pandemic together.

COVID-19 Why it Matters Part 30, natural infection vs. vaccinated immunity

Transcript: Hello, Brian Merkel Microbiology and Immunology at UW-Green Bay and we are here to talk about why COVID-19 matters to you.

Comparing and contrasting so-called natural immunity when people become infected, what does that mean versus vaccine-induced immunity. So, I thought we could compare and contrast these two scenarios. These vaccines have proven themselves time and time again to be highly safe, millions upon millions of people around the world have been vaccinated. Vaccines at their best, what they do is reduce the severity of illness period and these vaccines do just that. Vaccines that is a controlled environment, you are exposed to a certain dose, not of the virus but just a piece of the virus. That’s part of the reason why it’s as safe as it is. We target the specific area of the virus we need to target through vaccines.

Natural immunity on the other hand is not a controlled environment. We cannot predict with a great deal of certainty at all what your outcome will be. Furthermore, when you become infected, you in fact have an infection. You’re giving the virus now an opportunity to mutate and develop into a variant. You yourself now are a vessel to infect other people. Compared to a vaccine, you are not infected when you become vaccinated. Should you become infected, your illness generally will be relatively mild. And furthermore, your ability to infect others, because the vaccine is giving the virus a hard time. Which means you’re not going to have a severe illness. Which also means your ability to infect others will be greatly reduced as well.

It is without question, that we should all choose vaccinations over this idea of I’m going to allow nature to take its course when we cannot predict with any certainty or very much certainty at all what your outcome is going to be, including having long-term complications from COVID.

COVID-19 Why it Matters, Video Series:

Introduction with Brian Merkel

Part 1: What are viruses and where did this one come from

Part 2: Two main types of viruses

Part 3: Why is this virus serious?

Part 4: Why wash hands/wear mask?

Part 5: I’m young! Why should I care?

Part 6: Can pandemics be stopped before they start?

Part 7: Pandemic is not local, why wear a mask?

Part 8: Why does everyone need a flu shot this year?

Part 9: What is the science behind a vaccine?

Part 10: Where can I find accurate information?

Part 11: What type of mask should I wear?

Part 12: Why HUGE COVID-19 spikes in Wisconsin?

Part 13: Fall break, protect yourself & others

Part 14: Why is COVID-19 Testing so Important?

Part 15: What are COVID-19 Antibodies?

Part 16: Will the vaccine protect against new COVID-19 variants?

Part 17: Vaccine myths vs reality

Part 18: What is long-hauler syndrome?

Part 19: Spring break, protect yourself against variants

Part 20: Vaccine Side Effects

Part 21: I’m young, why get vaccinated?

Part 22: Variants and eased restrictions concern

Part 23: Delta Variant, protect yourself and others

Part 24: FDA full approval of Pfizer vaccine

Part 25: Breakthrough infections

Part 26: I had COVID, why get the vaccine?

Part 27: Why so much pressure to get vaccinated?

Part 28: Omicron Mask Recommendations

Part 29: Omicron challenges & recommendations

Part 30: Natural infection vs vaccinated immunity

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