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Dr. Aaron Kheriaty is a professor of psychiatry at the University of California-Irvine’s School of Medicine.aaronkheriaty.com

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(LifeSiteNews) – A University of California professor filed a lawsuit against the school’s president and Board of Regents COVID-19 vaccine mandate, asserting that those with natural immunity should not be forced to take the vaccine.  

Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California-Irvine’s (UCI) School of Medicine and director of the Medical Ethics Program at UCI Health, is challenging the constitutionality of the school’s vaccine mandate on behalf of Covid-recovered individuals whose natural immunity is equal or superior to vaccine-mediated immunity.   

Kheriaty began hearing concerns from others at the university earlier this year, ultimately prompting him to originate the suit against the school. 

“It became clear to me that if I, as a medical ethicist, didn’t stand up and try to represent those voices, then those folks would be steamrolled by these policies,” Kheriaty said.   

Six other equally distinguished UCLA and UCSF faculty members joined Kheriaty in support of his motion for a preliminary injunction to halt the system-wide mandate.   

“Forcing those with natural immunity to be vaccinated introduces unnecessary risks without commensurate benefits — either to individuals or the population as a whole — and violates their rights guaranteed under the equal protection clause of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment,” Kheriaty explained in an online statement.  

“The evidence now is overwhelming,” he declared in a recent Fox News interview, citing a recent study out of Israel that showed “not only is natural immunity just as good as the immunity conferred by the vaccines, it is in fact considerably better. There’s a huge gap between them, and natural immunity comes out on top.”   

“To discriminate against those folks with vax mandates that do not recognize robust natural immunity that is durable and longer-lasting and by every measure and virtually every study on the subject, better than the immunity conferred by the vaccine, doesn’t make any sense and I argue that it’s a violation of our equal protection rights,” he continued.   

“Studies have found that naturally immune individuals have significantly higher rates of adverse reactions when receiving the COVID-19 vaccine,” the professors said in their court filing. “Because previously infected individuals are already immune to SARS-CoV-2, the risks they face from COVID-19 vaccination, even if minimal, exceeds the benefit of receiving the vaccine.” 

“Those who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 are at least as protected as those vaccinated for COVID-19, are less likely to spread SARS-CoV-2 to others, and will be exposed to the potential harm from this vaccine without a counterbalancing benefit because they are already immune to the virus,” they concluded.   

“The American people are not stupid,” Kheriaty told the Sinclair Broadcasting Group. “When people see that public health officials are systematically ignoring important findings or important issues, it has the opposite effect of what the public health officials want. It increases vaccine hesitancy, rather than addressing the concerns of those who are hesitant.” 

“I worry that the public health approach of not telling the whole truth as a way to try to get the behavioral outcomes that we want might have a few short-term gains, but will have a lot of really negative long-term consequences because of the erosion of public trust,” he added.  

Other UC professors remain silent out of fear 

The professors bringing the case also said many of their colleagues are reluctant to take a public stand against the school’s vaccine mandate out of concerns about employment security, academic promotion, or other repercussions. 

Kheriaty shared a message he received from a fellow UC professor regarding my lawsuit challenging UC’s vaccine mandate: 

I have felt completely silenced given the large-scale, CDC, media, and now UC Regents driven demonization of anyone daring to offer critical questions with respect to the exclusion of the category of natural immunity from conversations about the pandemic and best practices in that regard. I am a Black person, on a single-income, and remain basically one lost paycheck away from economic precarity so I have felt pressured into remaining silent on this issue given the way those who have spoken out have been attacked, fired from their jobs, etc. 

My silence in this issue is ironic given that my research & writing are often viewed as controversial and against the grain, but with this particular issue the fascist sort of quelling of any debate has given me pause from speaking out for one of the first times in my life. 

Voice of reason 

Kheriaty has been the voice of reason and clear vision on social media in recent weeks:   

“Last year the doctors and nurses in my hospital were hailed as heroes worthy of a parade. Now, those of us who had Covid & point out that our infection-induced immunity is superior to vaccine-induced immunity are accused of being a menace to society.” 

“If you are feeling confused it is because what you’ve been told over and over again for the last year and a half does not add up. You are not crazy. And you are not alone.”  

“Every aspect of our response has had this character: Covid response as class war. Who benefited from the lockdowns? The laptop class. Let others take care of the supply chain. “Now those working class who had Covid and so don’t want the vaccine will be punished for declining it.” 

“The real political divisions today are no longer left/right, liberal/conservative, progressive/traditionalist, or even Democrat/Republican. The real division is between those who will accept a technocratic biosecurity surveillance regime and those who will resist.” 

“Just finished rounds on our acute adult inpatient psychiatric unit. Many of the patients there are more sane and sensible than many of the talking heads I see on television news. Not kidding.” 

“The American public, while eager to hear guidance from subject matter experts, does not appreciate condescension from elites. They rightly resist oppressive attempts at social control over their own bodies and their children.” 

“Huh, so this is interesting. Prior to last week, the CDC defined a vaccine as ‘a product that stimulates a person’s immune system to *produce immunity* to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease.’ 

“But recently… 

“On September 1, the CDC changed the definition: ‘A preparation that’s used to stimulate the body’s immune response against diseases.’ Stimulating the body’s immune response. Okay. But a vaccine need not *produce immunity*. Huh. 

“Very handy when you are the entity that can write, and rewrite, the definitions of key terms that everyone uses. Did anyone see an announcement when the CDC changed the definition of ‘vaccine’ last week?” 

“Why are we allowing CEOs to make medical decisions on behalf of all their employees, rather than allowing individuals to do so in consultation with their physicians?  

“Doctors and patients should both be alarmed by this trend. 

“You may not mind so much if it’s a vaccine you were already intending to take anyways. But consider the staggering precedent this is putting in place for the future, and consider what it will be like if the next intervention is one you don’t want.” 

“2020. The year when rights became privileges.” 

“They’ll acknowledge natural immunity of Covid recovered people as soon as someone figures out how to monetize it.” 

A hearing on the UC professor’s request for a preliminary injunction is scheduled for Sept. 27. 

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