US Study: “COVID Vaccine Mandates for College Students are Unethical, 98 Times Worse Than Virus”
Originally published by The Defender – All links to Gospa News articles have been added aftermath
A team of nine experts from Harvard, Johns Hopkins and other top universities published a paradigm-shifting study that presents a risk-benefit assessment of COVID-19 boosters in college-age students and then makes five ethical arguments against mandating COVID-19 boosters for college students.
The 50-page study was published as a preprint on The Social Science Research Network at the end of August. The authors analyzed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and industry-sponsored data on vaccine adverse events and concluded that mandating boosters in college students may cause 18 to 98 actual serious adverse events for each COVID-19 infection-related hospitalization theoretically prevented.
Perhaps most notable in the team of high-profile international experts who authored the paper is Salmaan Keshavjee, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Harvard Medical School Center for Global Health Delivery and professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
The paper’s other co-authors include Dr. Stefan Baral, an epidemiology professor at Johns Hopkins University; surgeon Dr. Martin Adel Makary, a professor at Johns Hopkins and author of “Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care”; and Dr. Vinayak Prasad, a hematologist-oncologist, who is a professor in the University of California, San Francisco, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics as well as the author of more than 350 academic and peer-reviewed articles.
The study points out that students at universities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico are being told they must get a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or be disenrolled.
Unvaccinated high school students who want to go to college are also being told the COVID-19 vaccines are “mandatory” for attendance.
These mandates are widespread, though some states allow exemptions. There are 15 states that continue to honor philosophical (personal belief) exemptions, and 44 states and Washington, D.C., allow religious exemptions to vaccines.
Even in states that allow exemptions, private universities are telling parents they will not accept state-recognized vaccine exemptions.
Based on personal interviews with half a dozen families, The Epoch Times reported that administrators at some colleges and universities are informing students they have their own university-employed medical teams to scrutinize the medical exemptions submitted by students and signed by private doctors.
Families were told these university-employed medical teams will decide whether the health reasons given are medically valid.
5 ethical arguments against mandated boosters
Public health authorities in Canada now suggest Canadians will need COVID-19 vaccines every 90 days.
Against this backdrop of confusing and frequently changing public health recommendations and booster fatigue, the authors of this new preprint argue that university booster mandates are unethical.
They give five reasons for their claim:
1. Lack of policymaking transparency. The researchers state there has been no formal and scientifically rigorous risk-benefit analysis of whether boosters are helpful in preventing severe infections and hospitalizations in young adults.
2. Expected harm. The authors argue the mandates will result in what they call a “net expected individual harm” to young people. Their main point is that “mandates should account for the precautionary principle in the context of uncertain evidence that benefits outweigh risks and harms.”
Further, “with vaccination mandates, young males, in particular, are being coerced into assuming a documented, albeit very small, risk of death related to vaccination for, in most cases of booster vaccination, an uncertain individual and societal benefit.”
3. Lack of proportionate public health benefit. In public health ethics, a key principle is “proportionality,” which “requires that the benefits of a public health policy must be expected to outweigh harms, including harms arising from the restriction of individual liberty.”
The authors argue that COVID-19 vaccines “provide no lasting reduction in the probability of infection or transmission and extremely low expected benefits to young healthy individuals, especially those who have already been infected.”
Thus, the expected harms caused by the boosters likely outweigh any benefit to public health: “The net expected harms to individuals and the harms of coercive mandates themselves are not counterbalanced by a large public health benefit; such harms and restrictions of liberty are therefore disproportionate and ethically unjustifiable.”
4. Lack of reciprocity. Vaccine-injured young adults are unlikely to be compensated. Forcing students to be boosted as a requirement to attend college is “highly problematic” because it is unlikely that young people injured by these vaccines will receive compensation for these injuries:
“While institutions of higher education are mandating boosters, the US and Canadian compensation programs have failed to uphold their social justice responsibility to injured individuals.”
5. Wider social harms. The authors wrote that “Covid-19 vaccine mandates have often involved a high degree of coercion” that ostracize unvaccinated people. “University mandates involve significant coercion in that they exclude unvaccinated people from the benefits of university education (or employment) and thereby entail major infringements to free choice of occupation and freedom of association.”
The consequences of non-compliance include being unenrolled, losing internet privileges, losing access to the gym and other athletic facilities, being kicked out of on-campus housing, and delaying the ability to pay back student loans.
According to the authors, punitive mandates have caused harm, such as unnecessary psychosocial stress, reputation damage, loss of income, and fear of being deported.
22,000 to 30,000 previously unaffected young adults must be vaccinated to prevent just 1 hospitalization
Based on the researchers’ analysis of the public data provided to the CDC, they estimate between 22,000 and 30,000 previously uninfected young adults would need to be boosted with an mRNA booster to prevent one COVID-19 hospitalization over a six-month period.
This estimate does not take into account the protection conferred by a previous infection. Thus, the authors argue, “this should be considered a conservative and optimistic assessment of benefit.”
Mandated booster shots cause more harm than good
In addition to the lack of COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness, the researchers found that for every one COVID-19 hospitalization prevented in young adults who had not previously been infected with COVID-19, 18 to 98 “serious adverse events” will be caused by the boosters themselves.
The authors consider a hypothetical campus where 15,000 men and 15,000 women ages 18-29 years are boosted due to a COVID booster mandate, and estimate between 1.7 to 3.0 occurrences of myocarditis among men, and 0.7 cases among women, which means the mandate would “cause approximately 3-4 myo/pericarditis cases” for every hospitalization averted.
There would also be up to 3,234 cases of other side effects so serious that they interfere with normal daily activities.
According to The Epoch Times, the new pre-print “is essential reading for anyone trying to decide if they need more vaccines.”
Call to action
The authors note their arguments against mandating boosters for college students are also relevant “to university or school policies that maintain primary two-dose Covid-19 vaccine mandates in 2022 in the face of high rates of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
Mandates for having a primary series of COVID-19 vaccination are still in force at over 1,000 universities and colleges across the U.S., “far more than the 300 or so maintaining booster mandates.”
There are also primary and secondary schools that instituted mandates and then extended the deadline “when it was apparent that serious inequities in access to education would result.”
The authors concluded their study with a call to action:
“Policymakers should repeal booster mandates for young adults immediately, ensure pathways to compensation to those who have suffered negative consequences from these policies, provide open access to participant-level clinical trial data to allow risk- and age-stratified harm-benefit analyses of any new vaccines prior to issuing recommendations.”
These measures will be needed to “begin what will be a long process of rebuilding trust in public health.”
Originally published by The Defender