Should people who have recovered from COVID take a vaccine?

Should people who have recovered from COVID take a vaccine?

Note that views expressed in this opinion article are the writer’s personal views and not necessarily those of TrialSite.

Epidemiology1 , immunology2 and the clinical data3 all say a clear “No!”.

There is no good reason to vaccinate the recovered.

by Marc Girardot, PANDA 


A British friend, recovered from COVID, decided to get vaccinated despite being naturally immune. This is the email he recently sent me:

Marc I suffered a mild stroke on Wednesday 8 days after taking the Astrazeneca 2nd dose. Since I am a marathon runner I am a very ‘rare case’. I don’t smoke, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history or come into any of the risk categories for blood clots

You did warn me against taking the second dose and I wished I’d heeded your advice. I’ve taken a totally unnecessary risk with my life and I bitterly regret doing it.”

Contrary to most, Tony was informed; he had been told about the power of natural immunity, about the long—if not lifelong—duration of immunity, of the risk inherent to any medical procedure (Yes, vaccination is a medical procedure!), as well as of the rising levels of adverse events.  He admitted he hadn’t imagined it could happen to him…

Though it is hard to assess precisely the actual severity and breadth of vaccine-related adverse events, it is very clear that vaccination against COVID-19 isn’t as harmless4 as pharmaceutical companies, mainstream media, academia, health authorities and the medical community have been saying. And, in contrast to high risk individuals who are still susceptible, recovered people have no real benefit to balance the additional risks of vaccination.

2021 Adverse Events Reporting

Fully Vaccinated (Mn)148.46137.4430.68
Death per 100,0004.13.34.4

For over a year, mainstream media, health authorities as well as many “experts” have been downplaying the power of the immune system, dismissing natural immunity5 and proclaiming that immunity to COVID-19 was short-lived6.  Simultaneously, vaccines have been portrayed as the silver bullet to this crisis, an incidental procedure with no risk whatsoever. The data shows a different picture and many are coming forward7 8, to challenge the official narrative.  We will demonstrate that the official narrative is a dangerous fallacy.

The human immune system is one of the most sophisticated achievements of evolution. The survival of our species has depended on it for millenia.  Today, we still very much rely on it. For the record,  99% of people  infected with SARS-CoV-2 recover without treatment. Only 1% of SARS-CoV-2 patients, who did not receive early home-based treatment, end up hospitalized9. In other words, the immune system overwhelmingly protects. Even vaccines are entirely dependent on the immune system: vaccines essentially teach our immune systems what viral markers to be prepared for, they are not cures per se.  Without a functional immune system, there can be no effective vaccine10

On the waning immunity fallacy

Once recovered, the immune response recedes, notably via a decrease in antibodies. It is not only natural; it is indispensable to restore the body to a normal, balanced state.  Just as a permanent state of fever is harmful, a high number of targetless antibodies or T-cells constantly circulating throughout the body could create serious complications, such as autoimmune diseases11. Taking an evolutionary perspective, only those whose antibody and T-cell count waned post-infection survived. So, a decreasing number of antibodies and T-cells is reassuring, even healthy.

Antibody Levels

during infection and post infection

                           Redline= antibodies – Blue-line= Memory B cells        credit: Nature

But this decrease in T-cells and antibodies doesn’t mean that immunity is lost . It means the immune system has adapted to the new situation, and is now just on sentinel mode: Memory B- and T-cells, circulating in the blood and resident12 in tissues, act as vigilant13 and effective sentinels for decades:

  • survivors of the Spanish Flu epidemic were tested for their immunity to the 1918 influenza virus 90 years later –14,15 and still demonstrated immunity;
  • people who had recovered from the 2003 SARS infection demonstrated robust T-Cell responses seventeen years later16.  
  • the wide-spread prevalence of high cross-immunity17,18,19— gained from past common cold infections—further demonstrates the resilience of natural immunity for coronaviruses.  

