“President Yates, I have proven to you that I am immune to SARS-CoV-2, but you have banned me from the campus and ruined my life because I don’t have a piece of paper saying that someone saw two needles go into my shoulder. You have a piece of paper that says that someone saw two needles go into your shoulder, but you have not proven that you are immune to SARS-CoV-2. However, you are allowed on campus and your life can proceed uninterrupted. How is that fair?”
University of Guelph Department of Pathobiology Associate Viral Immunology Professor Dr. Byram W. Bridle, PhD addressed an open letter to the institution demanding that the University “rescind your COVID-19 vaccine mandate immediately,” explaining that “it is doing more harm than good. Unbelievably, among many other problems, it is even discriminating against those who can prove they are immune to SARS-CoV-2!”
Noting that the University “issued a mandate that everyone within the University of Guelph community must receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” Bridle stated that he has “spent most of my lifetime learning to be a very deep and critical thinker and to follow the weight of scientific evidence. I am a well-recognized expert in vaccinology. As per my extensive funding, research, publication, and teaching records, I am a vaccine lover and an innovator in this field. I promote highly effective vaccines that have undergone extensive, rigorous, and proper safety testing as the most efficient type of medicines that exist. Vaccines that meet these criteria have prevented a vast amount of mortality and morbidities around the world. However, I could not be in stronger disagreement with you forcing the current COVID-19 vaccines upon everyone who is part of our campus community.”
Dr. Bridle wrote that “those with naturally acquired immunity don’t need to be vaccinated and are at greater risk of harm if vaccinated,” stating that he participated in a clinical trial that has been running for approximately 1.5 years, the purpose of which is to develop a sensitive and comprehensive test of immunity against SARS-CoV-2, “in large part to inform the development of better COVID-19 vaccines. My personal results prove that I have naturally acquired immunity against SARS-CoV-2.”
He continues: “There is a plethora of scientific literature demonstrating that naturally acquired immunity against SARS-CoV-2 is likely superior to that conferred by vaccination only. Indeed, it is much broader, which means that emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 will have more difficulty evading it as compared to the very narrow immunity conferred by the vaccines. Importantly, the duration of immunity (i.e. how long a person is protected) has proven to be far longer than that generated by the current vaccines. The duration of immunity for the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines appears to be a horrifically short ~4.5 months.
“I actually wrote a lay article back in February 2021 to explain why a vaccine of this nature would fail to be able to achieve global herd immunity on its own. This is why places like Canada, the USA, and Israel have found it necessary to roll out third doses. And now there is talk (and a commitment in Israel) to roll out fourth doses (yes, that’s four doses within one year) . . .
“As someone who develops vaccines, I can tell you that it is difficult to make a vaccine that will perform as poorly as the current COVID-19 vaccines. Indeed, most vaccines given in childhood never require a booster shot later in life. The take-home message here is that people like me, who have naturally acquired immunity, do not need to be vaccinated. Nor is it needed to protect those around the person who already has immunity. Worse, research from three independent groups has now demonstrated that those with naturally acquired immunity experience more severe side-effects from COVID-19 vaccines than those who were immunologically naïve prior to vaccination.
“In other words, for those with natural immunity, vaccination is not only unnecessary, but it would put them at enhanced risk of harm. Knowing this, nobody should ever mandate COVID-19 vaccination. Instead, it would be in the best interest of helping everyone make the most informed health decisions for themselves to make voluntary testing for immunity available.”
Bridle says testing for naturally acquired immunity was a viable option but was ignored: “You and the provost met with me and two other colleagues back in March 2021 and we presented the opportunity for the University of Guelph to show leadership and offer testing for immunity to our campus community in support of a safe return to in-person teaching and learning. You embraced this idea with enthusiasm and promised to move forward with it. This did not materialize so one of my colleagues contacted you. Once again, you agreed it was an excellent idea and that you would move forward with it. Nothing happened. So, my two colleagues and I met with one of our vice-presidents in May 2021. They also thought that making an antibody test available was an excellent idea and promised to work on getting it implemented on campus. Nothing materialized. They were contacted again by one of my colleagues. There was no response. There is no excuse for forcing vaccines on people, especially after having been given the opportunity to implement testing for immunity and refusing to do so.
“The University of Guelph won’t pay for me to receive a booster vaccine against rabies unless I can demonstrate that my antibodies are below what has been deemed to be a protective titer. This is because it would not be appropriate to give me a vaccine that is not without risk if I don’t need it. Also, the university does not want to pay the ~$850 cost of the vaccination regimen unless I absolutely need it. In short, you will not allow me to receive that booster vaccine without first evaluating me on an annual basis for evidence of immunity (or lack thereof). So why was this principle rejected for the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, for which there is vastly less reliable safety data available, and none for the long-term? Canada should have been acquiring data about immunity starting a long time ago. It is a particularly poor precedent for a university to reject the concept of acquiring data that could inform safer and more effective COVID-19 policies. Immunity testing would even benefit vaccinated individuals. It is well known that responses to vaccines in outbred populations follows a normal curve and includes individuals that are nonresponders (i.e. they are left without immunity and are, therefore, unprotected following vaccination) and lowresponders (insufficient protection). In fact, this concept has been the focus of an internationally recognized research program on our campus that has brought many accolades and awards to our institution.
