The NCAA has changed their guidelines to recognize natural immunity from a prior COVID infection as part of their definition of "fully vaccinated," according to ESPN.
"The omicron variant has presented another surge of cases across the country," said NCAA chief medical officer Brian Hainline. "This guidance was designed to align with the latest public health directives. Given how the pandemic continues to evolve, it's important that staff on member campuses continue to work with their local and state health officials on protocols most suitable for their locations."
There's a catch, however, in that the "fully vaccinated" status will only include athletes who are "within 90 days of a documented COVID-19 infection."
It's unclear what "documented" means (positive home test?).
The NCAA still suggests a five-day quarantine period following a positive test, followed by five days of wearing a mask - in line with the CDC's controversial new guidance.
As Fee.org notes: "Some evidence, such as a medical study out of Israel published in October, suggests that people with natural immunity actually have more protection from COVID-19 than vaccinated individuals."
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institutes of Health and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President, was recently asked on CNN about the Israeli study—specifically if people naturally infected with COVID-19 had a lower risk of contracting the virus than those who received the vaccine. He declined to give a clear answer.
“I don’t have a really firm answer for you on that,” Fauci said. “That’s something that we’re going to have to discuss regarding the durability of the response.” -Fee.org
@andersoncooper and I spoke with Dr. Fauci tonight. He tells us how he thinks @POTUS plans could have gone further and that we need to better understand the durability of protection from natural infection. pic.twitter.com/I7PcPUo35s— Dr. Sanjay Gupta (@drsanjaygupta) September 10, 2021
Yet, according to Harvard Medical School professor Martin Kulldrff, "Based on the solid evidence from the Israeli study, the Covid recovered have stronger and longer-lasting immunity against Covid disease than the vaccinated."
"Hence, there is no reason to prevent them from activities that are permitted to the vaccinated."