The best universities in the world are supposed to be bastions of scientific reasoning. Instead, they instituted policies during the pandemic that are at odds with basic principles of public health.
This spring, Stanford University instituted a requirement that all students be triple-vaccinated against COVID-19 or else face an “enrollment hold” which restricts their ability to complete classes, progress on degrees, get financial aid or even live on campus. Though the university was not explicit, these restrictions on the unboosted amount to expulsion from the university.
However, there is an established risk of myocarditis with the COVID-19 vaccine for younger people—especially young men.
The medical literature suggests that somewhere between 1 in 6,000 and 1 in 10,000 young vaccinated adolescent boys and young men develop the heart condition as a consequence. Many who develop the condition end up in the hospital and face a lengthy convalescence. Some die.
The risk of this condition increases with the number of vaccine doses a person has received, with the greatest risk coming from the booster shot.
Furthermore, the protection provided by the vaccine and the booster against SARS-CoV-2 infection is short-lived and limited.
Several aspects of Stanford’s COVID-19 booster mandate render it particularly irrational. The university requires students to be boosted—even those whose classes are all online and who live off-campus—but not staff or professors, who are older and arguably more at risk.
Stanford permits exemptions from the requirement for medical and religious reasons (though it rarely grants the former) but not philosophical reasons. And although it is forcing students to take the booster, Stanford is unwilling to take liability or pay for the consequences of any serious side effects that might occur.
In January 2022, Stanford students delivered a petition to the administration in opposition to the booster mandate. Though the petition gathered more than 2,500 signatures and provided scientific evidence for the irrationality of the COVID-19 booster mandate, the University ignored it and has not responded to any of its scientific arguments.