Indeed, all recent studies show that  specific anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunity remains effective20,21,22,23, possibly for a lifetime24. Our immune system is a modular platform, it can combine in an infinite number of ways to address a multitude of threats in a variety of contexts. As such it is neutral to the viral threats it faces. In other words, there is absolutely no reason to believe that those recovered from Covid-19 would lose their immunity over the years, or even the decades25 to come. 

On the reinfection fallacy

You might have also heard of people becoming reinfected by SARS-CoV-2. Indeed, immunity, natural or vaccine-induced, isn’t the impenetrable shield described by many. Essentially harmless and asymptomatic reinfections do take place. That is, in fact, the very mechanism by which adaptive immunity is triggered

However, symptomatic reinfections are very rare26,27. Like an army that adapts its response to the size and the progression of its enemy forces, adaptive immunity provides a specific, rapid and resource-optimized response. As such reinfections are mostly asymptomatic28 and recovered patients are protected from severe disease. 

In fact, innocuous reinfections can play a positive public health role by acting as continuous immune updates29 for the population. They can help form a seamless and progressive adaptation to emerging variants and strains. And indeed a recent study showed that couples with children were more frequently asymptomatic than couples without, most likely because children act as natural and harmless immunisation vehicles. The most likely reason why high density countries mostly have very low death tolls is that they have asymptomatic reinfections that regularly and widely update the population’s immunity .

On the variant fallacy

As demonstrated by the low numbers of symptomatic reinfections mentioned above, and  also by multiple studies31,32, variants have thus far not escaped acquired immunity.  Just as Americans can speak and interact seamlessly in England, unhindered by a few word variants33, natural immunity is unhindered by variants, possibly more so than vaccine-induced immunity. There is ample evidence of the sophistication and breadth of the human immune system, and it is clear that a few minor gene changes in the virus cannot evade its arsenal .
Across the world34, multiple studies demonstrate high levels of pre-existing cross-reactive T-cells35 and antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. In other words, many were already largely immune via other coronaviruses. This is the most likely explanation for the unexpectedly high level of asymptomatic infections during the pandemic. More importantly, this demonstrates that even with large genetic differences, prior immunity to related coronaviruses is sufficient to avoid severe COVID-19. Therefore, it is quite evident that variants are of no concern to the recovered population.

On the vaccine better-than-natural-immunity fallacy

You might have heard people stating that vaccines provide better protection than natural immunity. That is an interesting way of bending reality. How can a vaccine be more effective at immunisation than the disease it is trying to mimic?

Theoretically, there are several reasons explaining why natural immunity is better than vaccine-induced immunity:

  • Fewer immune targets: mRNA/DNA vaccines present only a fraction of the virus genetic code (5-10%). For example, they don’t utilize the ORF1 highly immunogenic epitopes36. Therefore, the immune system recruits a smaller number of T-cells by tapping into a narrower repertoire and consequently mounts  a less effective response37. The logic: Imagine you lose a number of key players for a football tournament, you might still win, but it will be harder.
  • Longer immune trigger time: The smaller number of epitope targets also means that the alarm to the immune system will be delayed. This is a key driver of success in the COVID-19 battle. The wider the target repertoire, the faster the encounter between dendritic cells and identifiable antigens. 
    The logic: Like a party you go to, you can start partying much faster when you have ten friends there than when you have only one. They are just easier to find. 
  • Inappropriate delivery location: The intramuscular delivery of current vaccines unfortunately doesn’t mimic viral penetration and propagation at all. Coronaviruses don’t enter the body via muscles. They do so via the respiratory tract, often infecting cell-to-cell.  Contrary to muscle-delivered vaccines, natural immunity places a strong sentinel force of memory resident cells at the portals of entry38 and shuts the body entrance to the virus preemptively. From an evolutionary standpoint, this makes perfect sense.
    The logic: it’s much easier to stop an army coming through a narrow gorge than on the beaches of Normandy.   

