Ivy League schools are still refusing to teach in person to students who are not up to date with their Covid vaccines – in a move described as ‘insane’ and ‘unscientific’.
Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Pennsylvania have the strictest mandates that make the new bivalent booster a requirement for entry.
This means that students at these schools who have already received four of the older vaccines will still need to get the new vaccine to continue their education.
The rest of the Ivy League universities require at least two Covid jabs, with some also requiring a booster. Several experts told DailyMail.com the mandate “doesn’t make sense” now that evidence shows vaccines do not prevent large-scale transmission.
Half of Ivy League universities require students to be vaccinated against bivalent Covid to continue their studies
Students who do not comply will not be permitted to attend classes in person
It comes as the United States continues to impose the Covid vaccine on foreigners visiting from other countries. It is the only Western country to still do so.
There is little evidence that the warrants have ever stopped transmission, although the injections are highly effective in preventing serious illness and death.
Dr. Paul Offit, professor of pediatrics and infectious diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told DailyMail.com: “People who benefit from boosters, as studies by the CDC and the UK have shown United, are divided into four groups: the elderly, people with multiple comorbidities, immunocompromised people and pregnant women.
“But healthy young people, like most people who go to Harvard (and other universities), don’t fall into those groups. What a vaccine will provide is short-lived immunity against mild disease, and I just don’t see that as a viable public health strategy.
He added that most hospitals don’t even need a bivalent booster for staff or visitors, despite the fact that “hospitals are caring for vulnerable patients, many of whom cannot be successfully vaccinated.”
Bob Moffit, senior fellow at the Center for Health and Wellbeing Policy Studies at the right-wing Heritage Foundation think tank, told DailyMail.com “there is no scientific justification for Harvard or any other university to constrain healthy young men and women”. to get a Covid vaccine.
He said: “The data is overwhelming: young, healthy people faced an extremely low risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death from Covid-19.
“The vaccine actually carries a small risk, especially for young men, of myocarditis.
“Whenever there is personal risk associated with any medical intervention, including a vaccine, the ethical imperative is personal choice, not institutional coercion.”
Harvard University requires all students on campus to have an initial round of Covid vaccines plus the bivalent booster. Its personnel are not required to obtain the recall
Yale University also requires students to have bivalent shooting
Dr Monica Gandhi, medical director of the San Francisco General Hospital HIV Clinic, Ward 86, told DailyMail.com that she had seen “no evidence to impose the bivalent booster on college students like Harvard, given that they’re usually young.”
She added: “The school or schools can no longer mandate the bivalent vaccine for the benefit of transmission prevention.
“There’s a lot of population-level immunity in the United States at this point and vaccine mandates don’t make sense at this phase of the pandemic.”
Private businesses and sites across the United States are still able to enforce vaccination mandates, such as hospitals, as are state employees in some areas.
Covid Vaccination Policies for Ivy League Universities
Yale – primary series plus bivalent booster
Harvard – primary series plus bivalent booster
Columbia – primary series plus all boosters if eligible
Pennsylvania – primary series plus all boosters if eligible
Dartmouth – primary series and a booster dose if eligible
Brown – primary series and a booster dose if eligible
Princeton – primary series only
Cornell – primary series only
The CDC considers a primary series to consist of two doses of the Covid vaccine.
The requirements of Ivy League universities hold even if students have had Covid, despite studies showing that natural immunity offers significant protection.
Dr Anna Durbin, director of the Center for Immunization Research at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told DailyMail.com: ‘We know that vaccines may not reduce transmission for more than a few months and that severe Covid is rarely seen in young people.
“It is unclear what effect the booster dose will have in this population in terms of reducing disease.”
Manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer, the bivalent (or updated) booster dose became available in the United States from September last year.
The updated vaccines have been advertised as being able to enhance protection against the Omicron subvariants that have become dominant around the world.
But a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published in January suggested that most Americans who receive their bivalent booster vaccine are not protected against Covid disease.
It found that the updated injections were only 48% effective in stopping symptomatic infection caused by subvariant XBB.1.5, the currently dominant variant, for up to three months.
The CDC stressed that the primary goal of vaccines is to prevent hospitalization and death rather than transmission, and that they should always provide high protection against serious diseases.
But the results mean the bivalent injections – for which the US government paid $5 billion last fall – fall short of the World Health Organization’s 50% effectiveness threshold for an effective vaccine.
Columbia University requires all staff and students to have their main series as well as all boosters when eligible
According to CDC data, only 16% of the US population have received the updated Covid reminder.
Harvard’s Vaccine Requirements Policy, updated February 2023, states: “Harvard requires the new bivalent Covid-19 booster for all eligible students with a presence on campus.”
Students must prove they are current with all Harvard vaccine requirements through the Harvard Patient Portal before they can enroll in classes.
Exceptions will only be made for medical or religious reasons, the university said.
Meanwhile, Harvard “strongly recommends” that its on-campus employees receive the booster, and current staff no longer need to prove their vaccination status.
New employees must provide proof that they have had their first round of Covid vaccines.
Similarly, Yale only asks its students and not its teachers to get the bivalent photo.
Columbia University mandates are more universal, requiring all staff and students to have their main series as well as all boosters when eligible.
If students are not trapped and cannot provide an exemption, they will not be able to attend classes in person, or even study at university.
Early last year, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention warned that young men who had received the mRNA vaccines – whether the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine were at increased risk of suffering from heart inflammation.
The agency warned that myocarditis appeared more frequently in men aged 16 and over within seven days of receiving the vaccine.