@Mitchell2 - thanks for the paper! As @Tickerguy says it seems to contradict the Israeli data, which I strongly suppose are sound.
1. In the paper they used both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines but did not differentiate the results. Israel was using Pfizer almost exclusively. The sample size in the paper is rather small - 61 individuals of which 45 did not have prior infection, so there is quite some variance in the estimates.
2. The Israeli data show that the more vulnerable group for vaccine failure are the 60y+ folks. There it is not simply a vaccine failure but rather a systemic almost total collapse of the protection. The paper does not state the age of the subjects. Maybe the vaccine is more effective for the younger, who doesn't need it anyways.
I expect the data for September and October to bring some light on this. The Israeli data is coming fast - last week of August is already available. Again on the 60y+ group the first indication is that the boosters are failing. We do not know for the rest as they are probably not boosted yet.
On a positive note, the vaccines seem not to destroy the already present natural immunity in the 16 studied subjects:
Finally, this dataset presented an opportunity to investigate the impact of booster mRNA
vaccination in subjects with pre-existing immunity, in this case from a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Boosting of Spike- and RBD-specific memory B cell and memory CD4+ T cell
responses was transient and returned to pre-vaccination baseline by 3-6 months (figure 6E).
CD8+ T cell responses were not boosted in SARS-CoV-2 immune subjects and decayed from
peak at a comparable rate to SARS-CoV-2 nave vaccinees (figure 6E). The boosting of antiSpike and anti-RBD binding antibodies was also transient and returned to near baseline by 6
months (figure 6E). Only D614G and B.1.351 neutralizing antibody remained substantially above
pre-vaccine baseline at 6 months (~6.8 fold increase), but these titers were also declining over
Overall, these data suggest that boosting of pre-existing
immunity with mRNA vaccination does not enhance already durable memory B cell or memory T
cell responses. Rather, the benefit of booster vaccination in this setting may be limited to a
significant but transient increase in antibody.
So one gets durable effects from the vaccine if one had no immunity but nothing is gained by those who had one. This is puzzling, given that it is proven that natural immunity and the vaccine induced one are quite different.
The paper might be a BS after all but really the September and October data from Israel will tell.