For a year and half now, most college students in America have been barred from in-person learning. We have taken out student loans for already over-priced institutions only to be subjected to vastly inferior remote learning. For students who choose to remain on campus, rather than move back into their high school bedrooms, universities have implemented communist-style COVID rules and regulations that border on violations of civil liberties.
Across America, colleges and universities, including the University of Chicago, have allied with pharmaceutical corporations by mandating registered students be vaccinated by the fall of 2021 or be barred from class and campus.
Students in their late teens and early 20s make up a demographic more likely to die from the seasonal flu than COVID, making the requirement to take an emergency-use vaccine not only potentially dangerous, but absurd. Healthy students are being essentially reduced to guinea pigs for vaccines whose long- and short-term effects are unknown. Moreover, the unethical creation of most of the vaccines opens the door to concerns of conscience.
Students and their parents have a right to object to this violation of medical liberty. Below are six grounds on which students can object.
1. Students Are Not At Risk
Study after study has shown that college-aged students are not at risk of dying from COVID. In fact, they are more at risk of dying from the common flu or pneumonia, and universities have never attempted to mandate flu shots or any other vaccines to protect students from these conditions. Additionally, many students (including myself) have already had COVID, suffered minimal symptoms (if any at all), and possess natural antibodies.
The minute percentage of students who are at risk of being hospitalized or dying from COVID have comorbidities, which can be lifestyle-related, such as obesity and type two diabetes. Yet, instead of promoting health and fitness, universities across the country have foolishly made working out as difficult as possible.
Schools often force students to wear masks at all times, including in outdoor and indoor athletic facilities, even when they are performing strenuous physical activity, like sprints. They require students to sign up many days in advance for very short time slots (usually just 40-50 minutes). And some schools have completely closed down work out facilities altogether.
2. There Is No Legal Precedent
Vaccine proponents will argue that requiring the vaccine is standard, as today all 50 states have laws requiring specific vaccines for K-12 students enrolled in public schools (with occasional medical or religious exemptions). However, there are currently no state laws mandating COVID vaccines for school-age children or college students.
More importantly, only vaccines with full Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval have been state-mandated. So far, all COVID vaccines only have FDA emergency use authorization (EUA). This is grounds for legal protest, since these vaccines aren’t as well tested as long-standing ones, for which scientists know for certain of any short- and long-term side effects. For this reason, some states are introducing bills that would ban universities from requiring COVID vaccines.
3. Requiring Vaccination May Be At Odds With Federal Law
The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which authorizes the FDA to grant emergency use authorization, requires the secretary of Health and Human Services to “ensure that individuals to whom the product is administered are informed … of the option to accept or refuse administration of the product.”
Additionally, the FDA’s guidance on emergency use authorization (EUA) of medical products requires the FDA to “ensure that recipients are informed to the extent practicable given the applicable circumstances … That they have the option to accept or refuse the EUA product …”
When Dr. Amanda Cohn, the executive secretary of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, was asked if COVID vaccination can be required, she said that under an EUA, “vaccines are not allowed to be mandatory. So, early in this vaccination phase, individuals will have to [consent] and they won’t be able to be mandatory.”
The EUAs for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require fact sheets to be given to all vaccination providers and recipients which make clear that getting the vaccine is optional. “It is your choice to receive or not receive the COVID-19 Vaccine,” and if “you decide to not receive it, it will not change your standard of medical care,” states one recipient fact sheet.
When Congress granted the authority to issue EUAs, it chose to require that every individual should be allowed to decide for himself or herself whether to receive an EUA product.
Given the evidence, legal experts believe public and private institutions could find themselves breaking the law by mandating EUA vaccinations. Aaron Siri, managing partner at Siri & Glimstad LLP, a complex civil litigation firm, writes in Stat News that “an organization will likely be at odds with federal law if it requires its employees, students or other members to get a Covid-19 vaccine that is being distributed under emergency use authorization.”
