New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio
Senator Michael Testa

Pennacchio & Testa: Murphy Administration’s Vaccine Mandates Ignore Science of Natural Immunity

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Senators Point to New Analysis in The Lancet, Say Governor Continues to Cherry Pick Science to Support Overbearing Executive Orders & Mandates

Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senator Michael Testa said Governor Phil Murphy continues to ignore the science of natural immunity and of COVID-19 in general as his administration forges ahead with vaccine mandates and continues unnecessary pandemic restrictions.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio and Sen. Michael Testa said Gov. Phil Murphy continues to ignore the science of natural immunity and of COVID-19 in general as his administration forges ahead with vaccine mandates and continues unnecessary pandemic restrictions. (©iStock)

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Murphy administration has cherry-picked the science on COVID-19 to impose overbearing executive orders and a slew of unnecessary mandates on New Jerseyans,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “We’re now dealing with Governor Murphy’s sweeping vaccine mandates on hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans that completely ignore the science of natural immunity, which we’re learning could result in a greater risk of adverse vaccine reactions for some who were already infected. It’s hard to trust the governor’s pandemic policies when he refuses to trust the science that should inform his decisions.”

The senators pointed to a new analysis published in The Lancet, a respected peer-reviewed medical journal, which confirms that COVID-19 infection results in protective naturally acquired immunity following recovery.

The analysis of multiple “well conducted” large studies from around the world found that the risk of COVID-19 reinfection decreased by 80% to 100% among those who were previously infected. Further, it was determined that a prior infection “was associated with increased adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination.”

Taken together, the findings mean people could be subject to increased levels of unnecessary risk if they get vaccinated after recovering from SARS-CoV-2.

“Governor Murphy imposed vaccine mandates forcing workers to give up their medical freedom as a condition of keeping the jobs they depend on to support their children and families,” said Testa (R-1). “While vaccination mandates were always wrong, they’re completely indefensible in light of a growing body of scientific literature saying vaccines aren’t necessarily helpful and could even be harmful to people who already had COVID-19. The governor should do away with every pandemic policy that’s contradicted by the latest science and he should recognize natural immunity.”

Pennacchio and Testa sponsor legislation, S-4136, that could allow a person’s naturally developed immunity resulting from a prior COVID-19 infection to satisfy vaccination requirements imposed on workplaces, schools, or any other entity in the state.

The senators previously highlighted a Washington Post editorial by a professor from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who expressed dismay that elected leaders and public health officials seem afraid to acknowledge the power of natural immunity, which is well proven by data.

In that piece, Dr. Marty Makary pointed to more than 15 significant studies, including a 700,000-person study from Israel, demonstrating how “the emerging science suggests that natural immunity is as good as or better than vaccine-induced immunity.”

“The New Jersey Department of Health should explain why they’re not pushing Governor Murphy to account for the flood of studies supporting the power and protection of natural immunity in State policy,” added Pennacchio. “If it’s because the public health officials we’re supposed to trust aren’t keeping up with the latest science, that would amount to complete and total negligence.”

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