Northeastern University Covid-19 Booster Mandates
As taken from a petition to Boston College, written by Hooman Noorchashm MD, PhD
- Bachelor of Arts, University of Pennsylvania, School of Arts and Sciences (Biology/Chemistry)
- Graduate Degree, University of Pennsylvania, Biomedical Graduate Studies (Immunology)
- Doctor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine (Medicine)
- Intern in General Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
- Resident in General Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
- Resident in Cardiothoracic Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
- Physician, Immunologist, Public Health Advocate (Current)
We are a group of Northeastern University parents, student and alumni – writing this urgent letter of concern to you, in consultation with expert clinicians, to request a time critical modification to Northeastern University's COVID-19 booster vaccine mandate.
All of us signing this letter, and especially our children who attend Northeastern, have already complied with the University's prior immunization requirements and approved exemptions.
Additionally, we fully understand and empathize with the difficult position the Northeastern University administration finds itself in during this pandemic.
Nevertheless, we have very serious safety concerns about the recent vaccine booster mandate at Northeastern University. It’s clear that the University's administration has not exercised sufficient circumspection in creating clearly delineated medically rational “off-ramps” from the booster mandates for those who are already well immune to COVID-19. It is a serious problem that a medically unnecessary third booster shot could prove dangerous and irreparably harmful in such already well immune individuals.
Therefore, with this letter, we are respectfully requesting that Northeastern University administration formally exempt the following four groups of student, faculty, and staff from a vaccine booster mandate:
1) Individuals who, within the span of the past 12-24 months, have had a natural COVID-19 infection AND two mandated mRNA vaccine shots (OR the single shot J&J vaccine). These individuals are by clinical definition, very robustly immune. In fact, Dr. Anthony Fauci has labeled such persons, “bullet proof” with “hybrid immunity”. To vaccinate such already well immune persons with an added booster by administrative mandate is medically unnecessary and, thus, only risks serious harm – possibly irreparably to some.
2) Individuals who had already received the prior mandated vaccinations, and who during this Christmas break experienced a “breakthrough infection” with the Delta or Omicron Variants. Like individuals in the first category above, COVID-19 immunity in these persons also meets the definition of “bullet proof hybrid immunity”. Additionally, to vaccinate such very recently infected/convalescent persons with a medically unnecessary booster vaccine carries a risk of triggering a dangerous hyperinflammatory response. This should be avoided at all costs.
3) Individuals whose second dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine was less than 6 months ago. As you know, according to current FDA guidance, boosters are approved only for persons who underwent vaccination at least 5 months prior to boost. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-expands-eligibility-pfizer-biontech-covid-19-booster-dose-16-and-17
4) Individuals, vaccinated or previously infected, in whom a licensed physician has ordered a personalized serological evaluation and attests that robust and protective COVID-19 immunity is already present.
We know that your intent in imposing a booster vaccine mandate at Northeastern University is to protect the community. However, in the rush to protect Northeastern University, we ask that you not lose sight of rational ethical reasoning - or of the very important principle of medical necessity. It is a vastly accepted truism that harm and irreparable damage to innocents in the minority, almost always resides in “one-size-fits-all” approaches to institutional and governmental policies and practices.
With this letter of petition, we ask that Northeastern University urgently shift its booster mandate policy to automatically exempt the large proportion of our community who fall within the above four categories.
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