An Urgent Warning to Yale University — On The Danger of Indiscriminate COVID-19 Vaccination In Your Recently Infected And Naturally Immune Students And Faculty.

Yale University is engaged in indiscriminate COVID-19 of students (and faculty) who are naturally immune or recently infected. This practice poses a risk of totally avoidable harm to, at least, a minority subset of that subset of the Yale community, because their vaccination is unnecessary or potentially dangerous.

Honorable president Salovey and colleagues,

I am writing you after reading Dr. Christine Chen’s message to the Yale University community about the availability of the COVID-19 vaccination HERE.

I am writing you urgently and respectfully on the public record to warn Yale University of the danger of harm any blanket vaccination requirement will almost certainly impose on, at least, some members of your student body. Therefore, it is my hope that after you, your healthcare advisors and your risk managers read this public letter of warning with care, you will elect to steer any potential “mandate” or “requirement” at Yale into safe space.

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 Yale University community, who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 or who are naturally immune, poses a risk of harm to some such persons. I am compelled to communicate this urgent message of warning to you, because if you mandate an indiscriminate COVID-19 vaccine policy it is almost certain that a risk of serious or potentially deadly, but totally avoidable, harm will be created for some in your midst.

Dr. Christine Chen, Chief of Student Health at Yale University

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. By Fall semester of 2021, the percentages of the naturally infected and immune will be increasing further.

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 Boston University, University of Notre Dame, Princeton University, Fordham University, Syracuse University and Rutgers University, among others. 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 HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

Additionally, I am in contact with Dr. Janet Woodcock and her team at FDA and recently generated THIS public letter to the agency for their record and consideration.

In short, it is my opinion as a physician, immunologist and public health advocate that vaccinating persons who are recently infected, or who are naturally immune to SARS-CoV-2, poses a risk of harm to such persons, in two distinct ways — the first is a material risk and the second is a highly likely, but immunologically prognosticated risk:

1) because vaccination of naturally immune persons is, by definition, 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, the blood clots that seem to be an added risk), all of which DO pose a risk of severe morbidity or mortality — no matter if this risk is to only a “minority subset” of those vaccinated, it is nonetheless unreasonable to expose naturally immune persons to these risks, because the treatment is medically unnecessary and unlikely to benefit such persons. Certainly, because we do not know who exactly in this category of persons is at risk of harm, the risk exposure is to every naturally infected person treated as such. Therefore, it is absolutely critical to only treat (or mandate vaccination in) 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 hyper-inflammatory 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 Yale, with recent or asymptomatic infections, will be at a similar risk of serious or life-threatening complications following indiscriminate vaccination.

Will Yale University president, Peter Salovey, and his colleagues mandate an indiscriminate vaccination policy for that University’s entire student body and faculty? Here, I have informed them that indiscriminate vaccination of those persons who are naturally immune or recently infected is unnecessary and potentially dangerous to at least a minority subset of unsuspecting persons in the University’s community. Let us hope that reason and safety for ALL can prevail at Yale.

Here, I am writing, as a physician-immunologist and a concerned parent of a college student myself, to request that Yale University take a more rational and circumspect approach to ensuring that your student body and faculty are immune to SARS-CoV-2.

Indiscriminate vaccination, and especially mandated vaccination, of persons already naturally immune or recently infected, as your counterparts at BU, Princeton, Notre Dame, Fordham, Syracuse and Rutgers are doing, is neither rational, nor safe. Therefore, my respectful proposal is that you deliberately consider any mandate you may be in the process of imposing on your community 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 antibody titers in their blood, and by negative PCR/Antigen tests.

In short, any mandate/requirement at Yale ought to be an “immunity mandate” — NOT a “vaccine mandate”, because indiscriminate vaccination of the recently infected or already naturally 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 Yale is simply a recipe for harm to an unsuspecting “minority” number in your community, who could be anyone of you — recently infected or naturally immune. Of course, harm to any member of your community would not only be tragic, but it would create a serious liability cost to Yale University.

I write, here, as a concerned citizen, a physician-immunologist and a public health advocate in hopes that you, at Yale, will take a more circumspect and measured approach to any potential vaccine “requirement”. 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 — if you choose to revise your currently unsafe “one-size-fits-all” approach to COVID-19 vaccination. Your willingness to reconsider and revise this policy error is a test of your administration’s grasp of Rawlsian Utilitarian ethics — as well as your capacity to see the duty to protect minority subsets of people in your charge from harm, with clarity — no matter how small a group they might be.

Please know, on this public record, that Yale’s current indiscriminate COVID-19 vaccination in students who do not need the treatment, because they are already naturally immune, or who are at potential risk of harm, because they are recently infected, is a clear and dangerous error in clinical and public health judgement.

I write you in friendship and in defense the minority subset of persons in certain harm’s way from indiscriminate COVID-19 vaccination — some likely in your midst,

Hooman Noorchashm MD, PhD.

noorchashm@gmail.com.