Athletes Who Had COVID Will Be Considered Fully Vaccinated, NCAA Says in New Guidelines – Foundation for Economic Education

    On Thursday, the NCAA released its new COVID-19 guidance for winter sports, and the guidance contains some important news.

    as espn reports, the ncaa’s covid-19 medical advisory group updated its definition of “fully vaccinated” to take into account several new vaccines, boosters, and immunity factors.

    “fully vaccinated persons now include those within two months of receiving the johnson & johnson, five months after receiving the pfizer vaccine series or six months after receiving the modern vaccine series;” reports espn staff writer jeff borzello, “and people who are beyond the aforementioned time frame and have received the booster shot.”

    but perhaps the biggest development came in the next line.

    “Persons within 90 days of documented COVID-19 infection are within the equivalent of ‘fully vaccinated.’”

    natural immunity is now considered fully vaccinated by the ncaa

    In many parts of the world, including the United States, vaccination passports are required to travel.

    Vaccine passports are morally dubious for a number of reasons, but they seem particularly unfair to people who have already had covid-19, as they have already been exposed to the virus and have acquired natural immunity. Some evidence, such as a medical study from Israel published in October, suggests that people with natural immunity actually have more protection against Covid-19 than vaccinated people.

    dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the national institutes of health and chief medical adviser to the president, was recently asked on cnn about the israeli study, specifically whether people naturally infected with covid-19 had a lower risk of contracting the virus than those who received the vaccine. he refused to give a clear answer.

    “I don’t have a really firm answer for you on that,” Fauci said. “That’s something we’re going to have to discuss regarding response durability.”

    @andersoncooper and I spoke with dr. fauci tonight. he tells us how he thinks @potus’s plans could have gone further and that we need to better understand the durability of protection against natural infection.

    harvard medical school professor martin kulldorff disagrees.

    “according to strong evidence from the israeli study, recovered covids have stronger and longer lasting immunity against covid disease than vaccinated ones,” kulldorff wrote. “therefore, there is no reason to prevent them from carrying out activities that are allowed to the vaccinated.”

    ‘no federal solution’

    getting vaccinated after contracting covid-19 may provide additional protection.

    “Recent research,” says the Mayo Clinic, “suggests that people who contracted COVID-19 in 2020 and then received mRNA vaccines produce very high levels of antibodies that are likely to be effective against current and possibly future variants . some scientists call this hybrid immunity.”

    however, kulldorff is right that it is unnecessary and indeed discriminatory to treat people with natural immunity differently from those who have been vaccinated. (Vaccine passports themselves are morally dubious, as noted above, since they deprive people of fundamental freedoms.)

    Furthermore, Kulldorff says the ncaa’s decision to consider those who have had covid “fully vaccinated” for only three months, a smaller window than those who have received the pfizer and modern vaccines, is strange as the Evidence indicates that natural immunity offers stronger protections against covid than vaccines.

    “it is good that the ncaa recognizes natural immunity for those who have recovered from covid, but, since natural immunity is stronger and longer lasting than vaccine-induced immunity, there is no public health reason to recognize it only for three months after infection,” Kulldorff, an epidemiologist and biostatistician who has studied infectious disease outbreaks for years, told me in an email.

    still, while dr. Fauci may not yet have settled on natural immunity, it’s clear other organizations are reaching their own conclusions as the federal government’s bumbling attempts to contain covid-19 continue to fail.

    “The omicron variant has seen another spike in cases across the country,” said Brian Hainline, NCAA Chief Medical Officer. “Given the evolution of the pandemic, it is important that staff at member campuses continue to work with local and state health officials on the most appropriate protocols for their locations.”

    It’s unclear exactly what hainline meant by these comments, but his use of the terms “state and local health officials” may reflect President Biden’s recent admission that “there is no federal solution” to the pandemic.

    This would certainly be a step in the right direction. but the real epiphany will be when they realize that the heavy hand of the state has only made the pandemic worse.

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