2 students file lawsuit against Santa Clara University over vaccine booster mandate

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- A group of mostly non-students cheered out against Santa Clara University Wednesday. This as two students and Children's Health Defense-California are suing the university over its COVID-19 booster mandate starting next week.

"My college career is at jeopardy," Santa Clara University student Harlow Glenn said. "I really just want to be here to study and be with my friends. For me, this is nothing to do with politics, it is simply my own medical concerns."

Glenn is one of the students on the lawsuit. She says she had an adverse reaction to the original COVID-19 vaccine and the university isn't giving her medical exemption.

The other student is her friend Jackson Druker, son of the Children's Health Defense-California's co-founder.

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Druker asked the supporters to put their signs down while he spoke because he agrees the lawsuit is not about politics.

"No one was willing to put their foot down, but thank god my mom is whoever she is," Druker said. "So, with her help, I was able to put the foot down and find many other people similar to me who are tired of it and want to take a stand."

The group held a news conference just outside of campus in Santa Clara. Students in opposition of anti-vaccine mandates approached the news conference and voiced their disapproval.

According to the group, the lawsuit alleges: "18 causes of action against SCU, including violations of students' fundamental rights to bodily autonomy, interference with the doctor-patient relationship, the free exercise of religion, and equal protection of the law, as well as a violation of federal emergency use authorization law, which requires individuals being offered emergency use products be given the right to refuse them."

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Doctors across the country have widely expressed support for COVID vaccines as a safe and effective tool to protect students and teachers.

UCSF's Dr. Peter Chin-Hong is one of those doctors and he believes these vaccine mandates will remain.

"With cases coming down, sure we take masks off, but when we get a vaccine, just like when we require measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis to get into college," Dr. Chin-Hong said. "It's not really about the now. It's for the future."

The lawsuit also addresses the elevated risk of myocarditis in this age group. Dr. Chin-Hong says college students are much more likely to develop myocarditis from contracting COVID-19 than the vaccines.

We reached out to Santa Clara University, but they declined to comment on the lawsuit. The deadline for students and staff to submit booster status is March 17.

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