It turns out that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) weren’t as united on the notion of pushing vaccine mandates as it initially seemed.
On December 1, the NIH’s main bioethics department will host a live panel discussion on the ethics and practicality of vaccine mandates. Dr Matthew Memoli, who heads a clinical studies unit within Dr Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), will lead the charge. the Wall Street newspaper (WSJ).
Memoli, who served at the NIH for 16 years and recently received an NIH Director’s Award, opposes both vaccination warrants and has refused the coronavirus vaccine, arguing they should be reserved for vulnerable Americans , elderly and obese.
“I think the way we use vaccines is bad,” he told Dr Fauci in an email on July 30.
With regard to existing vaccines, Memoli allegedly argued that “general vaccination of people at low risk of serious disease could hinder the development of a stronger acquired immunity in a population against infection”, according to the WSJ.
The virtual roundtable will be just one of four ethics debates at NIH this year and will be “accessible to all of NIH’s nearly 20,000 staff, as well as patients and the public.” David Wendler, the senior NIH bioethicist planning the session, said vaccination mandates have become a “hot topic at NIH.
“There is a lot of debate within the NIH as to whether [a vaccine mandate] is appropriate, ”Wendler told the WSJ. “This is an important and hot topic.
The exact number of scientists within the NIH supporting Memoli’s position remains unknown, but current data shows that about 88% of federal NIH employees “were fully vaccinated by the end of October.” Critics of Memoli say pushing natural immunity on vaccines would be a “terrible idea.”
“It’s a terrible idea if we have a vaccine that prevents serious disease,” said Timothy Schacker, associate dean of research and infectious disease physician at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine.
Last September, President Biden announced that the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would require private companies with 100 or more employees to implement vaccination mandates or require weekly negative tests. The president waited nearly two months before revealing the details of his plan, which would not even have taken effect until January 2022. A company in violation of the mandate could be fined $ 136,532.
The president’s plan hit a roadblock on Saturday when the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Court issued a temporary suspension blocking the term while considering a permanent injunction.
The decision of a three-judge panel on Saturday was the result of a stay requested by the states of Texas, Utah, Mississippi and South Carolina, as well as several companies that oppose the Biden plan. States and companies have filed a petition for review of the agency’s action, which goes directly to a federal appeals court instead of a single-judge federal trial court.
“Because the petitions suggest that there are serious statutory and constitutional issues with the warrant, the warrant is hereby suspended pending further action from this court,” the judges wrote.
To date, nearly 412 million doses of the FDA-approved covid vaccine have been administered in the United States, and more than 189 million people in the United States have been fully vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, covid mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna reduce the risk of serious illness by 90% or more in fully vaccinated people.