No College Mandates Responds to Penn’s Chief Wellness Officer
We take issue with Penn’s cavalier stance on vaccine-induced myocarditis and demand to see some data.
On July 12, No College Mandates sent this letter to each of the eight Ivy League Presidents to alerts them to this article by Dr. Andrew Bostom entitled “Brown University’s Silence on Post-Vaccine Myocarditis”. Below is the response we received from Benoit Dubé, MD, Associate Provost and Chief Wellness Officer at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by Andrew Bostom MD’s reply to Dr. Dubé.
July 14, 2022
Dear Ms. McGary, Ms. Sinatra, and Dr. Bostom,
Thank you for your message regarding the COVID-19 vaccination requirement at Ivy League Universities. I am responding on behalf of the President, and other senior leaders you may have reached out to.
Throughout the pandemic, we have relied on guidance from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH), the CDC, and the American College Health Association (ACHA). Studies continue to show that the overall risk of COVID-19 without vaccination is far greater than the risk of myocarditis from COVID-19 vaccination. As these studies have continued, researchers, including the American Heart Association, have found or stated that myocarditis after vaccination is mild with quick resolution of symptoms, which is worth the risk compared to the severe outcomes of COVID-19.
It is our collective responsibility to implement guidance and requirements to help protect Penn, our faculty, staff, and our surrounding West Philadelphia/Philadelphia community members. All institutes of higher education in Philadelphia County are required by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for their populations. Additionally, we do have a comprehensive process for those who seek religious or medical exemptions from COVID-19 vaccination.
Thank you for your continued support as we work together to keep our campuses and surrounding communities healthy and safe.
In good health,
Benoit Dubé, MD
Associate Provost and Chief Wellness Officer
University of Pennsylvania
July 14, 2022
Dear Dr. Dube,
Thanks for your prompt reply.
I respectfully disagree with your claims “the overall risk of COVID-19 without vaccination is far greater than the risk of myocarditis from COVID-19 vaccination”
First of all we are talking about the so-called “risk” for “COVID-19 without vaccination” in healthy 17/18-21/22 year olds, who comprise the overwhelming preponderance of college students.
The “risk” for specific covid-19 pneumonia/lower respiratory tract hospitalization in healthy 17/18-21/22 year olds is incalculably low, approaching ZERO.
- How many such cases, i.e., specific covid-19 pneumonia/lower respiratory tract hospitalizations in healthy 17/18-21/22 year olds, have you had at The University of Pennsylvania, for example?
In contrast, hard data, globally, from Israel, Europe, the U.S., & Canada, indicate that certainly amongst healthy 17/18 to 21/22 year old young men the risk for myocarditis/myopericarditis ranges from ~1/3000 to 1/6,000…small but not approaching ZERO.
- Have you had ANY such cases of post-covid vaccine-induced myocarditis/myopericarditis at The University of Pennsylvania?
Your characterization of the post-covid-19 vaccine-induced myocarditis/myopericarditis as uniformly “mild with quick resolution of symptoms, which is worth the risk compared to the severe outcomes of COVID-19,” is counterfactual. Post-covid-19 vaccine-induced myocarditis/myopericarditis is a potentially lethal (see autopsy cases here; here; here; here) vaccine injury, whose long-term sequelae are unknown. Regarding the latter, ~70% of a series of adolescents with myopericarditis had persistent late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) out to 8-months upon repeat cardiac MRI. Meta-analyses suggest LGE is a predictor of adverse cardiac events upon long-term follow-up (here; here).
Please, just answer queries 1) & 2) so we can continue a respectful, and more informed discussion, which ultimately should hinge on objective measures of risk benefit, i.e., actual data, not platitudinous hand-waving.
Andrew G. Bostom, MD, MS