“You have banned me from campus for at least the next year. I can show proof of immunity against SARS-CoV2 but you will not allow me to enter buildings. But someone else can show a receipt saying that someone saw two needles go into their arm and you will allow them to enter. You actually have no idea if that person has immunity. There have even been reported cases of people accidentally or even intentionally (e.g. a case in Germany) being administered saline instead of the vaccine. Does it make sense to ban someone who is immune from campus but allow people who are presumed, but not confirmed, to be immune? This is a scenario that you have created. As a fellow academic, I am requesting that you provide me with a strong scientific rationale why you are allowing thousands with an unconfirmed immunity status onto our campus, but you are banning people like me who are known to have immunity. Further, please explain how you feel it is ethical to force COVID-19 vaccines on people who are uncomfortable with being coerced when you do not know their immunity status. Despite attempts to halt the spread of SARS-CoV-2 via masking and physical distancing, the reality is that the virus has not complied with these attempts to barricade it. Indeed, it has infected many people across Canada, many of whom may not have even realized it because it is not a dangerous pathogen for them. From the perspective of a medical risk-benefit analysis, this is a no-brainer. A medical procedure that adds no value but carries known and still-to-be-defined risks should never be mandated!”
Citing a lack of safety data in pregnant females as another example of why vaccines should not be mandated, Birdle writes: “There was a highly publicized study in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine that formed the foundation of declaring COVID-19 vaccines safe in pregnant females. The authors of this study declared that there was no risk of increased miscarriage to vaccinated females. This study resulted in many policies being instituted to promote vaccination of this demographic, for which the bar for safety should be set extremely high. Did you know that this apparent confirmation of safety had to be rescinded recently because the authors performed an obvious mathematical error? I witnessed several of my colleagues from Canada and other countries bravely push for a review of this paper under withering negative pressures. Once the editor finally agreed to do so, the authors had no choice but to admit that made a mathematical error. Most of the world does not realize this. This admission of using an inappropriate mathematical formula can be found here. This means that the major rationale for declaring COVID-19 vaccines safe in pregnant females is gone! How can someone force a COVID-19 vaccine on a pregnant female when there are insufficient safety data available to justify it?”
“We were told that achieving herd immunity by vaccination alone was the solution to this declared pandemic. This has been achieved on our campus in spades. I sat in on our town hall meetings with our local medical officer of health who confidently told us that the risk of breakthrough infections in the vaccinated was almost zero. Why, then are people so petrified of the unvaccinated. Look at vaccines for travelers going to exotic locations.
“These are vaccines of some quality. Travelers take these vaccines, and not only do they not avoid the prospective pathogen, but they happily travel to the location where it is endemic (i.e. they enthusiastically enter the danger zone because they are protected). So, what does our campus look like with almost every person vaccinated? Everyone must remain masked and physically distanced. There is no gathering or loitering allowed in stairwells or any open spaces in buildings or outside. People are still being told which doors to enter and exit, when they can do so, where to stand in line, when to move. Incredibly, time restrictions are even being implemented in some eating areas because some students were deemed to be ‘snacking too long’ with their masks off and, therefore, putting others at risk of death. In short, the on-campus COVID-19 policies are even more draconian than they were last year, but everyone is vaccinated. It doesn’t seem like the vaccines are working very well when a fully vaccinated campus cannot ease up on restrictions. But, of course, we already know how poorly these vaccines are performing.”
Under the heading, “Instilling Fear of a Minority Group Breeds Hatred,” Bridle writes: “We live in an era where issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion are supposed to be at the forefront of all discussions at academic institutions. However, you are openly discriminating against and excluding a subset of our community that happens to be highly enriched with people engendered with critical thinking; a quality that we are supposed to be nurturing and promoting.
“With COVID-19 mandates, an environment has been created on our university campus that promotes hatred, bullying, segregation, and fear of a minority group whose only wrongdoing has been to maintain critical thinking and decision-making that is based on facts and common sense. I have yet to meet an anti-vaxxer on our campus. Everyone I know of is simply against the mismanagement of exceptionally poor-quality COVID-19 vaccines. History tells us that instilling fear of a minority group never ends well. This scenario must be rectified immediately if our campus is ever to return to a safe and secure working and learning environment for all.”
Bridle concludes by saying “Mandating COVID-19 vaccines creates absurd situations . . . President Yates, I have proven to you that I am immune to SARS-CoV-2, but you have banned me from the campus and ruined my life because I don’t have a piece of paper saying that someone saw two needles go into my shoulder. You have a piece of paper that says that someone saw two needles go into your shoulder, but you have not proven that you are immune to SARS-CoV-2. However, you are allowed on campus and your life can proceed uninterrupted. How is that fair?”