Jonathan Isaac is an NBA player who stands for the national anthem and doesn’t bend a knee for terrorists. The man is a true patriot in a league of millionaire crybaby airheads. We need more like him in professional sports. Here, with Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, he makes the case against vaccine mandates.

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Issac and Kheriaty: A recent New York Times article, “If You’ve Had Covid, Do You Need the Vaccine?” argues that vaccination is still the best choice after recovering from the disease. It mentions both of us, Mr. Isaac by name and Dr. Kheriaty by reference to a “psychiatrist,” with a link to Kheriaty’s lawsuit challenging the University of California’s mandate.

We argue, on the contrary, that the scientific evidence does not favor vaccination—nor warrant coercive mandates or restrictions—for those with natural (infection-induced) immunity. Furthermore, we affirm that all people should maintain the right to informed consent or refusal for COVID vaccines.

The natural immunity debate, to which Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said he has no firm answer, is not about whether people should try to acquire natural immunity by deliberately getting infected; nobody is suggesting this. It is about the level of immunity afforded to those who have already recovered from COVID (estimated at more than half of all Americans) compared to immunity from the vaccine.

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Current mandates and restrictions that hinder Americans from working, getting back on campus, or being fully present with their teams, are arbitrarily discriminatory and are not reasonable conclusions of the data. For example, a person considered fully vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is, according to the data submitted to the FDA, 67 percent protected against infection; whereas studies of natural immunity consistently shows 99 percent protection against reinfection.

Why is the first group included, and the second group excluded from the workplace, travel, or other venues? That these policies ignore natural immunity already suggests an unscientific approach to their formation, as does the fact that COVID has a 99.998 percent survival rate for healthy people under 50.

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Vaccine immunity against COVID infection begins to wane after four months (protection against severe symptoms fortunately does not decline as much). Unlike the polio vaccine, which remains over 99 percent effective for many years, a Mayo Clinic study showed that by July the efficacy of Moderna’s vaccine had dropped to 76 percent and Pfizer’s to 42 percent, which is consistent with Pfizer’s data showing a six percent efficacy decline every two months. By contrast, natural immunity has shown no signs of waning with time and new variants, with data going back to the beginning of the pandemic…

While we have no objections to COVID-recovered individuals freely choosing to get vaccinated, the risk/benefit tradeoff displays the need for policies and measures that respect the free choice of those who don’t. With full evaluation of COVID, its vaccines, and the scientific legitimacy of natural immunity, it is obvious these findings undermine the swift and blunt hammer of the vaccine mandate. They leave room for nuanced, scientific, and inclusive policies that better reflect the data.