New York University Extension of Booster Mandates
January 10, 2022 To: President Hamilton and executive members of the New York University Board of Trustees Dear Colleagues and friends,
We are a group of members of the New York University 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 New York University’s COVID-19 booster vaccine mandate. We are joining the Boston College group of students adopted from letter to Boston College from Dr. Noorchashm.
All of us signing this letter, and especially our children who attend NYU, have already complied with the College’s prior immunization requirements and approved exemptions. Additionally, we fully understand and empathize with the difficult position the New York University administration finds itself in during this pandemic. Nevertheless, we have very serious safety concerns about the recent vaccine booster mandate at NYU.
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 New York University 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. We know that your intent in imposing a booster vaccine mandate at New York University is to protect the community.
However, in the rush to protect NYU, 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 NYU 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.
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)
When signing, please include your connection to NYU when you sign (Alumnus, Parent, Student, Faculty, Staff, etc....) NYU Parents, Students, Faculty, and Alumni
Hooman Noorchasm Contact the author of the petition
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