LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An Arkansas state senator is proposing new legislation that would look to have natural immunity to COVID-19 be treated the same as someone being vaccinated from the virus.
Sen. Trent Garner (R-El Dorado) posted an image of a draft of the bill on Twitter Tuesday, saying he wanted to see the state “recognize natural immunity with the same degree as vaccination rates.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, natural immunity is acquired from exposure to the disease organism through infection with the actual disease.
Garner’s bill would allow for proof of natural immunity to serve in the same capacity as proof of vaccination when required in the state.
In his tweet, Garner claimed that “We know natural immunity is as strong a protection from COVID-19 as vaccination.”
However, a study released in early August by the CDC showed that individuals who remained unvaccinated after having a previous COVID-19 infection were twice as likely to be reinfected than those who took the vaccine.
Earlier this week Garner introduced another bill, SB 730, which would authorize unemployment benefits for Arkansans who were fired for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
On Monday, health officials in Arkansas reported that 1,327,701 Arkansans had been fully immunized against COVID-19, with another 295.449 having partial immunity due to being vaccinated.
That same data showed that there had been 493,120 total COVID-19 cases in the state, with 7,630 dying from the virus since the pandemic began.