Health Choice Maryland
Office of the Board of Regents
University System of Maryland
3300 Metzerott Road
Adelphi, MD 20783
c/o Denise Wilkerson, Chief of Staff to the Chancellor
May 6, 2021
Dear Chancellor Perman, Chairwoman Gooden and Members of the Board of Regents,
This letter is in response to the recent press release by Chancellor Perman “ requiring
that all eligible students, faculty, and staff who will be on our Maryland campuses
this fall be vaccinated against COVID.”1 Health Choice Maryland, on behalf of its
members, affiliated advocacy groups and concerned citizens strongly object to a COVID
19 vaccine requirement. We urge the Chancellor and the Board of Regents to change
the policy to make COVID 19 Vaccination a recommendation and not a mandate.
None of the COVID 19 vaccines have been fully tested for safety and efficacy.While the
Moderna and Pfizer mRNA vaccines and the Johnson and Johnson vaccines have FDA
Emergency Use Approval (EUA), these vaccines are still in the experimental phase and long
term data regarding safety and efficacy are still pending.Vaccine development is typically
a long process taking many years. The COVID 19 vaccines were fast track approved. Past
experiences with fast track approved vaccines have resulted in irreversible, unintended,
serious adverse consequences.
For example, in 1976, an outbreak of swine flu at a US military base precipitated fears of
a pandemic, so a brand new vaccine was rushed to market. A pandemic never
materialized yet forty million Americans were vaccinated. The rushed vaccine resulted in
many reports of citizens who got a serious motor-neuron disorder called Guillain-Barre
and public health credibility suffered (https://www.history.com/news/swine-flu-rushvaccine-
In 2009, another H1N1 vaccine was rushed to market without fully being tested, due to
fears of a global swine flu pandemic. It resulted in one in every 50,000 who received the
vaccine having their immune system attack clusters of neurons. Scientists studied this for
six years and in 2015, the UK government officially acknowledged that the vaccine
caused brain damage, leading to permanent narcolepsy. 3
Furthermore, previous coronavirus vaccine testing (for SARS and MERS) resulted in
severe issues of Disease Enhancement. Disease Enhancement occurs after an animal or
human receive a vaccine and then when exposed to the virus or a mutated one develop
more severe symptoms than those who had not been vaccinated. For example, in studies
of an experimental SARS vaccine reported in 2004, vaccinated ferrets developed
damaging inflammation in their livers after being infected with the virus. 4
COVID-19 vaccine trials have not be conducted to exclude the possibility of this serious
reaction happening if a vaccinee is exposed to a corona virus months or even years after
vaccination. Furthermore, Chancellor Perman and his counsel appear to be unaware of
the more than 11 8,902 total adverse events as of April 23. Of the 3,544 deaths, 25%
occurred within 48 hours of vaccination, 17% occurred within 24 hours and 40%
occurred in people who became ill within 48 hours of being vaccinated. Other serious
adverse events include:
1,099 cases of Bell’s Palsy reported, 51% of cases were reported after Pfizer-
BioNTech vaccinations, 39% following vaccination with the Moderna vaccine
and 131 cases or 12% of Bell’s Palsy were reported in conjunction with J&J.
121 reports of Guillain-Barré Syndrome with 44% of cases attributed to Pfizer,
43% to Moderna and 17% to J&J.
33,673 reports of anaphylaxis with 39% of cases attributed to Pfizer’s vaccine,
44% to Moderna and 16% to J&J.
598 pregnant women reported adverse events related to COVID vaccines,
including 170 reports of miscarriage or premature birth.
In addition, blood disorders have also been reported for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, not
just for Johnson and Johnson vaccines.
The vaccine clinical trials were not conducted with pregnant or lactating women or with
persons who had or were actively positive with COVID-19. Therefore no safety data
among those who are sick, those who are pregnant or lactating, or those who have had
In a taped interview with Congressman Thomas Massie, the Director of the CDC
admitted that the CDC was wrong when they said that the vaccines are effective in
preventing COVID in those who already have it or that those who were vaccinated do not
carry the virus. The Congressman expressed frustration with the CDC who even after
admitting their errors continued to perpetuate the false statements. He declared that there
is “no accountability and no one has been taken to task over disseminating incorrect
information and then refusing to fix it”.
interview found at 15:54 to 17:07)
Mr. Perman states in his press release that “the risk of vaccines is very low, whereas the
risk of COVID is very high.” The truth is, it is too soon to know what the true risks and
benefits are for Covid vaccinations. Even if the COVID 19 vaccines were to be approved
by the FDA in the next few months, the serious long term effects will still be unknown.
