An Urgent Warning to Fordham University President, Fr. Joseph M. McShane - On The Danger of Indiscriminate COVID-19 Vaccination In The Recently Infected And Naturally Immune.
Dear Fr. McShane,
I had the pleasure of meeting you during the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 at St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia, PA — where my son graduated that year.
I was recently made aware of your letter to the Fordham University community stating that: “Therefore the University will require all students — undergraduates and students in graduate and professional schools — to be vaccinated by the opening of the Fall semester (medical and religious accommodations will be considered), and it is the University’s strong expectation that all faculty, staff, and administrators likewise be fully vaccinated on or before the beginning of the Fall semester.”
Your letter to the Fordham University Community can be read HERE.
I am writing you urgently on the public record to warn Fordham University of the danger of harm this blanket requirement imposes on, at least, some members of your community. Therefore, it is my hope that after you and your healthcare advisors and risk managers have read this letter with care, you will elect to modify this dangerous course of action.
Specifically, I am writing here as a physician and immunologist to inform you of my very serious concern that indiscriminate COVID-19 vaccination of members of the Fordham community, who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 and are naturally immune, poses a risk of harm. I am compelled to communicate this urgent message of warning to you, because your University’s indiscriminate COVID-19 vaccine policy is certain to pose a risk of serious or potentially deadly, but totally avoidable, harm to some.
I am sure you recognize that somewhere upwards of 20–30% of your community (and the American population on the whole) has already been naturally infected with SARS-CoV-2 — and the vast majority of such persons are very likely to be well immune to the virus.
I have been discussing the serious safety concern in indiscriminately vaccinating college students (and other persons), who were recently infected and are naturally immune, with a few concerned parents and friends at other Universities that have, so far, publicly announced a COVID-19 vaccine “mandate” — including University of Notre Dame and Rutgers University. In support of these families, I have sent public letters to the leadership of these institutions warning of the liability and potential harm in an indiscriminate vaccine mandate. Please read these letters at the below links:
Additionally, I am in contact with Dr. Janet Woodcock and her team at FDA and recently generated the following public letter to the agency for their record:
In short, it is my opinion as a physician, immunologist and public health advocate that vaccinating persons who are recently infected and naturally immune to SARS-CoV-2 poses a risk of harm in two distinct ways — the first is a material risk and the second is a highly likely, but scientifically prognosticated, risk:
1) because vaccination of naturally immune persons is an unnecessary medical procedure, all persons so treated are unreasonably exposed to the general risks associated with that procedure/treatment. In the case of vaccines, these include allergic reactions, anaphylaxis and Guillain Barre Syndrome, (and in the case of the COVID-19 vaccine, blood clots) all of which do pose a risk of severe morbidity or mortality — no matter if this risk is to a “minority subset” of those vaccinated, it is unreasonable because the treatment is unnecessary. Certainly, because we do not know who exactly is at risk of harm, the risk exposure is to everyone treated. Therefore, it is absolutely critical to only treat persons in whom the vaccination is a necessary medical treatment: That is, those who are not already immune to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
2) recently, or asymptomatically, infected persons are very highly likely to be at risk of an exacerbated and dangerous hyperinflammatory immune responses when indiscriminately vaccinated — several cases of this complication in the recently infected and vaccinated have emerged over the past few weeks across the nation, including the deaths of Dr. J. Barton Williams of Memphis, TN and Mr. Christopher Sarmiento of Las Cruces, NM. These men were both young and healthy, and their vaccine triggered complications are unlikely to be isolated ones. It is a near certainty that at least some members of your community at Fordham with recent infections will be at a similar risk of serious or life-threatening complications following indiscriminate vaccination.
Here, I am writing, as a physician-immunologist and a concerned parent of a college student myself, to request that Fordham University take a more rational approach to ensuring that your student body and faculty are immune to SARS-CoV-2. Mandating indiscriminate vaccination of the already naturally immune or recently infected, as you and your colleagues at Notre Dame and Rutgers are doing, is neither rational, nor safe. Therefore, my respectful proposal is that you immediately change your mandate to ONLY require COVID-19 vaccination in members of your student body and faculty, who are NOT already naturally immune (or recently infected) — as demonstrated by the absence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike IgG antibodies in their blood and by negative PCR/Antigen tests.
In short, any mandate at Fordham ought to be an “immunity mandate” — NOT a “vaccine mandate”, because indiscriminate vaccination of the recently infected and already immune has a risk of potentially deadly hazard that is totally avoidable and unnecessary for upwards of 20–30% of your community to absorb.
To mandate indiscriminate COVID-19 vaccination of the naturally immune and recently infected at Fordham is simply a recipe for harm to an unsuspecting “minority” number in your community, who could be any One. Of course, harm to any member of your community would not only be tragic, but it would create a liability cost to Fordham University.
I write, here, as a concerned citizen, a physician-immunologist and a public health advocate in hopes that you, at Fordham, will take a more circumspect and measured approach to any potential “mandate”. I trust that you will read my message of concern with care and discuss it with your physician leaders and institutional risk managers and insurers. I believe that yours could become a well reasoned leadership example for other higher educational institutions to follow. Please know, on this record, that indiscriminate COVID-19 vaccination of persons who do not need the treatment because they are already immune, or who are at potential risk of harm because they are recently infected, is a clear and dangerous error in judgement.
I write in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Hooman Noorchashm MD, PhD.