The letter below was recently sent to Boston University leadership regarding the University’s vaccine mandate which has recently been imposed upon staff, faculty, and students. This was one of my last communications with the University during my dispute with them over their unwillingness to provide a written policy detailing the requirements and implementation of their vaccine mandate. They refused to answer questions (despite advertising their willingness to respond to queries) and put me on unpaid leave for 5 weeks before eventually terminating me (calling it voluntary resignation). This is just one example of the many employers who are currently coercing their employees into compliance with vague, unjust, and tyrannical mandates.
I hope my own experiences might be helpful for your readers who may be going through similar situations. Thanks very much for your consideration!
I have reviewed Boston University’s responses and have the following questions and concerns regarding the vaccine mandate.
1. Please send me a copy of Boston University’s written policy summarizing the vaccine mandate, exemptions, and related information. Without a written document explaining all of the details of this policy, it is unreasonable to expect that University employees can fully understand or comply.
2. I have researched Comirnaty, and it does not appear to be available in the United States at this time. Instead, the EUA for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been extended. The FDA states that these products are legally distinct, meaning that the product available in the US is still being offered under EUA (which would be unnecessary if this product is Comirnaty). As you know, individuals cannot be mandated to take a product under an EUA. If vaccines bearing the Comirnaty label on the vial are available at Boston University or elsewhere in Massachusetts, can you please direct me to those specific locations? The Mass VaxFinder website does not offer an option to search for Comirnaty.
3. I have been unable to find a complete list of ingredients for Comirnaty or any of the other vaccines. There are statements such as: “Ingredients include…” but these do not represent a complete disclosure. This is especially concerning given recent reports of unknown contaminants and other substances in the vaccines. Since the University is offering the vaccines at its clinics, can you provide me with a complete list of ingredients for the vaccines it is offering?
4. Please explain why you believe the FTC Truth in Advertising Guidelines do not apply to Boston University. The University has mandated its employees to take these products and has expressly stated that they are both safe and effective despite hundreds of thousands of adverse events reported in the U.S. and the lack of any short-term or long-term safety data, since the control group was vaccinated almost immediately, and it will take years for any long-term study to be conducted.
5. Since the University has negotiated its group health plans with third-parties that provide insurance and services, I would have expected the University to determine the insurance coverage implications of adverse events before mandating these vaccines. If you are unable to respond to my insurance questions directly, can you please send me copies of Boston University’s health, worker’s compensation, life, and short-term and long-term disability insurance policies?
6. You cited a 90% effectiveness rate for the vaccines, but please note that the studies cited on the CDC webpage only provide data through March 2021. More recent studies (see here, here, and here) show that vaccine efficacy wanes significantly over time, in one study reaching a low of 20%. Since vaccine efficacy declines considerably within a few months, and vaccinated people can still be infected and spread COVID-19, why force everyone at Boston University to be vaccinated? Given this information, will the University also be requiring booster shots? If so, is there any limit to how many booster shots the University will require?
7. Other studies have noted that immunity due to a prior infection appears to be long-lasting and provides better protection than vaccines. Will the University offer exemptions to those who have immunity due to a previous infection?
8. Given that Boston University’s position is that unvaccinated employees are “a direct threat to the health or safety of themselves or other employees,” how can certifying a religious or medical exemption adequately mitigate this threat? Does the University’s plan require those with exemptions to work remotely? Are there certain circumstances in which Boston University will revoke these exemptions?
9. Finally, you indicate that an employee who does not comply with Boston University’s vaccine mandate will be deemed to have voluntarily resigned. This is inconsistent and unreasonable, and appears to be an attempt to prevent former employees from accessing unemployment insurance. I have not and will not be voluntarily resigning from my position regardless of the University’s mandates, policies, or assumptions. I am familiar with many of the University’s policies and have witnessed them being enforced against employees for noncompliance and criminal activities. Noncompliance with other policies results in discipline up to, and including, termination. Termination is not voluntary resignation. Terminated employees are generally eligible for unemployment insurance. Furthermore, while the University has placed employees who have not complied with this new policy on a month of unpaid leave, employees who are suspected of committing fraud or policy violations are placed on paid leave while investigations are conducted. Is the University’s position truly that employees who have not complied with this poorly-defined vaccine mandate are worse than criminals, and should neither be permitted to keep their jobs nor receive unemployment insurance?
