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George Mason professor sues over vaccine requirement

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In a lawsuit, Dr. Todd Zywicki claims he has already had COVID-19 and believes the vaccine is medically unnecessary and unethical to require.

FAIRFAX, Va. — A George Mason University professor is suing the school over its vaccination-for-all policy. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of GMU law professor, Dr. Todd Zywicki by the nonpartisan nonprofit New Civil Liberties Alliance.

George Mason University’s policy states that they will require vaccines for all students, faculty and staff and require all to share verification of their vaccination status to work, study and live on campus.

The suit alleges that Dr. Zywicki already had COVID-19, which was proven over a series of antibody tests. 

“Professor Zywicki’s immunologist, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, has advised him that, based on his immunity status and personal medical history, it is medically unnecessary to undergo a vaccination procedure at this point (which fact also renders the procedure and any attendant risks medically unethical),” the lawsuit reads.

It goes on to state that Zywicki will be “hamstrung” by the university if he chooses not to get vaccinated, as he will have to wear a mask, “that has no public health value given his naturally acquired immunity” and he will face “adverse disciplinary consequences” that will lower his professional efficacy. The professor has taken to Twitter to share some of his thoughts on the policy.

“Given the antibodies generated by his naturally acquired immunity, the Commonwealth of Virginia cannot claim a compelling governmental interest in overriding Professor Zywicki’s personal autonomy and constitutional rights by forcing him, in essence, to either be vaccinated or to suffer adverse professional consequences,” the lawsuit continues. 

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All faculty members are supposed to upload their proof of vaccination to the university system by Oct.1, “Or have an approved medical or religious exemption,” it says. Students have the same requirement, which was due by Aug. 1.

The university would not comment on the specifics of Zywicki’s case. WUSA9 has reached out to Zywicki for comment and is waiting to hear back. 

“The decisions the University has made have been guided by currently available medical and scientific information and the guidance issued by federal and state public health agencies,” the university said in a statement. “Based on this information and guidance, we believe that the steps we are taking will best protect the health and safety of the Mason community and allow the Mason community to engage in a vibrant in-person campus experience.”

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