Boston College COVID-19 Booster Mandate

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URGENT COMMUNICATION

 

January 3, 2022

To: Fr. William P. Leahy and executive members of the Boston College Board of Trustees

Dear Fr. Leahy and friends,

We are a group of over 1,000 members of the Boston College family – parents, students, faculty, staff, and alumni – writing this urgent letter of concern to you, in consultation with expert clinicians, to request a time critical modification to Boston College’s COVID-19 booster vaccine mandate.

All of us signing this letter, and especially our children who attend BC, have already complied with the College’s prior immunization requirements and approved exemptions.

Additionally, we fully understand and empathize with the difficult position the Boston College administration finds itself in during this pandemic.

Nevertheless, we have very serious safety concerns about the recent vaccine booster mandate at Boston College. It’s clear that the College’s administration has not exercised sufficient circumspection in creating clearly delineated medically rational “off-ramps” from the booster mandates for those who are already well immune to COVID-19. It is a serious problem that a medically unnecessary third booster shot could prove dangerous and irreparably harmful in such already well immune individuals.

Therefore, with this letter, we are respectfully requesting that Boston College administration formally exempt the following four groups of student, faculty, and staff from a vaccine booster mandate:

1) Individuals who, within the span of the past 12-24 months, have had a natural COVID-19 infection AND two mandated mRNA vaccine shots (OR the single shot J&J vaccine). These individuals are by clinical definition, very robustly immune. In fact, Dr. Anthony Fauci has labeled such persons, “bullet proof” with “hybrid immunity”. To vaccinate such already well immune persons with an added booster by administrative mandate is medically unnecessary and, thus, only risks serious harm – possibly irreparably to some.

2) Individuals who had already received the prior mandated vaccinations, and who during this Christmas break experienced a “breakthrough infection” with the Delta or Omicron Variants. Like individuals in the first category above, COVID-19 immunity in these persons also meets the definition of “bullet proof hybrid immunity”. Additionally, to vaccinate such very recently infected/convalescent persons with a medically unnecessary booster vaccine carries a risk of triggering a dangerous hyperinflammatory response. This should be avoided at all costs.

3) Individuals whose second dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine was less than 6 months ago. As you know, according to current FDA guidance, boosters are approved only for persons who underwent vaccination at least 5 months prior to boost. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-expands-eligibility-pfizer-biontech-covid-19-booster-dose-16-and-17

4) Individuals, vaccinated or previously infected, in whom a licensed physician has ordered a personalized serological evaluation and attests that robust and protective COVID-19 immunity is already present. My own daughter falls in this category.

We know that your intent in imposing a booster vaccine mandate at Boston College is to protect the community. However, in the rush to protect Boston College, we ask that you not lose sight of rational ethical reasoning - or of the very important principle of medical necessity. It is a vastly accepted truism that harm and irreparable damage to innocents in the minority, almost always resides in “one-size-fits-all” approaches to institutional and governmental policies and practices.

With this letter of petition, we ask that Boston College urgently shift its booster mandate policy to automatically exempt the large proportion of our community who fall within the above four categories.

We pray for your clarity and purity of intent.

With respect and in Christ,

Hooman Noorchashm MD, PhD

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Pennsylvania, School of Arts and Sciences (Biology/Chemistry)
  • Graduate Degree, University of Pennsylvania, Biomedical Graduate Studies (Immunology)
  • Doctor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine (Medicine)
  • Intern in General Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  • Resident in General Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  • Resident in Cardiothoracic Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Physician, Immunologist, Public Health Advocate (Current)

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