Man Denied Life-Saving Medical Care, And It Doesn’t Make Any Sense

Man Denied Life-Saving Medical Care, And It Doesn't Make Any Sense

( – The COVID-19 pandemic has been polarizing in many ways, but the one topic that really divides people is mandatory vaccinations. An argument about natural immunity often arises when discussing mandates; officials frequently shoot it down as invalid. The refusal to accept protection from a prior infection could mean one man in North Carolina can’t get life-saving surgery.

No Vaccine, No Kidney

Chad Carswell is a double amputee who has a history of heart attacks. He is on dialysis and awaiting a kidney transplant to keep him alive. One hundred people offered to give him the vital organ in response to his need. But, when he went to Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Hospital to prepare for the transplant, officials told him he must get vaccinated to proceed.

The hospital stands by its decision, saying the policy follows current healthcare guidelines. However, Carswell argues he has natural immunity; he’s suffered two bouts of COVID-19 in the past. The North Carolina man claims science backs him up.

The 38-year-old Air Force veteran also says he doesn’t want the hospital to force him into something that should be a personal decision. He’s now looking for another hospital to perform the surgery but is running into the same policy everywhere he looks.

The Natural Immunity Argument

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially states that natural immunity does not provide reliable protection against reinfection with COVID-19. Thus, the agency recommends all eligible individuals get the vaccine. The US generally does not recognize previous infection as adequate protection.

This approach is different from other countries. In Germany, for example, travelers coming into the country can show proof of a past infection instead of vaccination. That mindset is common in Europe, where they do recognize the value of natural immunity.

In September 2021, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Natural Immunity Is Real Act to push the federal government to recognize this as valid protection against the virus. The bill asked for previous infection to be allowable to circumvent vaccination mandates. Unfortunately, the legislation didn’t go very far and was last in committee.

Natural Immunity Recognition in the US

In contrast to its prevailing opinion, the CDC released a study in January suggesting that natural immunity appeared to provide excellent protection to the Delta variant. Those who had previously had the virus were less likely to get it again than people who were only vaccinated.

The CDC did warn this was only applicable to Delta and said results might not be the same for other variants. However, the agency’s stance on natural immunity did not change. It continues to focus on vaccines.

The CDC has continuously downplayed the evidence that past infection can provide protection, impacting the guidance that hospitals and other businesses follow.

Is ignoring the validity of natural immunity the correct stance? Or, do other countries have it right by recognizing that a previous infection offers protection? After all, the duration of protection from vaccines appears to be just as unreliable as that of natural immunity.

Copyright 2022,

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