Recent research confirms this logic. One comparative study39 in Israel found the protection from severe disease to be 96·4% for Covid-19 recovered individuals but 94.4% for vaccinated ones, and concluded “Our results question the need to vaccinate previously-infected individuals.” Another reference comparative study40 by a team at New York University highlighted a faster, wider and more impactful humoral and cytotoxic reaction in recovered immunity versus vaccine-induced.

There is ample evidence that vaccinating people recovered from COVID-19 doesn’t bring any benefit. It quite possibly does the opposite, because of the risk of building tolerance to elements of the virus43 translating into reduced immune potency.

On the vaccine innocuity fallacy

Without denigrating the incredible contribution of vaccines to modern medicine and public health, one needs to acknowledge that vaccines are a medical procedure. As such, vaccines should never be considered lightly. They are neither neutral, nor trivial, all the more so when they are injected into billions of people.  

By their very nature, vaccines tinker with the sophisticated balance of one’s immune system. That in itself demands respecting rigid safety protocols.  Though we have made considerable progress in our understanding of immunology, we are still very far from understanding its intricacies and subtleties, especially when it comes to novel mRNA and DNA technologies. Because of the risk of anaphylactic44 shock, auto-immune diseases, unforeseen interactions, design flaws, deficient quality protocols, over-dosage, and so on, vaccines have traditionally been strictly regulated. 

History teaches us to be watchful45 with vaccines, from the botched inactivation of polio vaccines that ended infecting 40,000 kids46 with polio in 1955, to the 1976 swine flu vaccine47 which caused 450 to develop Guillain-Barré syndrome, to the more recent vaccine-induced outbreak of polio in Sudan48. The recent rejection49 by Brazilian health authorities of the Bharat’s Covaxin is a clear reminder of how rigorous and independent our health authorities need to be if vaccines are to promote, not hinder, public health.

Map of Vaccine Symptoms 

316,925 reports (date: 06/20/21)

credit: Wouter Aukema – source: CDC

After 6 months of vaccination and a year of research, a number of red flags should be alerting the would-be vaccinated and health authorities:

  1. Wandering nanoparticles:  The lipid nanoparticles, the carriers of the mRNA, were supposed to remain in the muscle, but ended up broadly distributed throughout the body50, notably in the ovaries51, the liver52 and possibly the bone marrow.
  2. Anaphylactic PEG: A number of concerns had been raised regarding the novel use of PEG adjuvant53. Notably, prior research had raised the risk of cardiac anaphylaxis at second injection54.
  3. Sensitive locations: ACE-2 receptors susceptible to binding to the spike protein are highly expressed in blood vessel lining cells of highly sensitive areas, such as the brain, the heart, the lungs, the liver and both male and female reproductive systems.
  4. Toxic circulating spikes: The spike proteins induced by mRNA/DNA vaccines have been shown to be pathogenic55,56,57,58 and highly inflammatory59, notably because of the similarity of a spike sequence to that of Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B60. It has also been found to be directly causing blood clots through platelet activation61,62. One researcher said, “Our findings show that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein causes lung injury even without the presence of an intact virus”.
  5. BBB disruption – A recent study highlights the risk of disruption of the blood-brain barrier63, a fundamental filter mechanism to protect the brain64,65. The spike protein has also been found to cross the BBB and create inflammation in the brain,
  6. High adverse events: Even though most likely under-reported66, the overall number of serious adverse events versus other traditional vaccines remains very high. The 6,000+ deaths67 seen [in the US] in six months exceed all the vaccine-related deaths in 30 years. This is quite disquieting, and tends to confirm the aforementioned red flags..
  7. Children more at risk: The Covid-19 vaccines seem to be more harmful to children and teens, notably with a growing number of myocarditis68,69 events. The fact that vaccine doses are not adjusted for body weight is notably a cause for concern given the discovery of circulating nanoparticles and spike toxicity.

These are essentially just the short-term effects of these novel vaccines. There is no long-term clinical data regarding the implications of these vaccines, notably regarding autoreactive antibodies (antibodies that target one’s own body creating autoimmune diseases).

