Correction: Data on the number of COVID-19 breakthrough cases was corrected.
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Natural immunity versus vaccine immunity – the Oklahoma State Department of Health tracks those numbers, and there’s a big difference between breakthrough vaccine cases and natural immunity reinfections.
“What we’re seeing is that being vaccinated is much more protective over having the infection itself,” said Dr. Mary Clarke, the Oklahoma State Medical Association’s president.
The State Department of Health data compares breakthrough cases in those vaccinated and those who didn’t get the shot but have already had COVID-19.
A Oklahoma Epidemiology report from Wednesday shows September COVID-19 breakthrough cases in those fully vaccinated were 557 per 100,000
But compared to those who are unvaccinated and have already had COVID-19?
The risk of reinfection is nearly twice as high, over 1,000 cases per 100,000.
“We have seen several studies that have shown that people who have the vaccination do have higher antibody levels than those that got the disease, at least the original,” said Dr. David Chansolme, Infectious Disease Consultants of Oklahoma City.
Also, reinfection rates in those who weren’t vaccinated jumped by more than 300 percent since May.
“We certainly don’t want to downplay natural immunity because it is very, very important and part of the calculation of herd immunity. But we also want everybody to have the best protection they possibly can,” said Col. Lance Frye, Commissioner of Health.
“The way the virus works and the way the immunity in your body works is very different,” Clarke said.
Clarke says still, the vast majority of those with COVID in the ICU right now are the unvaccinated, further showing the importance of getting the shot.
“Yes, you still may get it. But you are still very, very unlikely to be hospitalized or die from COVID,” Clarke said.
State Department of Health officials reiterate that while natural immunity is important, getting the vaccine is still the safest way to protect yourself.