Thursday, June 24, 2021

Heart Problems In Vaccinated Students Trigger Legal Scrutiny Of Campus Covid Mandates

Heart problems in vaccinated students trigger medical, legal scrutiny of campus COVID mandates

As the government reviews several hundred reports of heart inflammation in young people following COVID vaccination, high-profile medical and legal scholars are calling on colleges to scrap their COVID vaccine mandates, calling them unnecessary and potentially harmful to students.

University of California-Irvine medical ethicist Aaron Kheriaty and University of Notre Dame law professor Gerard Bradley went so far as to invoke the post-Nazi Nuremberg Code in urging universities to abandon their mandates, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed this week.

Though many universities already offer exemptions based on medical history and religious objections, the professors suggest two more: the emergency use authorization (EUA) status of the COVID vaccines and widespread natural immunity.

Younger adults and children have "extremely low" risk of mortality from COVID, epidemiologists Martin Kulldorff of Harvard Medical School and Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford Med wrote in an op-ed for The Hill Thursday.

(Kulldorff, a pioneer in vaccine safety, didn't share the op-ed on his newly unlocked Twitter feed. "Twitter does not allow vaccine scientists to freely discuss vaccines, but you can find it on my LinkedIn and Gab accounts," he tweeted Thursday, referring to his monthlong suspension for questioning the protective power of masks.)

"Even a slight risk of a serious vaccine adverse reaction could tip the benefit-risk calculation, making the vaccine more harmful than beneficial," Kulldorff and Bhattacharya wrote, accusing universities with mandates of ignoring "basic benefit-risk analyses, a staple of the toolbox of scientists."

Benefits versus risks of mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) for adolescents and young adults are on the agenda for this week's meeting of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. It will also tackle reports of myocarditis developing after vaccination. (Originally scheduled for June 18, the meeting was moved to June 23-25 on account of the new Juneteenth federal holiday.)

Even the American Medical Association (AMA) pushed back on COVID vaccine mandates for the time being at a "special meeting" of its house of delegates Wednesday.

In a press release it did not share on Twitter, the group urged institutions including schools to reject mandates until the vaccines receive "full approval" from the FDA through a Biological Licenses Application. In doing so, it rejected the EUA rationale used by colleges to justify mandates for students.

"Individuals subject to the mandate [should] be given meaningful opportunity to voluntarily accept vaccination," and its implementation should "not exacerbate inequities or adversely affect already marginalized populations," the AMA said, alluding to racial disparities in vaccine hesitancy.

It's not evident that universities with mandates plan to inform students of the potential risks their age group may face from the COVID vaccines. 

Northwestern University failed to mention that a student who died last week suddenly developed heart problems after taking her second Moderna shot. It told the Daily Northwestern that 19-year-old Simone Scott died of "pneumonia-related issues" following an emergency heart transplant, but her parents toldjournalist Alex Berenson they believe the vaccine played a role and was a "coincidence that is too big to ignore."

A Brown University epidemiologist who has closely followedpost-vaccination myocarditis reports and reviewed Berenson's report on Scott's recent history of treatment told Just the News he would attribute her death to "vaccine-induced myocarditis."

The freshman suffered "serious, near fatal myocarditis post C19 vax with all other plausible causes of that fulminant [sudden and severe] myocarditis ruled out" and died shortly after her transplant, Andrew Bostom wrote in a Twitter direct message.

"In other words, her failure to 'engraft' contributed to her death from the severe complications of her rapidly progressive myocarditis," he said. "The fulminant presentation IS unusual, and let's pray VERY uncommon."

More than 500 colleges require COVID vaccination for students, according to a Chronicle of Higher Education tracker, though some states have banned the mandates. Gov. Doug Ducey recently overturned Arizona State University's strict rules for unvaccinated students via executive order.

Myocarditis has been flagged as a potential result of COVID vaccination at least since February, when Italian researchers submitted a case study on a newly vaccinated 30-year-old. Their paper completed peer review a month ago and was published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology last week


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