A federal judge on Oct. 8 denied a request to block Michigan State University’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on the basis of natural immunity. An employee at the school, Jeanna Norris, filed a lawsuit against the mandate and asked a judge to intervene on the basis that she had already contracted COVID-19 and recovered.
Norris presented two antibody tests showing her previous infection, and her doctors told her that she didn’t need to get the vaccine at this time. Norris faces termination from the university for not complying with the school’s mandate that all students and staff get the shot unless they have a medical or religious exemption. U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, declined her lawsuit
The mandate, Maloney said, didn’t violate her fundamental rights and pointed to a 1905 Supreme Court ruling. “This Court must apply the law from the Supreme Court: Jacobson essentially applied rational basis review and found that the vaccine mandate was rational in ‘protect[ing] the public health and public safety,’” Maloney said in his order. “The Court cannot ignore this binding precedent.”
Some studies have shown that natural immunity afforded by a previous COVID-19 infection provides longer-lasting and stronger protection against the virus than vaccines.
An Israeli study published in August compared individuals who had a previous infection with those who received the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine and said their “analysis demonstrated that natural immunity affords longer-lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease, and hospitalization due to the Delta variant.”
This is the largest real-world observational study comparing natural immunity, gained through previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, to vaccine-induced immunity, afforded by the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine,” the study said.
Lawyers for Norris told The Washington Times that she’s considering legal alternatives. “Ms. Norris courageously brought this lawsuit to vindicate the constitutional rights of individuals with naturally acquired immunity to COVID-19 who are subject to irrational vaccine mandates,” Jenin Younes, a lawyer who works for the New Civil Liberties Alliance, who represents Norris, told the paper.
“While we are disappointed by today’s order, we are committed to fighting for the rights of COVID-recovered Americans to decline a medically unnecessary vaccine without having to sacrifice their livelihoods” (The Epoch Times).