Dear Deans, Governing Boards and Trustees,
On behalf of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, I am writing to ask you to reconsider your new policy mandating COVID-19 vaccination of students prior to returning to campus.[i] Institutions of higher learning are divided on this issue.[ii] ,[iii] Although, at first glance, the policy may seem prudent, it coerces students into bearing unneeded and unknown risk and is at heart contrary to the bedrock medical principle of informed consent.
There are multiple reasons to reverse your policy. I ask you to consider the following:
- Young adults are a healthy and immunologically competent and vibrant group that is at, “extraordinary low risk for COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.”[iv]
- College and University students, however, are under significant mental health strain already from COVID-19 fears, circumstances, distance learning problems and the imposition of government health policy restrictions.[v]
- Even though the FDA granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for three COVID-19 vaccines, they are not FDA approved to treat, cure or prevent any disease at this time. Clinical trials will continue for at least two years before the FDA can even consider approval of these vaccines as effective and safe.
- The COVID-19 vaccines on the market in the U.S., mRNA (Moderna and Pfizer) and DNA (Johnson & Johnson – Janssen), have caused notable side effects, pathology and even death (4.178 deaths per VAERS as of May 5, 2021). These adverse reactions result in absence from school and work, hospital visits, and even loss of life.[vi]
- College-age women may be at unique risk for adverse events following administration of the experimental COVID vaccinations currently available. According to the CDC, all cases of life-threatening blood clots, subsequent to receiving the J&J vaccine, reported so far in the United States, occurred in younger women.[vii] The vast majority of cases of anaphylaxis have also occurred in women.[viii] In addition, “women are reporting having irregular menstrual cycles after getting the coronavirus vaccine,”[ix] and 95 miscarriages have been reported to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System (VAERS) following COVID vaccination as of April 24, 2021.[x]
- Recent research data demonstrates that the spike protein, present on the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the induced primary mechanism of action of COVID-19 vaccines, are the primary cause of disease, infirmity, hospitalization and death.[xi]
- Students who have had self-limited cases of COVID-19 already possess antibodies, activated B-cells, activated T-cells (detectable by lab testing). This durable, long-term immunity would not only prevent them from getting recurrent COVID-19, but would also represent herd immunity to protect others in the college or university community.[xii],[xiii]
- COVID-19 convalescent students may be harmed by college and university policy requiring COVID-19 vaccines.[xiv] They already have extensive immunity and would be likely harmed from a forced confrontation with COVID-19 vaccine induced spike protein causing autoimmune reactions leading to illness and possible death.[xv]
- Students and their families may justifiably believe these policies discriminate against individuals who aren’t candidates for this vaccine, have pre-existing conditions, previous COVID-19 disease, cite religious objections, or are otherwise exercising their freewill choosing not to participate in this optional vaccine experiment. Refer to the Nuremberg code from WWII, which requires individuals, “to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force….”[xvi]
- Institutional policies that permit faculty to choose or refuse vaccination, but do not allow students the same options, raise equal protection constitutional issues.
- The ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act, requires “reasonable accommodations,” be provided based on an individual’s own unique health situation. This includes rejection of an experimental vaccine intervention which may exacerbate known health problems and thereby cause harm.
- Colleges and Universities should consider whether they might be liable for damages, poor health outcomes, and loss of life due to mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies.[xvii]
- “Positive cases,” as defined by laboratory testing alone, may be false positive testing errors or asymptomatic infection that is not clinically proven to spread disease.
- Ambulatory outpatient early treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infection / COVID-19 has been demonstrated effective in adults.[xviii]
- Informed consent is the standard for all medical interventions. The FDA factsheet for the healthcare provider reads, “The recipient or their caregiver has the option to accept or refuse (Pfizer-BioNTech) vaccine.”
Please reverse your decision to mandate experimental COVID-19 vaccines before more students are harmed and make the vaccines rightfully optional. Both unvaccinated and vaccinated students should be permitted on campus. Thank you for your time and attention. We would appreciate hearing back from you as soon as possible and welcome further discussion with you and other leaders at your institution.
Paul M. Kempen, M.D., Ph.D. – AAPS President (2021)