Fact Check
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COVID-19: Claims that natural immunity better than vaccines misleading, experts say

November 5, 2021


Viral video from Project Veritas claims that the Pfizer vaccine antibodies are ineffective against COVID-19 unlike natural infections. And adolescents who take the Pfizer vaccines are at high risk of suffering from myocarditis.


The claims in this video are mixed. Experts say it is misleading to claim that antibodies conferred by vaccines are not as reliable as those gained from natural infections, as the vaccine antibodies are able to combat mutations. Studies have shown that adolescents are more likely to suffer from myocarditis post vaccination, but the risk is low and our experts believe the dangers are exaggerated.


A viral video from the United States showing hidden camera footage with supposed Pfizer “scientists” claims to show proof natural antibodies are better at protecting against COVID-19 than vaccines.

The controversial video was posted in an anti-vaccination Telegram group on 6 Oct 2021. As of 27 Oct 2021 it has 1.7 million views.

In addition to that, the video highlights controversies pertaining to vaccine efficacy against COVID-19 and the risk of heart inflammation in teens who take the Pfizer mRNA vaccine.

Our analysis of the video has found that the video contains a mix of personal individual opinions with important scientific claims. Faqcheck Lab will be separating the two, focusing on the controversial claims being made instead.

We speak to Medical Mythbusters Malaysia’s vaccination campaign strategic planning exco, Dr Megat Mohamad Amirul Amzar and infectious disease specialist, Dr Anbazhagan Kuppusamy to get a clearer picture of the claims.

Gaining “monster immunity” after COVID-19 infection

“I had COVID. And I have monster immunity after eight months so… I just got checked last month for antibodies,” the undercover journalist says, speaking to a Pfizer scientist in the viral video. 

Infectious disease expert Dr Anbazhagan is swift to reject the concept of a “monster immunity”.

“There is no such thing as a monster immunity,” he says.

It has been known for some time now that those infected by COVID-19 and survive develop a natural immune response against the virus.

On 10 May 2021, the World Health Organisation released a brief concerning the issue of natural immunity. The report’s review of scientific journals found that “90-99% of individuals infected with the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus develop detectable neutralising antibodies” within 4 weeks following an infection.

In his interview with Faqcheck Lab, Dr Amirul explains that the “monster immunity” being discussed in the video is likely a ”relative term [used] to describe that the immunity from natural infection is better than that from a vaccination.”

He however adds that while a natural immune response is highly effective against a strain of the virus, it does not provide the same level of protection against different variants of the virus.

On the other hand, Dr Amirul explains that this is not the case with vaccines, with the Pfizer vaccine being at least 70% as effective against the COVID-19 Delta variant.

“Actually the duration of the immunity conferred by the vaccine is longer - it is at least six months for Pfizer and Moderna. But for natural immunity it varies, and it can be as short as three months only after various studies right now. So actually shorter.” - Dr Amirul

The reason this happens is because antibodies are dependent on an individual’s immune response and the severity of the infection, which varies from person to person, he adds.

Another aspect of the video that is troublesome is how the Project Veritas team fails to show its sources for its claims. Our research found a number of studies over the last year covering the topic of post-infection immunity, but could not conclude if any one study was used as a source for their main claims. [1, 2]

But that isn’t the end of the claim surrounding natural immunity made in the video. In response to the question about natural immunity, the Pfizer scientist Christopher Croce advises the journalist to “wait. If your immunity starts to wane, then get vaccinated.”

Both Dr Anbazhagan and Dr Amirul disagree with the advice given by the scientist on the grounds that it was risky and dangerous. statement made by the scientist, saying that it is dangerous to do so.

“Naturally acquired antibodies wane quicker over time compared to vaccine-acquired antibodies leaving an individual vulnerable to subsequent new mutant strains,” Dr Anbazhagan explains. “Vaccination even after recovering from natural acquired infections only helps to boost and augment immune responses better [and for] longer.”

Recent reports and studies have also shown that antibodies from COVID-19 together with the vaccines could increase one’s immunity against several strains and possible future SARS-CoV-2 infections.

Another issue with the statement made by the scientist in the video is the failure to mention that in order to gain a natural immunity against COVID-19, first you need to survive the infection first which has thus far killed nearly 5 million people globally.

Dr Amirul is perplexed by this missing fact in the video, adding that the dangers of COVID-19 infection alone outweigh the dangers of getting an mRNA vaccine.

He further adds that those who are infected by COVID-19 have an added risk of suffering from ‘long COVID’ and put at risk the lives of those living with co-morbidities.

“[The advice given here in the video] is not very smart, and it is not true actually and it is not advisable at all,” Dr Amirul concluded, adding “I would not recommend someone [waiting to get] immunity from COVID-19 natural infection but I would recommend them getting it from vaccination.”

