California Medical Ethics Expert Sues University Over Vaccine Mandate

We recently discussed the lawsuit filed by a George Mason University professor who refused to get the Covid vaccine upon the recommendation of his doctors and due to his natural antibodies after recovering from the virus. GMU later relented and gave him an exception. However, now a University of California professor has sued on the same ground. Aaron Kheriaty, professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the University of California at Irvine, is the latest effort to force review of the issue of natural antibodies as a protection from Covid.

Kheriaty is suing the Board of Regents and the University president due to his antibodies from a case of Covid-19 in July 2020. He told SBG“[i]f my immunity is as good, indeed, very likely better, than that conferred by the vaccine, there doesn’t seem to be any rational basis for discriminating against my form of immunity and requiring me to get a different form of immunity.”

What is most interesting about the case is that Kheriaty serves as director of UCI’s Medical Ethics Program and is a member of the UC Office of the President Critical Care Bioethics Working Group. Kheriaty has complained that it is now verboten to even raise natural antibodies despite studies showing that they may be even more effective than vaccines.  A study (often cited by the CDC) suggests the opposite.

Kheriaty cited studies showing that recovery yields considerable protection., including a study from researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology found that that the immune systems of those who recovered from COVID-19 had durable memories of the virus up to eight months after infection.  He goes into detail on such studies. Thus, this is not some screed against vaccines but a science based challenge.

There has been an obvious aversion of the CDC and the Biden Administration in addressing the natural antibody issue. Most media have held that same line and there has been little discussion of such objections.

The challenge for Kheriaty is whether a court will find that taking the vaccine as someone with natural antibodies has not been found to be dangerous or harmful. As a result, it may conclude that it is simply too difficult for employers to establish natural antibodies and their specific level of protection. However, the same difficulty is present by vaccinated individuals who will likely have differing levels of protection over time.

Past challenges to mandates have included the natural antibody issues.  Recently, in a challenge to Indiana University’s mandate, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected a motion for a preliminary injunction. The Court noted that there is not “a fundamental right ingrained in the American legal tradition” to refuse a vaccine. Challenges have also bee rejected to policies at Houston Methodist Hospital and Los Angeles Unified School District.

This case however presents the natural antibody case in its strongest and most direct terms. The odds are in favor of the university but it could be a case with potential for the Supreme Court.

Here is the complaint: Kheriaty Complaint

177 thoughts on “California Medical Ethics Expert Sues University Over Vaccine Mandate”

  1. I take exception to the following statement in this article: “Kheriaty has complained that it is now verboten to even raise natural antibodies despite studies showing that they may be even more effective than vaccines.  A study (often cited by the CDC) suggests the opposite.”

    Like many others in the media, Professor Turley misstates the suggestions/purpose of the Kentucky study cited by the CDC. Certainly, the CDC’s language in describing the study doesn’t help a reader to clearly understand its actual findings. Given the federal government’s obvious desire to mute the mounting data that underscores natural immunity’s superiority, one might rationally suspect the CDC has intentionally been deceptive in its wording.

    The small Kentucky study isn’t a comparison between natural immunity and vaccination. The study pits natural immunity without subsequent vaccination versus natural immunity with subsequent vaccination. The CDC uses the study to support what they maintain is a slight benefit from vaccination to those previously infected. The Kentucky study has been widely panned since the small benefit (.09% reinfection rate versus .035% breakthrough rate) could easily have resulted because a breakthrough infection of those vaccinated might be less likely to be discovered than a reinfection of those unvaccinated.

    Regardless the merit of the finding, the CDC further undermines its credibility in promoting this study by failing to note that the previously infected are 4.5 times more likely to incur a serious health event from mRNA inoculation than those without prior infection (as has been found in the large and comprehensive Israeli data) and that finding only covers immediate adverse effects. The long term effects are necessarily unknowable at this time.

    The CDC has provided no study or data to date which offers a comparison between natural immunity alone and inoculation alone. The reason for that omission is clear. Ample data is now available to support a conclusion that natural immunity is broader and longer lasting than mRNA vaccines.

    1. There’s certainly some unfunny funny-business going on at the CDC. Here’s a related concern: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/09/covid-hospitalization-numbers-can-be-misleading/620062/?

      In the article, the question of who gets counted as a ‘case’ and whether that ‘case’ is related at all to the clinical/hospital visit. For example, how many wildfire smoke-related cases are misdiagnosed intentionally.

  2. Perhaps Kheriaty should also bring up the possibility of antibody-dependent enhancement in response to the non-neutralizing antibodies created by the vaccine: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41564-020-00789-5 . To me, this possibility should militate against requiring vaccination on top of the natural robust immunity resulting from recovery from covid infection.

  3. I disagree that OSHA can mandate vaccines. Under the Bloodborne Pathogens standard (1910.1030), OSHA requires an employer to OFFER a Hepatitis B vaccine to select employees under well defined circumstances, but they cannot force the employee to take it. If OSHA were to mandate any vax and the worker had an adverse reaction to it, the employer would be required to pay benefits under worker’s comp because it would be a condition of employment. But OSHA doesn’t have the authority to create that new liability for the employer. — See the OSHA Act at Sec 4(b)(4). Such a mandate would also, in some cases, discrimate against and/or violate employee’s 1A rights to religious freedom under governement edict, which is unconstitutional. Also noted, 1910.1030 is not a blanket offer to all employees of all employers. There has to a known hazard within the workplace. Work in a covid testing Lab or doctors office? Yep, you’d be covered. Work in a manufacturing plant making widgets? OSHA would have to prove the hazard exists in that workplace, and that’s a tall order. OSHA’s ETS for Health Care settings doesn’t even mandate a vax. Per the Kheriaty lawsuit and studies cited therein, it seems that the ones who should be regularly tested are those who are vaxxinated, since they’re the ones most likely to spread the virus without realizing they have it. The unvaxxed with a high enough viral load to spread it will most likely have symptoms. The unvaxxed who already had the virus have the immunity to kill it off right away before it can replicate to a high enough viral load for them to be able to spread it.

  4. “Government has done a lot of things for long periods of time before it was decided by courts or just people speaking up that it was wrong.”

    Morally wrong and unconstitutional are not the same thing. The government has done both. But that doesn’t prove that requiring vaccination is either one (and whether things are morally wrong is a matter of opinion, not fact).

    “OSHA’s authority is not absolute.”

    I didn’t say it was, and I agree that it isn’t. It’s still a fact that the government has been mandating things for workplace safety for decades because Congress passed legislation, OSHA, enabling it to do so. Can it mandate that businesses require vaccinations under OSHA? Probably. The executive branch can require vaccination for federal employees directly, as long as it allows certain exemptions.

    1. “Can it mandate that businesses require vaccinations under OSHA? Probably.”

      Government forcing individuals to undergo a medical procedure?!

      What kind of nightmare universe do you live in?

      1. From the WH: “The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work.”

        Do you likewise consider other legally required employment-related medical tests to be illegal (e.g., drug tests for plane pilots)?

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