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July 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A George Mason University (GMU) law professor who has recovered from COVID-19 is threatening to sue the institution for requiring him to take a COVID-19 vaccine despite his natural immunity.

GMU is requiring all students to be fully vaccinated by August 1 before returning to campus, and all faculty to have received at least one dose by August 15 and be fully vaccinated by October 1, except for individuals with an “approved medical or religious exemption.”

The Epoch Times reports that the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) is representing Todd Zywicki, a professor at GMU’s Scalia Law School who has already contracted and recovered from COVID-19, against what it calls a “flawed reopening policy” that “tramples on the civil liberties of students, faculty, and employees alike.”

“For Professor Zywicki, who has recovered from COVID-19 and acquired robust natural immunity, it is not only medically unnecessary to undergo a vaccination procedure at the current time, but doing so also would create a risk of harm to him,” the NCLA explained in a July 21 letter warning of potential litigation. “Although the Policy may be well-intentioned, GMU has breached its constitutional and ethical obligations by interfering with health decisions that should reside with individuals and their medical providers.”

“George Mason is forcing me to choose between serving my students on one hand and undergoing an unnecessary and potentially risky medical procedure on the other,” Zywicki himself said. “Multiple clinical studies have shown that natural immunity provides at least as much protection against reinfection as the most effective vaccines.”

While it is not yet known whether natural immunity lasts an entire lifetime, multiple studies have found the presence of antibodies in patients’ systems up to a year after infection, as well as indications that natural immunity may be more effective than vaccinated immunity.

“There is more data on natural immunity than there is on vaccinated immunity, because natural immunity has been around longer,” says Dr. Marty Makary, professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who believes natural COVID immunity will “probably” be life-long. “We are not seeing reinfections, and when they do happen, they’re rare. Their symptoms are mild or are asymptomatic.” 

The belief that vaccination would be unnecessary-at-best for the previously-infected is just one of several drivers of vaccine disinterest and hesitancy. Others include COVID-19’s high survivability among most groups, low risk of asymptomatic spread, and the issue of “breakthrough” infections among the vaccinated, which the Biden administration and Democrat officials across the country are treating as significant enough to necessitate a return to masking recommendations and mandates even for the vaccinated.

The chief reason for hesitancy, however, remains concern that the COVID-19 vaccines were developed and released so fast that potential side effects are not fully understood.

Vaccine defenders note that the one-year development period was not starting from scratch, but rather relied on years of prior research into mRNA technology; and that one of the innovations of the Trump administration’s “Operation Warp Speed” was conducting various aspects of the development process concurrently rather than sequentially, eliminating delays unrelated to safety. But those factors do not fully account for the condensing of clinical trial phases — each of which can take anywhere from 1–3 years on their own — to just three months apiece.

In a pro-vaccine article published May 25, Dr. Moon Nahm of the University of Alabama at Birmingham acknowledged that “trial volunteers continue to be monitored for any long-term issues,” implicitly conceding the limits of medical authorities’ current knowledge and the lingering possibility of long-term effects.

GMU is far from the only academic institution to mandate COVID vaccines for faculty and students. California State University, the largest four-year public university system in the United States, announced this week that it will require all of its estimated 486,000 students and 56,000 staff members to certify vaccination by September 30 in order to return to any of its 23 campuses.