Myocarditis in young adults

The other major claim made in the video surrounds the dangers of myocarditis, or heart inflammation, in teens who have received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

This is a valid concern, with the issue having been brought up a number of times earlier in the year in Malaysia. [NST, Yahoo]

Back in June 2021, the Ministry of Health clarified that there were no reports of either myocarditis or pericarditis among those who received the Pfizer vaccines. The ministry had also refuted claims in September that alleged several teenagers had adverse reactions or had died after receiving the Pfizer vaccines.

Similarly, concerns about the risk of myocarditis among young adults have been reported by health authorities such as the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the US. The CDC issued guidelines to clinicians to monitor possible risks, but it continued to recommend vaccination for 12-year-olds and above.

However, Dr Amirul said since then new data and studies in the US and UK have shown that the risk of myocarditis after vaccination remains extremely low.

“If there are 100,000 people who have been given the vaccination, about two cases only happen,” he explains. However, he adds that the data shows that those infected by COVID-19 are 6 times more likely to get myocarditis than those vaccinated.

He elaborates further that there are other risks to being infected by COVID-19, which include pneumonia, kidney failure, and brain fogging. On the other hand, any side-effects associated with vaccines are mild and easily treatable.

Dr Amirul points to his experience working on the frontlines where he has seen vaccine recipients suffer from mild side effects. But that said, the Ministry of Health has put in place the necessary precautions that those who encounter these adverse effects are provided the necessary medical attention.

He cautions those creating false hype around the issue of myocarditis.

“They have overhyped the dangers [of myocarditis], same as when they overhyped the danger of anaphylaxis,” Dr Amirul says, pointing to fear of death by anaphylaxis during the early rollout of the vaccines.

The scientists and their opinions

The footage of the Pfizer employees expressing their dissatisfaction about the company adds dramatic flair to the video. However, none of the sentiments shared in the video were backed up by facts. 

Part of the video is dedicated to highlighting personal complaints the employees have against the company, and their opinions on issues surrounding mandates within the United States.

Veritas Journalist: “So, what happened to the monoclonal antibody treatments?

Croce: “[It got] pushed to the side.”

Veritas Journalist: “Why?”

Croce: “Money. It's disgusting.”

Croce: “I still feel like I work for an evil corporation because it comes down to profits in the end. I mean, I'm there to help people, not to make millions and millions of dollars. So, I mean, that's the moral dilemma.”

Veritas Journalist: “Isn’t it billions and billions?”

Croce: “I’m trying to be nice.”

Veritas Journalist: “No, I hear you. I hear you. I do. I mean, I’ll still give you a hard time about it.”

Beyond that, there are questions that have been raised by fact checkers as well on the legitimacy of the sources as experts to speak on the topic. All the Pfizer employees shown in the video had taken down their details online. But we were able to find saved screenshots online

In looking up the scientists, we were only able to confirm the identity of the two scientists having direct links to Pfizer, and only one with any connection to COVID-19 vaccination programmes in the company.

Deleted LinkedIn profile of Christopher Croce - archive

In the video, a lot of attention is placed on the claims made by scientist, Nick Karl.

Based on his now removed LinkedIn profile, the scientist named Nick Karl, fact checkers from  whose real name is Nicholas Karl, “contributes to the development and qualification of direct Luminex assays in support of COVID and E. coli vaccine” but isn’t involved in the production of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Deleted LinkedIn profile of “Nick Karl” - archive

An issue appears when attempting to trace information on the third character in the video, Rahul Khandke. He only appears briefly to make his highly provocative statements to the journalist. We were not able to trace any useful information on him to fact check his background and relevance to the issue being discussed.


There is no doubt that the video created by Project Veritas is designed to create dramatic effect around the efficacy of the popular Pfizer vaccines, and to generate fear of the risk of myocarditis in young adults. 

It mixes legitimate questions with individual opinions, without drawing a clear line between the two causing confusion.

Prior to reaching our shores, the video had been debunked multiple times by fact checkers, as well as having been tagged by Twitter as “misleading”. [Health Feedback, Polygraph.info].

Even Twitter has tagged the video from Project Veritas as misleading

When faced with content such as this, we should always seek to objectively look at the claims being made, while separating them from the opinions presented.


University of Nottingham Malaysia: Nur Ain Nabila, Muhammad Farhan Shahmi Abdullah, Joshua Ng, Noor Alia Abrar Bestari Abrar, Tan Zhi Ying & Gayathry Venkiteswaran

Xiamen University Malaysia: Siew Tong En, Liu Zihan, Sean Elijah Tan & Dr Jeyasushma A/P Veeriah

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia: Nurul Ain, Seri Haidah, Nur Raihan, Yazlin Yahaya, & Dr Sabariah Mohamed Salleh

University of Malaya: Adlin Norafiqah Mohamed, Amin Idham Razalee, Lee Kai Ci, Nur Syahmina Aza Azhar & Dr Rosya Izyanie


Dr Amirul Amzar (Researchgate) and Dr Anbazhagan Kuppusamy (National Specialist Registry)

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