To conclude, we question why anyone healthy and recovered from COVID-19  would want or be advised to take any risk—even the most remote—in getting vaccinated given that:

  • those who have recovered from COVID-19 enjoy robust immunity,
  • natural immunity duration is decades-long, probably lifelong,
  • natural immunity effectiveness is better than vaccine-induced, 
  • variants are not an immunological concern, presenting no risk of immune escape,
  • vaccines are medical interventions which should never be taken lightly, especially when still experimental, 
  • there is no benefit for COVID-19 recovered and
  • COVID-19 vaccines are obviously not as safe as stated initially by the manufacturers.

  1. The 2021 seasonal peak in Europe started down on January 22 when only 0.13% of the population was fully vaccinated.
  2. “Comprehensive analysis of T cell immunodominance and immunoprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 epitopes in COVID-19 cases” by Alessandro Sette et al, Cell, February 2021
  3. “No point vaccinating those who’ve had COVID-19: Findings of Cleveland Clinic study” by Dr. Sanchari Sinha Dutta, June 2021
  4. “Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is “likely” responsible for deaths of some elderly patients, Norwegian review finds” by Ingrid Torjesen, British Medical Journal, May 2021
  5. “Why COVID-19 Vaccines Offer Better Protection Than Infection” by Brian W. Simpson, John Hopkins School Of Public Health Expert Insights, May 2021
  6. “Study Finds People Have Short-Lived Immunity to Seasonal Coronaviruses” by Dr. Francis Collins, CDC’s Director Blog, September 2020
  7. “Are Covid Vaccines Riskier Than Advertised? There are concerning trends on blood clots and low platelets, not that the authorities will tell you” by Joseph A. Ladapo and Harvey A. Risch, The Wall Street Journal, June 2021
  8. “Why we petitioned the FDA to refrain from fully approving any covid-19 vaccine this year” by Peter Doshi et al, The British Medical Journal Opinion, June 2021
  9. “Phase 3 trial shows REGEN-COV™ (casirivimab with imdevimab) …” show 4.1% of at risk Placebo (non treated) patients are hospitalized, or 1% of the general population
  10. “Coronavirus vaccines may not work in some people. It’s because of their underlying conditions.” by Ariana E. Cha, The Washington Post, May 2021
  11. “Determinants and outcomes of accelerated arteriosclerosis: Major impact of circulating antibodies” by Alexandre Loupy, Circulation Research, June 2015
  12. “Peripheral and lung resident memory T cell responses against SARS-CoV-2” by Meritxell Genescà et al, Nature, May 2021
  13. “Tissue-Resident Memory T Cells and Fixed Immune Surveillance in Nonlymphoid Organs” by Francis R. Carbone, Journal of Immunology, July 2015
  14. “Flu survivors still immune after 90 years” by Ed Yong, National Geographic 
  15.  “Neutralizing antibodies derived from the B cells of 1918 influenza pandemic survivors” by James E. Crowe Jr., Nature
  16. “SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity in cases of COVID-19 and SARS, and uninfected controls” by Le Bert et al, Nature, July 2020
  17. “Targets of T Cell Responses to SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus in Humans with COVID-19 Disease and Unexposed Individuals” by A.Sette et al, Cell, June 2020
  18. “A majority of uninfected adults show pre-existing antibody reactivity against SARS-CoV-2” by Pascal M. Lavoie et al, JCI Insight, March 2021
  19. “Cross-reactive antibody immunity against SARS-CoV-2 in children and adults” by Todd Bradley et al, Nature, May 2021
  20. “Robust SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity is maintained at 6 months following primary infection” by Paul Moss, Nature Immunology, May 2021
  21. “Naturally enhanced neutralizing breadth against SARS-CoV-2 one year after infection” by Michel C. Nussenzweig, Nature, June 2021
  22. “A long-term perspective on immunity to COVID” by ” by A.Radbruch & H-D.Chang