On the other hand, we do know from the CDC data that 99.2% of the population recovers
from COVID 19 and even among the highest motality groups, the survival rate is over
94%. Furthermore, as of this writing, already a third of Americans are vaccinated and
many have natural immunity. As of this writing, the positivity rate in Maryland is around
3 % and the pattern is trending downward. Mr. Perman may need to reframe his statement
since the risk of the vaccines is unknown while the risk of COVID now appears to be low
Mr. Perman argues that “these vaccines have proved effective against the variants….”
The fact is however, it is unknown how long the vaccines may be effective or if they
would be effective against new variants which are mutating all of the time.
COVID 19 VACCINE LIABILITY
According to the Federal Emergency Use Authorization Law, products that are
emergency authorized can only be offered or administered on a voluntary basis. COVID
19 vaccines and COVID 19 testing methods were emergency approved products and
according to Federal law “individuals who are offered or administered these products
must be informed of the option to accept or refuse administration of the product,…”
21 USCS §360bbb-3Section 564(e)(1)(A)(ii)(III).
Even if the COVID 19 vaccines receive full FDA approval in the next couple of months,
and even though the Maryland mandate does “comply with all federal and state laws in
granting appropriate exemptions for medical or religious reasons “, there are still
compelling reasons why COVID 19 vaccination should be voluntary. In addition to the
fact that one should not have to apply to be exempted from taking a vaccine that has
only been around since December 2020 and still has unknown risks, there are good
legal reasons the University System may want to consider before enforcing COVID
19 vaccine mandates.
Under the Federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act all
COVID-19 vaccine makers and providers are granted immunity from liability for their
products (https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/legal/prepact/Pages/default.aspx). However,
if an employee is injured from a vaccine required by their employer, their employer may
become liable for that injury. Not only can the employer be sued, but the injury would be
considered a compensable injury under Workers Compensation.5
In order for an injury to be compensable according to the Maryland Workers’
Compensation Law, it must be an injury “arising out of and in the course of employment”
“If the conditions under which the work is required to be performed by the employer
causes the worker’s injury, it is said to “arise out of” the employment. “The focus of this
stipulation is on the exposure of the employee to risk or danger because of the job
requirements. This is the standard test for an allowance of workers’ compensation
benefits to be issued. It could be argued that mandatory, experimental COVID 19
vaccination, because of unknown consequences, could possibly cause personal injury to
the recipient who was forced to assume risk under threat of losing one’s job.
When Courts are faced with applying this standard, it is well-settled law that the Court
“must be guided by the equal fundamental principal that the requirement is to be liberally
construed in favor of awarding benefits.”6 Maher v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd. (1983) 33 Cal.3d 729, 733. 734-735; Roberts v. U.S.O. Camp Shows (1949) 91 Cal.App.2d 884, 885.
For employees, the ability to decline the COVID-19 vaccine following OSHA
requirements must be offered, as well as disability and religious accommodations per
American Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act. Employees may also have grounds
for seeking workers’ compensation if injured from employer mandated vaccinations.
Furthermore, if staff are offered exemptions and/or compensation, students must be
offered the same. Without these accommodations, the university system implementing
this requirement could be sued for discrimination.
To mitigate legal and insurance costs, HCM and affiliates ask you to adhere to the
following in making any COVID-19 vaccine policies for the University System of
Make the COVID-19 vaccine a recommendation, not a requirement
Include in the policy a requirement for written disclosure that it is unknown
how long COVID vaccines are effective, rates of long term serious side
effects are unknown, and that the vaccines have not been tested for impact on
fertility, carcinogenicity, disease enhancement or interaction with
medications or other vaccines given concurrently.
Include in the policy that religious belief and disability exemptions are
allowed, without recourse, per Federal and State law
Include in the policy that one can sign a declination statement, without
The Maryland University system should follow the Precautionary Principle and
proceed on the side of caution by not requiring the COVID-19 vaccine not only
because it is the morally and ethically right thing to do, not only to model trust that
employees and students are capable of making rational decisions regarding personal
and public health matters but also so as not to take on the huge potential financial
repercussions that may occur through lawsuits and workers compensation claims.
Emily Tarsell, LCPC
Founding Director, Health Choice Maryland