-by Steven Pelech, Ph.D.-
On Aug 25, 2021 Steven Pelech wrote to Al Richardson the president of the UBC Faculty Association regarding their consideration of mandatory mask wearing and vaccinations of staff and students at UBC.
Further to my August 9th email to you, I, and many of my Faculty of Medicine colleagues are very dismayed at the stance that you and others in the executive of the UBC Faculty Association have taken about calling for a mandatory vaccine mandate for all students, staff and faculty. This call is not really driven by evidence-based science and is likely to be harmful both physically and psychologically to the UBC community. University professors should be setting the example to the broad community that critical thinking and the exercise of responses based on scientific evidence should prevail over hysteria and fear that is propagated by social and mainstream media.
lear evidence is rapidly mounting that: the vaccines are losing their efficacy (most cases of COVID-19 now in highly vaccinated countries are in the vaccinated population); there is no clear evidence that SARS-CoV-2 supports the spread from unvaccinated people to vaccinated people any more than vaccinated to vaccinated people; more than half of the population in B.C. already has natural immunity, which is superior to that obtained by vaccination; the delta variant is more infectious, but apparently no more lethal than earlier strains; and there is mounting evidence for significant short-term term injury and high potential for long-term injury with autoimmune diseases.
Morbidity and mortality for people under 29 years of age with COVID-19 is not that much different from those under 18 years in B.C. The overall survival rate of minors (under the age of 19 years) with COVID-19 is 99.997%. Data from the US CDC indicates that for 12 to 17 years old, from March 1, 2020 to April 24, 2021 in 14 US states, COVID-19 adolescent hospitalization rates varied from 0.6 to 2.1 per 100,000, but without any recorded deaths (https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7023e1.htm). As of July 30, 2021, only the Pfizer RNA vaccine had received emergency authorization use in the US for adolescents aged 12-17 years. Another review by CDC of the data from the v-safe program (a smartphone-based safety surveillance system) showed that out of 129,050 adolescents that were immunized, 56 were hospitalized (i.e., a rate of 43 per 100,000) (https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7031e1.htm). This supports more than 20-fold higher rate of risk of hospitalization in 12 to 17 years old from administration of the Pfizer RNA vaccine than due to the virus that it is supposed to offer protection from. Such increased risks of vaccine injury relative to COVID-19 injury would be true for university-aged students as well.
Clearly in view of the actual threat posed by the SARS-CoV-2 virus in B.C., the availability of vaccines for those that wish to be vaccinated, and the issues that are rapidly becoming evident with these vaccines, and finally the violation of human rights that is being advocated by you and the rest of the UBC Faculty Association Executive, you need to be receiving much better advice regarding the position that you are taking.
Steven Pelech, Ph.D.
Steven Pelech, Ph.D. is a Professor, Division of Neurology,Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia.Senate Representative for Faculty of Graduate and Post-doctoral Studies.