Months after the Omicron wave that reached its peak mid-January, America is again seeing increasing trend of new Covid-19 cases nationwide, something that seems like an intro to a potentially new Covid-19 wave. Per the New York Times vaccine tracker, the 14-day average on May 15 was 90,423 per day, which is 60% increase compared to the previous period.
While the number of cases is rising again, less and less Americans are interested in getting vaccinated against the deadly virus. According to the CDC vaccine data, just under 258 million Americans are vaccinated with at least one dose of the vaccine (77.7% of the population), while 220.5 million are fully vaccinated (66.4% of the population). Less than half of the booster eligible have received at lease one booster dose, clearly showing that even those fully vaccinated now have less interest in getting boosted.
While some groups of people are strongly encouraged to get boosted and further improve their vaccine immunity, others are advised not to get the booster shot simply because the vaccine might have negative impact on them and their health. That was the case with a young woman, a college student, who was told by her doctor not to get a booster because she was ‘currently in an unfavorable state of health, presumably caused by the vaccine itself and getting this vaccine is ill advised’. Unfortunately, the decision not to get boosted came at a cost.
According to TCT who first reported about the case less than three weeks ago, Diamond P., a sophomore at the N. Y. based Union College, has been expelled from college for refusing to get a COVID booster shot because she developed serious symptoms after the second vaccine dose months ago and she even ended up in the emergency room where she spent six hours and was diagnosed with gastritis. Per Diamond claims, she became sick, experiencing congestion, coughing, and a sore throat. Less than ten days later, she started vomiting and having diarrhea. She also had a sharp pain in her upper abdomen.
Diamond has been vaccine hesitant since the Covid-19 vaccines were rolled out. The young woman initially didn’t want to get vaccinated against Covid-19 citing her age, worries about adverse effects, and how quickly the vaccine was developed and put to market. She filed a religious exemption request which was denied by the college, so she had no options left but to get fully vaccinated late last summer. By the end of the year, she contracted and recovered from the virus, meaning that she has now developed what scientists call it a “hybrid immunity.”
Diamond, who explains that she has been completely healthy prior to her second Covid-19 vaccine dose, continues to have symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea seven months after the second vaccine dose. Taking into consideration everything she goes through, Diamond decided not to get a third dose, but the problem occurred with the Union College because since January, the college requires all eligible students to be boosted and only students who have “approved medical or religious reasons” will be exempted from the mandate.
Diamond visited her primary care physician early April to discuss her condition. The doctor later sent a letter to the college explaining Diamond’s situation asking the college officials to provide vaccine exemption to Diamond. According to the doctor, Diamond should “be granted an exception from receiving the booster COVID vaccine” as “she currently is in an unfavorable state of health, presumably caused by the vaccine itself and getting this vaccine is ill-advised.”
Unfortunately, the college officials decided not to grant medical exemption because the “vaccine is not associated with gastritis” and there “is no evidence in the literature that vaccination for [COVID] weakens the immune system” even though gastritis is listed as an adverse event of special interest. Diamond was asked to leave the campus within 72 hours for failing to comply with the college’s vaccine policy.