  23. “SARS-CoV-2 natural antibody response persists up to 12 months in a nationwide study from the Faroe Islands” by Peter Garred et al, 2021
  24. “SARS-CoV-2 infection induces long-lived bone marrow plasma cells in humans” by Ali H. Ellebedy et al, Nature, May 2021
  25. “Immunity to the Coronavirus May Last Years, New Data Hint” by Apoorva Mandavilli, New York Times, November 2020
  26. “Prior SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with protection against symptomatic reinfection” by Christopher J.A. Duncan, Journal of Infection, December 2020
  27. “What we know about covid-19 reinfection so far” by Chris Stokel-Walker, British Medical Journal, January 2021
  28. “Antibody Status and Incidence of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Health Care Workers” by Thomas G. Ritter, et al, New England Journal of Medicine, December 2020
  29. “Development of potency, breadth and resilience to viral escape mutations in SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies” by Paul D. Bieniasz et al, March 2021
  30. Get article on 
  31. “Comprehensive analysis of T cell immunodominance and immunoprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 epitopes in COVID-19 cases” by A.Tarke et al… – Cell – 16-02-2021
  32. “Landscape of epitopes targeted by T cells in 852 individuals recovered from COVID-19: Meta-analysis, immunoprevalence, and web platform” by Matthew R. McKay et al, Cell, May 2021
  33. “How Broad is Covid Immunity?” by M.Yeadon/M.Girardot, Panda, March 2021
  34. Countries: Canada, Ecuador, Gabon, Germany, India, Singapore, Sweden, UK, USA, Tanzania, Zambia
  35. “Cross-reactive CD4+ T cells enhance SARS-CoV-2 immune responses upon infection and vaccination” by Claudia Giesecke-Thiel, April 2021
  36. “Profiling SARS-CoV-2 HLA-I peptidome reveals T cell epitopes from out-of-frame ORFs” by Pardis C. Sabeti, Cell, June 2021
  37. “The landscape of antibody binding in SARS-CoV-2 infection” by Irene M. Ong et al, PLOS biology, June 2021
  38. “Adaptive immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19” by Alessandro Sette & Shane Crotty, Cell, January 2021 – page 866
  39. “Protection of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection is similar to that of BNT162b2 vaccine protection: A three-month nationwide experience from Israel” by Amit Hupper et al, April 2021
  40. “Discrete Immune Response Signature to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccination Versus Infection” by Sergei Koralov, Cell, May 2021
  41. “We observe striking expansion of circulating plasmablasts in COVID-19 patients relative to healthy volunteers”
  42. “In COVID-19 (recovered) patients, we observed an expansion of cytotoxic populations and a dramatically elevated cytotoxic signature in NK cells, CD4 and CD8 T cells, and γδ T cells.”
  43. “Differential Effects of the Second SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccine Dose on T Cell Immunity in Naïve and COVID-19 Recovered Individuals” by Jordi Ochando et al, Cell, March 2021
  44. “Suspicions grow that nanoparticles in Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine trigger rare allergic reactions” by Jop de Vrieze, Science,  December 2020
  45. “Historical Vaccine Safety Concerns”, CDC
  46. “The Cutter Incident: How America’s First Polio Vaccine Led to a Growing Vaccine Crisis” by Michael Fitzpatrick, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 2006
  47. “The Public Health Legacy of the 1976 Swine Flu Outbreak” by Rebecca Kreston, 2013
  48. “UN says new polio outbreak in Sudan caused by oral vaccine” by Maria Cheng, Associated Press, September  2020
  49. “Anvisa denies certificate of good practice to Bharat Biotech, which produces Covaxin” by Enzô Machida and Murillo Ferrari, CNN, March 2021
  50. “Organ bio distribution study undertaken by the Japanese regulator”
  51. “Potential adverse effects of nanoparticles on the reproductive system”by Shao LQ, DovePress,  September 2018
  52. “Synthetic Lipid Nanoparticles Targeting Steroid Organs” by Bertrand Tavitian, The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 2013
