Professors urge the UC to reverse its shift in policy suggesting that boosters will be mandated in perpetuity or accept personal responsibility and legal liability for harm.

Posted BY: No College Mandates | Substack

In September, the University of California (“UC”) mandated bivalent COVID-19 boosters for the 2022-2023 academic year for all faculty, staff, and students, in effect shifting its policy from fully vaccinated to up-to-date and suggesting that boosters will be required in perpetuity.  We the undersigned, eleven members of the UC faculty from several campuses, sent the following letter to university administrators calling on them to reverse this new mandate.  To date, we have received no response.  In addition, we sent the letter to nine UC student newspapers for publication as an Op-Ed.  The Op-Ed editors from two of these newspapers, the Daily Bruin (UCLA) and the Daily Cal (UC-Berkeley) initially agreed enthusiastically to publish the letter.  However, they subsequently withdrew their decision to publish, we presume in the face of pressure from higher up to censor us.

We write to register deep dismay over UC’s September 22, 2022 memorandum mandating a fall 2022 COVID-19 booster for all students, staff, and faculty.  Our concerns are driven by the scientific information on the virus and on the vaccines that we have now accumulated nearly three years into the outbreak. 

Our concerns in brief:

First, the University of California Office of the President justified the original mandate on the assumption that vaccination would protect against COVID-19 infection and prevent transmission. We now know it does neither, a fact acknowledged by the CDC, the FDA, the HHS, the WHO, health ministries, and medical researchers around the world, and now, by Pfizer itself.  Moreover, more than 150 peer-reviewed studies demonstrate that natural immunity acquired by recovering from a COVID-19 infection is equal to if not superior to vaccination and that paradoxically, over time, COVID-19 shots increase rather than decrease the risk of contracting and spreading the virus.  On May 2022 article in the high-impact British Medical Journal warned that “mandatory vaccine policies are scientifically questionable and are likely to cause more societal harm than good.”  The CDC has “recommended” and not mandated the new booster.  The University’s decision to mandate boosters at this time is therefore not in accordance with CDC guidelines.  Moreover, the CDC recently greatly relaxed its COVID-19 guidelines and no longer recommends making distinctions based on a person’s vaccination status.

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Second, mounting evidence demonstrates serious risks associated with vaccination, especially for healthy males 18-39, where risks may outweigh benefits. A Florida Department of Health analysis of mortality following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination, to cite one study, reported an 84 percent increase in death for men 18-39within 28 days of vaccination. Also, well documented is the elevated risk of myocarditis, pericarditis, and emergency cardiovascular events among those under 40, a demographic that includes the vast majority of our student body and large portions of staff and faculty. The Florida study also showed that males over 60 had a 10 percent increased risk of cardiac-related death in the same 28-day period and that non-mRNA vaccines did not have those increased risks in any population.  Multiple data sources show that young healthy people who contract COVID-19 have a recovery rate of 99.995 percent.

In March 2022, a court order compelled Pfizer to release 55,000 pages of internal reports on vaccine effectiveness and side effects.  Among the 1,246 different adverse effects in Pfizer’s own documents were cardiac arrest, deep vein thrombosis, immune-mediated hepatitis, myocarditis, brain stem embolism and thrombosis, interstitial lung disease, juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, liver injury, and multisystem inflammatory syndrome.  Another study by medical researchers, including one of our colleagues at UCSF, found that 22,000-30,000 previously uninfected adults aged 18-29 must be boosted with an mRNA vaccine to prevent just one COVID-19 hospitalization, and that “booster mandates may cause a net expected harm: per COVID-19 hospitalization prevented in previously uninfected young adults, we anticipate 18 to 98 serious adverse events, including 1.7 to 3.0 booster-associated myocarditis cases in males, and 1,373 to 3,234 cases of grade ≥3 reactogenicities.” 

Data from CDC’s official Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) released on July 15, 2022, show 1,350,950 reports of adverse events for all age groups following COVID-19 vaccines, including 29,635 deaths and 246,676 serious injuries.  It is well documented that fewer than one percent of all vaccine-associated adverse events are ever reported to the CDC’s VAERS.  This means that actual morbidity or mortality is many times greater, as pointed out, among other sources, by a recent HHS-funded Harvard Medical School vaccine injury study.  Another study published by UCLA Professors Sander Greenland and Patrick Whelan and others in the high-impact journal Vaccine in September 2022 lamented the lack of “full transparency of the COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial data” and called for a harm-benefit analysis of the vaccines.

Third, while we are not against vaccination for those who chose it, we are deeply concerned about the coercive nature of this medical procedure.  Any medical treatment must be an individual choice and should be made in consultation with one’s physician.  Never before in medical history has an entire population been required to receive a vaccine approved only for emergency use, for which there are no long-term data, and without informed consent, that, as a matter of law and ethics, requires that no one be coerced into a medical treatment.  The shift in UC policy from fully vaccinated to up-to-date signals anticipation of an open-ended process of continuous vaccinations and boosters that goes far beyond addressing a temporary emergency.

The LAUSD (among others) suspended its vaccine mandate for students (but not staff) in September 2022, after a Superior Court judge ruled that the school district did not have the authority to mandate vaccination. The State of California has not mandated boosters for anyone except health workers. Nationwide, the trend is toward eliminating all mandates.  The rate of hospitalizations is radically down and COVID-19-related deaths now appear to be about on par with annual deaths from the flu.  In contrast, “excess,” sudden, unexpected unexplained deaths have skyrocketed since the rollout of the experimental vaccines.  Even Bill Gates, who helped finance and promote the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, has now acknowledged: “We didn’t understand that it’s a fairly low fatality rate and that it’s a disease mainly in the elderly, kind of like flu.” 

If UC leadership continues to insist on this ill-advised action, are they ready to accept full personal responsibility and legal liability for the multitude of harms certain to result?

Carole H. Browner
Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Science
University of California, Los Angeles

William I. Robinson
Distinguished Professor of Sociology
University of California, Santa Barbara

Roberto Strongman
Associate Professor of Black Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara

Arvind Thomas
Associate Professor of English
University of California, Los Angeles

Anton Van Der Ven
Professor of Engineering
University of California, Santa Barbara

Hugo Loaiciga
Professor of Geography
University of California, Santa Barbara

Aaron Kheriaty, MD
Former Professor, School of Medicine
Former Director of Medical Ethics Program
University of California, Irvine

Gabriel Vorobiof
Associate Professor of Medicine
University of California, Los Angeles

Lazlo Boros
Assistant Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics, Endocrinology and Metabolism (retired)
University of California, Los Angeles 

Patrick Whelan 
Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Aditi Bhargava, Ob/Gyn, Reproductive Sciences
Professor Emeritus, School of Medicine
University of California, San Francisco