News Story

U-M requires COVID boosters for students who live on campus

Lancet study concludes natural immunity is superior; U-M decides shots should still be mandatory

The University of Michigan announced Feb. 20 that it will continue to require students living on campus to receive COVID-19 shots.

“Vaccines are an important and effective component of our efforts to protect the campus community,” the university’s notice states, adding that students must receive the primary series and booster shots to be considered vaccinated.

The university says it will consider requests for religious and medical exemptions, though it did not mention exemptions on the basis of natural immunity. A new study published in The Lancet concludes that natural immunity — having caught the virus before — is more effective against severe disease and lasts longer than the protection offed by the various COVID-19 vaccine formulations.

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, admitted Jan. 10, 2022, that COVID-19 vaccinations do not prevent transmission of the disease. So why would the university require them for students living on campus?

A university representative responded to a request for comment by emailing two links. One was to a message sent to the campus community, the other was to a list of frequently asked questions.

Among the FAQs: Why isn’t U-M requiring everybody, not just those living on campus, to be vaccinated?

The university says its policy “reflects the reality of a new phase of the pandemic.”

U-M continues:

By focusing on students living in Michigan Housing, most of whom are new to the community each fall, we can mitigate the risk of disruption caused by infectious disease and still maintain our high level of existing immunity within our community.

There is no official current data comparing the incidence of death among the vaccinated to that of the unvaccinated.

Michigan State University is still involved in a lawsuit brought by the New Civil Liberties Alliance. The civil liberties group is representing two former MSU employees who were fired over their refusal to get the COVID vaccination. MSU did not consider natural immunity to be an exemption.

“In light of evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines don’t stop transmission, all of these mandates are irrational,” Jenin Younes, spokeswoman for the New Civil Liberties Alliance, wrote to Michigan Capitol Confidential. “But refusing to exempt individuals with naturally acquired immunity is simply beyond the pale. We have known for some time that such immunity is more protective than the vaccines, which this latest study reaffirms.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.