End the Notre Dame COVID-19 Booster Vaccine Mandate
End the Notre Dame COVID-19 Booster Vaccine Mandate
Why this petition matters
The booster vaccine mandate is the wrong for the University of Notre Dame. The mandate is a violation of the students' right to medical privacy and bodily integrity. It also violates Catholic teaching. In its "Note on the morality of using some anti-Covid-19 vaccines," the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith states that "practical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary" (emphasis added). Additionally, the note acknowledges that use of the vaccine constitutes a remote passive material cooperation with evil. This means that the use of the vaccine requires a moral decision. Catechism 1782 states that "Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. 'He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters.'" All students have the right to choose for themselves whether the vaccine is moral for their particular situation. In order to conform with this teaching, the University should institute a no-questions-asked exemption, where any student can easily opt out of the mandate.
We are also unsure of the safety of the vaccine. Anyone who was on campus during the first vaccine blitz knows that many students got sick from the first two shots, with symptoms like fevers, muscle cramps, headaches, and more. These students were otherwise healthy and would likely have experienced less symptoms from the actual virus. Additionally, some of them already had natural immunity from already having contracted Covid. But the university did not allow an exemption for natural immunity, so they had to get sick anyway. We are also concerned about more potentially severe side effects, especially myocarditis, which is most common in young people. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), managed by the CDC and FDA, currently reports 913,268 adverse reactions associated with the COVID vaccine, including 97,561 hospitalizations, 21,582 life-threatening events, and 19,249 deaths. This is more than double the number of deaths associated with all other vaccines combined since 1990. The Notre Dame student body consists mostly of people at low risk of Covid. As of December 1, 2021, only 4,618 people between the ages of 18 and 29 had died of Covid. As a result, we question the wisdom of exposing Notre Dame students to the potential risks of the vaccine when it seems that we face such little risk of serious illness from Covid. Anyone who is at high risk of serious illness from Covid should still be able to get the booster to protect themselves, if they choose. However, students who are concerned about the safety of the vaccine should not be forced to get it. Right now, these students are not adequately covered by the exemption policy, which only grants exemptions for medical or religious reasons. Notre Dame's mandate violates these students' right to make their own medical decisions, even though they have good reason to fear the vaccine's side effects.
Finally, we question the efficacy of the vaccine. This very mandate seems to be an admission that the first two shots were not as effective as promised. While we were told that the vaccine was 95% effective upon its release, reports have now shown effectiveness as low as 39% (CNBC). We are told to trust the scientists, but they did not predict the decline in effectiveness or the need for a booster shot. This gives us little confidence in their knowledge regarding this vaccine. Unlike the yearly flu vaccine, the Covid booster is not even developed in order to address new variants. In fact, it is the same formula as the first two shots, which have already been shown to be a failure. Some sources are already recommending a fourth booster shot (CBS), which leads us to wonder exactly how many shots we will need to take to end this pandemic.
For these reasons, we ask the university to:
- Provide an option for a no-questions-asked exemption to the booster shot mandate;
- Provide the same option for the Covid vaccine for all incoming students; and
- Analyze the risks of the Covid vaccine and inform the student body of both the risks and benefits of the vaccine.
In addition to this petition, the student body should take other measures to fight the Covid vaccine mandate. All students who are opposed to the booster mandate can increase our chances of success by challenging the mandate in discussions among their friends and classmates. Students who have successfully obtained exemptions in the past should help other students obtain their own exemptions. Finally, we will be organizing an on-campus demonstration against the booster at the start of the spring semester, date and time TBA. If we organize and advocate for our viewpoint, we can defeat this mandate.
Note on the morality of using some anti-Covid-19 vaccines (21 December 2020) (vatican.va) https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20201221_nota-vaccini-anticovid_en.html
Catechism of the Catholic Church - PART 3 SECTION 1 CHAPTER 1 ARTICLE 6 www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c1a6.htm#1782
VAERS Summary for COVID-19 Vaccines through 11/19/2021 – VAERS Analysis https://vaersanalysis.info/2021/12/01/vaers-summary-for-covid-19-vaccines-through-11-19-2021/
COVID-19 deaths by age U.S. 2021 | Statista https://www.statista.com/statistics/1191568/reported-deaths-from-covid-by-age-us/
Delta variant: Pfizer Covid vaccine 39% effective in Israel, prevents severe illness (cnbc.com) https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/23/delta-variant-pfizer-covid-vaccine-39percent-effective-in-israel-prevents-severe-illness.html
Some immunocompromised Americans can get four doses of COVID-19 vaccine - CBS News https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-19-vaccine-booster-shot-fourth-dose-immunocompromised/