Unvaccinated people are much more likely to develop broad antibody immunity after Covid infections than people who have received mRNA shots, a new study shows.
The gap remains large whether people had mild, moderate, or severe Covid infections, the study showed – undercutting a crucial argument that vaccine advocates have made to defend the shots.
The research draws on data from Moderna’s 30,000-person clinical trial for its mRNA shots. It may help explain why so many Americans now suffer multiple Covid infections, sometimes within months.
Researchers already knew that many vaccinated people do not gain antibodies to the entire coronavirus after they are infected with Covid.
Unvaccinated people nearly always gain antibodies to the nucleocapsid protein, which covers the virus’s core of RNA, as well as its spike protein, which allows the virus to attack our cells. Vaccinated people often lack those anti-nucleocapsid antibodies and only have spike protein antibodies.