CHAPEL HILL – The University of North Carolina system is slyly exploring whether they should require vaccination for students and staff to attend one of the systems 16 colleges or universities. While some private universities such as Duke University have already issued such a mandate, the legality of publicly-funded schools doing the same happens to be a bit more tricky.
As in, it’s blatantly unconstitutional and unethical, according to Jon Sanders, a regulatory studies whiz and watchdog at the John Locke Foundation.
Sanders wrote a note to UNC, letting them know in relatively clear terms that, A Public University’s Forced-Vaccination Policy Violates Constitutional Rights and Medical Ethics:
“The News & Observer editors have lately been pounding the drums to force Covid-19 vaccinations in the UNC system, with ideologically sympathetic UNC faculty in agreement, and Gov. Roy Cooper is actively urging such behavior in all state and local government offices and agencies not under his direct control (he’s already ordered it for the rest).
Recently, George Mason University, a public university in Virginia, announced it would “require all students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated, and to share verification of their vaccination status, in order to work, study, and live on campus.” In response, the New Civil Liberties Alliance sent a letter warning about the policy on behalf of law professor Todd Zywicki.
The entire letter is worth reading and considering in full, including the attached affidavits from from Drs. Jay Bhattacharya, Martin Kulldorff, and Hooman Noorchashm. Here are highlights from NCLA’s press release (emphasis added):
NCLA’s letter urged GMU to re-examine its reopening policy, to deem natural immunity at least equivalent to that achieved through vaccination, and to confirm that Professor Zywicki will not lose eligibility for pay raises in the future if he does not wish to share his vaccination status.
NCLA released the following statements:
“George Mason University has no legitimate legal interest in forcing Professor Zywicki into undergoing a medical procedure that is not necessary to protect him or the university community. Professor Zywicki has immunity as robust and durable as that achieved through vaccination, while at the same time he faces a real risk of adverse effects from the Covid-19 vaccines, as we have established through the declarations of three of the world’s most qualified scientists to address the matter.”
— Jenin Younes, Litigation Counsel, NCLA
“George Mason is forcing me to choose between serving my students on one hand and undergoing an unnecessary and potentially risky medical procedure on the other. Multiple clinical studies have shown that natural immunity provides at least as much protection against reinfection as the most effective vaccines—and unquestionably more protection than less-effective vaccines from China and elsewhere that university policy approves. Clinical studies have also shown that receiving vaccination after recovering from Covid presents an elevated risk of side effects compared to those without natural immunity, who would benefit from vaccination. This is an important health matter that should be determined by my doctor and me—not forced on me by university policy-makers who have no familiarity with my personal medical history under the threat of ‘possible loss of employment’ for failing to comply.”
— Todd Zywicki, George Mason University Foundation Professor of Law
And yet, the relevant authoritative bodies at UNC and elsewhere are meeting this week with more than half a mind to force vaccinations on students and staff. Or else.