  53. “PEGylated liposomes: immunological responses” by Tatsuhiro Ishida et al, Science and Technology of Advanced Materials Vol 20, 20219
  54. “Pseudo-anaphylaxis to Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)-Coated Liposomes: Roles of Anti-PEG IgM and Complement Activation in a Porcine Model of Human Infusion Reactions” by János Szebeni et al, ACS Nano, 2019
  55. “Superantigenic character of an insert unique to SARS-CoV-2 spike supported by skewed TCR repertoire in patients with hyperinflammation” by Ivet Bahar et al, PNAS, October 2020
  56. “SARS-CoV-2 spike protein induces inflammation via TLR2-dependent activation of the NF-κB pathway” by Hasan Zaki et al, March 2021
  57. “SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Impairs Endothelial Function via Downregulation of ACE 2” by John Y-J. Shyy, Circulation Reseacrh, MArch 2021
  58. “Single intratracheal exposure to SARS-CoV-2 S1 spike protein induces acute lung injury in K18-hACE2 transgenic mice” by Pavel Solopov et al, The FASEB Journal, May 2021
  59. “SARS-CoV-2 spike protein interacts with and activates TLR4” by Fuping You et al, December 2020
  60. “Bacterial Toxins—Staphylococcal Enterotoxin” by Bettina C. Fries & Avanish K. Varshney
  61. “A prothrombotic thrombocytopenic disorder resembling heparin-induced thrombocytopenia following coronavirus-19 vaccination” by Sabine Eichinger et al, The New England Journal of Medicine,  April 2020
  62. “Acquired Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura: a rare disease associated Acquired with BNT162b2 vaccine” by Dorit Blickstein et al, Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostatis, June 2021
  63. “The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein alters barrier function in 2D static and 3D microfluidic in-vitro models of the human blood–brain barrier” by Sergio H. Ramirez, Neurobiology of Disease, December 2020
  64. “The S1 protein of SARS-CoV-2 crosses the blood–brain barrier in mice” by William A. Banks et al, NAture Neuroscience, December 2020
  65. “Guillain-Barré syndrome following ChAdOx1-S/nCoV-19 vaccine” by Boby Varkey Maramattom et al, June 2021
  66. “Underreporting of Side Effects to VAERS” by Vincent Iannelli, Vaxopedia, September 2017
  67. Open VAERS data
  68. “The C.D.C. is investigating nearly 800 cases of rare heart problems following immunization.” by Apoorva Mandavilli, New York Times, June 11, 2021
  69. “Israel reports link between rare cases of heart inflammation and COVID-19 vaccination in young men” by Gretchen Vogel & Jennifer Couzin-Frankel, Science, June 2021


  1. Thank you for sharing this information today. I can relate to your British friend’s position, as I had a severe stroke in 2003 as a side effect of incorrect meds prescribed for a misdiagnosis of basilar artery migraine. To cover her mistake the Dr forced me onto medication into a psych ward for ten days. Such are the harmful ways professionals behave to shut people up. At that point I dismissed pharma and pharma medicos from my life. It took 13 years to fully recover from that acquired brain injury.
    People who have not experienced stroke have zero concept of being inside a body that is not functional.
    Indeed, pharma products can have some devastating side effects. Pharma representatives can display unconscionable conduct.
    Fast forward to 2021, I enjoy perfect health, thanks (only) to the ethical people within the medical profession. I am sure there still are unethical people within the health sector who seek to gain in unethical ways. They do well in the vaccine industry. Hidden from scrutiny. Distanced from those who they harm. If only the vaccine injured dead people could speak up, what might they say?
    It is fortunate that I survived and I have a voice. And that I can piece sentences together and use my hands to type words.
    It is fortunate that your friend survived. Like me, he has learnt a valuable lesson… the hard way.
    Society will learn the value of optimised nutrition also… the hard way. So be it.