Union College Expels COVID Vax-Injured Student for Refusing Booster With Medical Exemption

Her doctor told her a booster was “ill-advised.”

QUICK FACTS:
  • A sophomore at Union College in New has been expelled for declining to get a COVID-19 booster shot, despite severe health problems “presumably caused by the vaccine itself” and despite having exemption from her doctor.
  • According to The Chicago Thinker, Diamond “Ellie” Puentes choose not to get the booster following her first dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine in September of 2021.
  • The liberal arts college announced in January of 2022 that a booster shot would be required at the college, which receives federal funding. However, students can be exempt from the mandate if they have “approved medical or religious reasons.” 
  • The Wellness Center at the college denied her request for a medical exemption despite a letter from her doctor, connecting her symptoms to the vaccine. The college justified their decision by saying the “vaccine is not associated with gastritis,” which is what Puentes was diagnosed with, and went on to assert there “is no evidence in the literature that vaccination for [COVID] weakens the immune system.”
  • The college claims that they have not expelled anyone for not receiving the vaccine, despite proof offered by the student that she was unenrolled from her classes and the college’s requirement that the booster be taken to maintain enrollment.
MORE FROM THE COLLEGE ON THE BOOSTER ISSUE:
  • CBS reported that the Director of Media and Public Relations at Union College released a rebuttal to the report: 
  • “While the college cannot discuss the situation surrounding Puentes or any of its students, Wadja said, “In general terms, we can state emphatically that no students have been expelled for refusing to get a booster shot. All students, faculty and staff are required to be vaccinated and boosted, with exceptions only being made for individuals who have been granted a medical or religious accommodation. An individual who chooses not to comply with our policy is not allowed on campus until they meet the requirement.”
BACKGROUND:
  • Puentes suffered numerous health complications following receipt of the vaccination almost immediately, including congestion, coughing, and a sore throat.
  • Within 10 days of receiving the shot, she began vomiting and having diarrhea. She also had a sharp pain in her upper abdomen.
  • She eventually sought help at the emergency room and was diagnosed with gastritis, with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea continuing at the time of the reporting, seven months after onset.