Having spent the last four weeks on unpaid administrative leave, I have followed Boston University’s advice and taken the opportunity to investigate the COVID-19 vaccines in greater detail. The information I have found is deeply concerning. I hope that you will take the time to consider the following data.
The University continues to state that the vaccines are safe and effective, implying that severe side effects are so rare as to be negligible. In contrast, the VAERS database shows that between December 2020 and October 1st, 2021, there were more than 778,000 reported adverse events related to the COVID-19 vaccines. This includes over 23,000 permanent disabilities, 75,000 hospitalizations, and over 16,000 deaths. The number of COVID vaccine deaths within the last 10 months is greater than the total number of deaths from all vaccines reported to VAERS during the last 31 years. Furthermore, a study conducted by Harvard shows that the actual reporting rate of adverse events may be as low as 1%. This means that the real number of deaths attributable to the COVID vaccines in the United States may be as high as 1.6 million.
These adverse events represent only the short-term risks. There is no long-term safety data available for any of these vaccines. The package insert for Comirnaty goes so far as to state that “Comirnaty has not been evaluated for the potential to cause carcinogenicity, genotoxicity, or impairment of male fertility,” and notes that the only data available regarding its effect on female fertility is a study conducted on rats. Without a full understanding of the short-term and long-term risks, mandating such a treatment is unconscionable.
As I write this, over 11,000 doctors and scientists worldwide have signed a physicians’ declaration rejecting one-size-fits-all treatment approaches to COVID-19 and stating that these policies result in needless illness and death. If nothing else, this demonstrates that the safety of these vaccines is far from “settled science” and that more research is necessary before any conclusions can reasonably be drawn. When so much remains unknown about COVID-19 and the vaccines, how can anyone at Boston University reasonably think that asking questions and expressing reservations are legitimate grounds for dismissal?
In advance of the vaccine mandate, I submitted questions and concerns through the recommended channels. These were ignored. When the deadline came, no attempt was made to work with me to find a mutually acceptable solution to my concerns. Instead, I was told not to expect any further clarification and was placed on unpaid administrative leave for a month, leaving my team severely under-staffed and me without any income. And now, only a few days before I will be terminated due to noncompliance, the University has provided evasive responses instead of substantive information. This treatment is inequitable, punitive, and unjust.
When I started working at Boston University, there was no requirement for me to disclose any of my health information. There were no vaccine mandates, and there were no other requirements related to medical treatment either. The University has unilaterally changed the terms of my ongoing employment without any legitimate rationale.
For the 18 months before this mandate came into effect, I and my team worked completely remotely. We adjusted to the demands placed upon us, and fulfilled our responsibilities conscientiously and effectively. Now, I am not permitted to work remotely, even though my role is not student-facing, because Boston University is demanding that all staff must have an on-campus presence and be vaccinated. More troubling, the University has repeatedly refused to consider any intermediate solutions to this dilemma. Temporary remote work is not allowed, and contract work is not allowed either.
When I joined Boston University, I was proud to work for an organization that embraced diversity and “respect for individual differences in life experience.” I believed in the University’s commitment to invite “the full participation of all people and the expression of all viewpoints,” and to create “an environment where ideas [could] be freely expressed and challenged.” But over the last few months, that vision of Boston University has been shattered. It is no longer a place where all are welcome. Dissent and differences of opinion are no longer embraced, and diversity of thought, belief, and experience are smothered under the weight of medical tyranny. Bodily integrity and a woman’s right to choose what goes into her own body are denied. The University is systematically coercing, abusing, and dehumanizing its employees. This is a betrayal of everything that Boston University aspired to be only two years ago.
Forcing students, staff, and faculty into compliance with this vaccine policy without considering and appreciating all of its consequences is unscientific and irresponsible. I am very concerned that this mandate will cause irreparable damage to Boston University and our community, and I respectfully ask that you carefully reconsider before more harm ensues.
I look forward to your responses and hope that we can find a meaningful resolution to these issues.
A Concerned Employee