Readers Respond

Calls to end university vaccine mandates irresponsible | READER COMMENTARY

Shiloh Burke of Silver Spring discusses the push to get young adults to get the COVID-19 vaccine during "University Days" at the M&T Bank Stadium Mass Vaccination Site on May 4, 2021. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

UMD School of Pharmacy must clarify vaccine science

I believe that the letter written by Peter Doshi and Linda Wastila of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy regarding the lifting of vaccine mandates presents very dangerous misinformation (”Universities should stop mandating COVID vaccinations,” Feb. 8). They are outliers in their field. Both testified about their concerns about the COVID vaccines in November before a panel convened by Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin — the U.S. Senate dimwit.

I’m surprised by the lack of data supplied by these purported scientists. Every day The Sun provides data supplied by the Maryland Health Deptartment. In Maryland, we have had nearly 1 million confirmed cases and 14,000 confirmed deaths. We are told that the majority of deaths and the majority of patients placing a great strain on hospitals are the unvaccinated. These figures are real and represent tragic outcomes for families.


I find it to be totally irresponsible for these faculty members of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy to sow seeds of doubt among the general population. How can we trust them? Ms. Wastila has claimed that some side effects of the vaccine have not been taken seriously. Every pharmaceutical has potential side effects for some people. One only needs to watch drug commercials to hear a long list of potential side effects. This dangerous foray into the culture wars regarding what is really a public health issue speaks to the arrogance of the writers. The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy has enjoyed a positive reputation in our state. It’s now time for the school to disavow the message being sent by these faculty members. It is in the interest of public health and public safety that the school clarifies what the science really tells us about the vaccines.

Edward McCarey McDonnell, Baltimore


Politics should not ‘Trump’ science

I am simply a community pharmacist working to keep people healthy, having graduated from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in 1981. I have been vaccinating people against many illnesses since 2005 and against COVID for more than a year. I am compelled to respond to the recent letter from Peter Doshi and Linda Wastila contending that vaccine mandates harm college students and should be revoked.

They do not prove their point with any scientific evidence, but instead explain why booster doses are necessary and why they believe that requiring boosters as needed violates some inalienable right to come onto college campuses or anywhere else, free of vaccinations. Are they not aware that most universities — including the University of Maryland — have a list of required vaccinations for incoming students including, but not exclusively, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough and meningitis, as well as tests for Tuberculosis? Are all of these vaccinations to be subject to the same “Personal Belief” override? Many hospitals and other employers have for years required flu vaccinations for employees and outside contractors. What is it about this vaccination that has caused such a frenzy? Are the writers seriously going to support calls to “Bring Back Polio — Get Your Iron Lung Machine Here” in support of this nonexistent constitutional right?

The authors make sure we know that they are professors at the School of Pharmacy. I hope they not teaching the future pharmacists of Maryland that politics should “Trump” science.

Janet Abramowitz, Baltimore