The immunity system is usually split into two categories like natural and acquired – although these variances are not mutually exclusive.
Is it better to gain immunity through vaccination or infection?
The human immune system produces the same antibodies as a response to infection and vaccination. People who have been experiencing infection and people who acquired the chickenpox vaccine are secure from future infections and sicknesses. In both cases, the body “retrieves” and can immediately generate an immune system to battle against the chickenpox virus if it’s found again, even years after vaccination or infection.
Some people believe that natural immunity – acquired after infection – is preferred over vaccine-acquired immunity. Both forms of immunity (natural and acquired) have advantages and disadvantages. Let’s understand the difference between natural and acquired immunity.
Naturally acquired immunity
For some sicknesses and infections for which there are vaccines, vaccine-acquired immunity brings low immunity compared to natural immunity. As stated by the CHOP (CHILDREN HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA), immunity from the disease usually results from a single natural infection, whereas immunity from vaccines often develops only after various doses. That’s the case with infections – you're often immune after just one bout of infection/disease. Still, humans at times need two doses of infections like the chickenpox vaccine to develop long-lasting and effective immunity.
One major reason why natural immunity is so strong is that people don't often develop sickness due to a germ encounter until they are not exposed to a vast number of bacteria or viruses. The immune system shows a strong response to this high dose of bacteria. This solid response is also responsible for several uncomfortable symptoms when infected or sick such as chills, fever, and fatigue. Contrarily, countless germs like human papillomavirus (HPV) develop to dodge detection by the immune system. A strong immune system clears HPV in 90% of the situations, but those who are immunosuppressed are particularly prone to long-term infection and reinfection.
The most prominent downside of natural infection is that you can't know how serious the infection could be. In most patients, chickenpox is a painful annoyance. But some people also get swelling of the brain, lung disinfection, or fatal blood infection. Before these infections’ vaccinations were massively available, approximately 10,000 people in the US were hospitalized with this life-threatening infection every year, and around 100 patients die because of chickenpox annually.
Vaccines perk up the body to generate memory cells and antibodies crucial to fight particular infections. The vaccine carries smaller amounts of diminished chickenpox virus – sufficient to cause the immune system to start grinding out antibodies but insufficient for the body to grow chickenpox blisters. Influenza and polio vaccines carry dead viruses, they can't be the reason for infection, but they stimulate the immune system to take action.
The viral vector vaccine by Johnson & Johnson and COVID-19 MRNA instructs cells how to create spike proteins, and then the body formulates antibodies against those proteins.
While side effects like fever and soreness are common after vaccination, many people don't feel as lousy after vaccination as they encounter an infection. In some situations, vaccine-acquired immunity is quite stronger than natural immunity. Tetanus, HPV, pneumococcal, and Haemophilus influenza type b vaccines stimulate the better immune system to infections and germs than natural immunity.
The Bottom line
Researchers are still studying the deviations of natural and vaccine-acquired immunity. For now, healthcare providers think that both the COVID-19 infection and its vaccine create an immunity that probably lasts for eight months at least. The immunity is not complete; however, the possibility is, you can contract COVID-19 at its earliest stage after the COVID-19 vaccination.