On May 11, 2021, Purdue University posted a video of President Mitch Daniels outlining expected COVID-19 restrictions for Purdue students who will be on campus this fall.
While Purdue University is not making the new COVID-19 vaccine a requirement, it strongly suggests that all students get “fully vaccinated” and insinuates that students declining the vaccine will be forced to endure certain consequences, including continued “frequent, mandatory surveillance testing” and exclusion from a variety of as-yet unspecified campus activities. Although, at first glance, the policy may seem prudent, it coerces students into bearing unneeded and unknown risk and is at heart contrary to the bedrock medical principle of informed consent. And according to scientific research, it also appears unnecessary.
Contrary to his claim that the COVID-19 vaccine is no longer experimental, the fact remains that this barely tested injection still only has Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) status from the FDA and NOT full approval. As such, it may not be the best thing for any one individual, based on a variety of factors. And these factors should be left to students and their families to evaluate without the pressure of being discriminated against for their choices.
CDC VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) data as of May 14, 2021, shows 227,805 reports of adverse events following COVID-19 vaccines, including 4,201 deaths and 18,528 serious injuries. This surpasses the total number of deaths reported to VAERS from ALL vaccines over the past 20 years! And since only 1% of adverse vaccine reactions have been historically reported to VAERS, the actual death and injury counts could be dramatically higher. (In 1976, the Swine Flu vaccine was pulled after only 53 deaths.)
For the COVID-19 vaccine, 70% of the adverse reactions (including 25% of the reports being severe, permanent injury) are in the 17–65-year-old age group. No long-term safety studies are available, thus a decision by ANY student to decline is perfectly reasonable and should not be penalized.
According to the Pfizer and Moderna clinical trial paperwork, these shots are not designed to reduce rates of infection, transmission, or death — just to reduce symptoms. The initial data these companies presented to the FDA showed that the vaccine group and the placebo group BOTH had less than 1% of each group contract COVID-19. Statisticians consider studies Iike this, where less than 1% of each study group is affected, as being too small of a percentage to make any claims on efficacy.
Protect Purdue seems to support the idea that any risk, no matter how small, is too much risk. Regarding this vaccine, any risk, even if just 10%, 5% or 1%, is certainly too much, especially since data shows that this age group’s risk from COVID-19 is statistically insignificant. Individuals in the 15-24 age group make up only .121% of all COVID-19 deaths (per the CDC) or .7% of deaths from all causes in that age group. The infection fatality rate (risk of dying) from COVID-19 for ages 10-19 is a mere .00032% and for 20-49 is .0092%.
Federal law provides for a person to opt out of a medical product imposed under an EUA; the PCR test for COVID-19 is a medical test and is considered a medical product. Measures taken under an EUA must be voluntary; the general population cannot be forced to be part of medical research or a medical experiment. Therefore, students should not have this physical intrusion forced upon them against their will. And federal law certainly does not intend for a young person to be denied an education or to have his or her education jeopardized by a decision to refrain from medical testing under an EUA.
The idea of discrimination based on vaccination status is not only unjust and unfair, but unconstitutional and un-American. It also jeopardizes the mental health of our young people with no scientific justification for doing so.
According to a CDC report in April 2021, asymptomatic spread is not a concern, so there is no need to subject any students to continued testing. Instead, emphasize good health practices (such as nutrition, exercise, sleep, hand washing and fresh air); recommend staying home when ill; and test only when COVID-19 symptoms are present, or a person has been exposed to someone confirmed to have the virus. Finally, if these vaccines work as claimed, students who choose to be vaccinated do NOT need protection from students who are unvaccinated.
We encourage you to urge Purdue to reconsider these draconian guidelines that divide students into vaccinated vs. unvaccinated. Implore them to restore true health freedom to ALL students and stop violating their civil liberties. Ask them to give every student the kind of normal university experience they all deserve.