4. We Are Guinea Pigs In Untested Waters
The Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which was administered to approximately 7 million Americans, was pulled by the FDA after six women developed a rare blood clot within two weeks of receiving their doses. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine fiasco doesn’t leave one feeling confident in the safety of other similarly rushed vaccines.
The abbreviated timelines for the emergency use applications and authorizations means there is much the FDA does not know about the vaccine’s effectiveness.
Worse yet, students are being required to receive vaccines by pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and Moderna, which, under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act, have total legal immunity if something unintentionally goes wrong post-vaccination.
Students should not be forced to risk the effects of a vaccine that the Big Pharma companies aren’t even liable for. And while the elitist medical authorities are telling us to blindly take their unlicensed vaccine, the American Nurses Foundation reported that 36 percent of nurses will not voluntarily take the COVID vaccine, suggesting strong COVID vaccine hesitancy even among medical professionals.
5. Medical Elites And Democrats Shut Down Alternative Treatments
Potential other COVID treatments have been largely rejected by Democrats and health officials who favor a massive vaccine rollout. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, has accused the medical establishment, health agencies, and Democrats of failing to explore and promote cost-effective repurposed drugs—those previously approved for other uses—as early combatives against COVID.
“They’re safe and they’re cheap and they just might be incredibly effective,” said Johnson at a December Senate hearing. He added that “tens of thousands of people have lost their lives” because government agencies have focused on expensive “silver bullet” solutions instead of medications already in use for other diseases.
Medical elites and government officials’ refusal to even consider alternative options causes one to wonder whether the vaccine is about health, money, or something else. Indeed Big Pharma companies like Moderna and Pfizer, which possess undeniable influence over American medical professionals and government officials, are projected to rake in billions of dollars from the COVID vaccines.
6. The Vaccines Raise Ethical Concerns Over Their Use Of Aborted Fetal Tissue Cell Lines
Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines used cell lines from aborted children in their lab testing and production processes. In most cases, the cell lines being used come from abortions committed decades ago, in the 1970s and ’80s. Some will argue it is not unethical to take the vaccine because by taking the vaccine individuals are not directly participating in the act of abortion, especially since the cell lines are far removed from the original aborted baby.
However, many pro-lifers believe that just because the cell lines are old and “removed” from the original killing, doesn’t change the fact that they were created by violating the fundamental human rights of a preborn victim. Additionally, pharmaceutical companies that continue to use aborted baby cell lines for research profit from the killings and encourage the ongoing evil that is abortion.
It doesn’t matter whether all readers view the use of aborted baby cell lines as unethical. The truth remains that there are legitimate concerns from those who do, and students and faculty have a right to object on ethical and religious liberty grounds.
Indeed, even legal experts who argue that, under guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers may exclude employees from the workplace who refuse to be vaccinated for non-specific reasons, acknowledge they can’t “discriminate against those who cannot receive Covid-19 vaccines because of an underlying disability or religious belief.” Public universities seeking to mandate vaccines for students who object on religious grounds may face an additional hurdle: the Free Exercise Clause of the Constitution.
Normal everyday activities are now privileges to be earned via compliance. Students who refuse the vaccine face the scourge of social shaming and the very real possibility that they will be barred from attending in-person classes and participating in their campus communities.
The American university system has scammed students and their families long enough with overpriced, debt-inducing tuition. Since COVID hit, this system has deprived us of in-person learning, canceled or reduced campus services (while charging full price), subjected us to draconian lockdowns and mandatory COVID tests, and created a Chinese-style snitch culture and social credit score system for COVID violations regarding masks, tests, and social distancing rules.
As we look forward to the fall of 2022, things are getting even creepier as university administrators team up with powerful corporations using COVID to force students to take emergency vaccines that they don’t need, but Big Pharma desperately wants.
*The views expressed in this article solely represent the views of the author, not the views of the Chicago Thinker.