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 Children's Health Defense

May 4, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – As students plan to commence or continue studies at university this fall, over 100 U.S. institutions so far have announced that attendance on campus will only be permitted to those who have taken one of the experimental vaccines for COVID-19.

Surveys from both CNN and the New York Times suggest that more than 100 colleges and universities across the U.S. will require students to be “fully vaccinated” against the coronavirus come fall, should they wish to avail themselves of classes in person. Some of the colleges behind the vaccine push are Drew University, the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Washington State University, DePaul University, Emory University, the University of Maryland, and Wesleyan University. The University of Portland is reported to require students, faculty, and staff to have taken the vaccine before returning to campus.

A handful of colleges, instead of mandating vaccines, are offering incentives to those who elect to take one of the experimental jabs. The Times reported that Christian-based universities Baylor, Texas, and Calvin, Michigan, are to offer exemptions to mandatory COVID testing for “fully vaccinated” students. The University of Wyoming, on the other hand, will incentivize vaccination by entering vaccinated students into weekly draws for prizes “such as tickets to football or basketball games and Apple products,” and giving vaccinated staff members an extra day off of work.

It was Rutgers University that got the ball rolling when President Jonathan Holloway demanded in March that “all students planning to attend in the Fall 2021 semester must be fully vaccinated.” Holloway’s announcement was swiftly followed by Ivy League university Cornell, which announced similar impositions for its student body.

Both Rutgers and Cornell have issued a proviso for students refusing to vaccinate on medical or religious grounds, affording such students an exemption from the otherwise strict requirement. Many of the other institutions have promised relaxations to the stipulation on similar grounds.

Catholic universities, too, are compelling students to take the abortion-tainted vaccines in order to return to campus, with Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, announcing last month that all students returning to campus for the fall 2021 semester will be required, with the prior mentioned exceptions, “to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.”

Fr. John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame, declared that the vaccination requirement is being imposed because the “safety of the University and local communities is always our highest priority.”

In addition to requiring students be vaccinated against the coronavirus, a pathogen with an average infection fatality rate of 0.15%, Notre Dame has also opened its own vaccination “clinic” to offer injections with Pfizer’s experimental mRNA jab against COVID-19 to students.

In like manner, St. John’s University, a Catholic college in New York, “will require all students to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and to provide proof of vaccination before returning to campus for the fall semester.”

The university, headed by Dominican friar Father Brian J. Shanley, O.P, has offered students an opportunity to get the Pfizer jab on campus “free of charge,” and Shanley has accompanied the rollout with a message to “personally encourage” all students “to get vaccinated at your earliest convenience,” despite its connection to abortion and the danger of fatal side effects.

Recently, Bishop Thomas Paprocki and Notre Dame Law School professor Gerard Bradley published an editorial affirming Notre Dame’s — and by extension, at least all Catholic universities’ — moral “obligation to respect each person’s right to make their own healthcare decisions, to freely act upon their conscientious convictions and what is genuinely fair to everyone concerned.”

In contrast to Notre Dame’s policy, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in its December note “concluded that persons may — not must — get vaccinated,” Bishop Paprocki and Bradley emphasized. Their choice in this regard “must be truly consensual.” This principle of self-determination “is the moral norm governing all medical treatment” and is “especially salient in the present circumstance” for several reasons.

The experience of Notre Dame, Paprocki and Bradley observed, confirms the broader data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to which the COVID-19 survival rates for those under 20 years of age are 99.997%, and for those between 20 and 50 years old, 99.98%.

In other words, COVID-19 is essentially an “irrelevant” threat to virtually all of the students at Notre Dame who are subject to this mandate. Indeed, as the statistics show, for those under 70 years of age, influenza is a more dangerous infection.

Thus, Paprocki and Bradly affirm, “college-age students who test positive rarely experience severe symptoms. Many are entirely asymptomatic,” and “the Notre Dashboard, for example, reports no hospitalizations so far for COVID-19 pneumonia.”

As a result, many Notre Dame students, according to Paprocki and Bradley, will “reasonably judge that they risk more from the vaccine than they do from the coronavirus, especially since the vaccines would protect them only from the severe symptoms (or death) that are scarcely real risks for them. In fact, for a low-risk person like the typical Notre Dame student, the chance of a severe reaction to the vaccine is several times higher than the chance of having one after contracting COVID. Notre Dame should respect these students’ voluntary choices.”