A sophomore at Union College, a liberal arts college in New York that receives federal funding, has been expelled for refusing to take a COVID-19 booster shot.
Diamond “Ellie” Puentes, whose doctor wrote a letter to the college warning that a COVID-19 booster dose was “ill-advised,” has been experiencing severe health problems “presumably caused by the vaccine itself.”
— Mary Talley Bowden MD (@MdBreathe) April 30, 2022
We should not be forced to inject something into our bodies, especially when we don’t feel safe doing so. You should never have to be faced with the choice between health and education.
— Ellie Puentes (@ElliePuentes) April 28, 2022
Puentes stated she had COVID-19 a couple of months ago and the school knew this.
“Union College now claims I haven’t been expelled? I’ve been unenrolled from classes, kicked out of housing, and not permitted back on campus. Nice try!” she added.
— Ellie Puentes (@ElliePuentes) April 29, 2022
The Chicago Thinker provided this exclusive report:
Diamond “Ellie” Puentes, who is now living in Chicago, told the Chicago Thinker she was hesitant to get a booster shot because she experienced negative side effects after receiving a second dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine in September 2021. A day after receiving the second dose, she became sick, experiencing congestion, coughing, and a sore throat. Less than ten days later, she started vomiting and having diarrhea. She also had a sharp pain in her upper abdomen.
These health problems culminated in her going to an emergency room, where she stayed for six hours and was diagnosed with gastritis. Seven months later, she continues to have symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.
Puentes told the Thinker she had no health problems before getting a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Doctors were unable to give her a diagnosis as to why she got as sick as she did.
In January 2022, Union College announced that a COVID booster shot would be required for all students. Students can be exempt from the mandate if they have “approved medical or religious reasons.”
Puentes was not required to get a booster shot until March, as Union College requires a student to wait six months after receiving a second dose of a COVID vaccine before getting a booster shot.
After receiving an email reminding her to get a booster shot, Puentes sent an email expressing her health concerns to Union College’s Office of Community Standards, the Director of Community Standards, the Wellness Center, and her class dean.
In response, Puentes was told to send medical documentation of her gastritis diagnosis to Union College’s Wellness Center. When she did so, the Wellness Center informed her that the documentation she submitted does not exempt her from the booster shot requirement.
After the Wellness Center denied her request for a medical exemption, Puentes became sick again, vomiting and experiencing diarrhea and shortness of breath for consecutive days. Puentes told the Thinker that when she visited her college’s Wellness Center, her college’s Director of Health Services, Angela Stefanatos, asked, “Are you here because you don’t want to get the booster or because you’re truly sick?”
Puentes then contacted her primary care physician, Dr. Thomas M. Nelson, to discuss her concerns that her health problems are associated with the COVID vaccine. On April 11, Dr. Nelson wrote a letter to Union College, expressing that in his opinion, Puentes should “be granted an exception from receiving the booster COVID vaccine.” He further wrote, “She currently is in an unfavorable state of health, presumably caused by the vaccine itself and getting this vaccine is ill-advised.”
Although Puentes sent Dr. Nelson’s letter to Union College’s Wellness Center, her request for a medical exemption was denied because the “vaccine is not associated with gastritis” and there “is no evidence in the literature that vaccination for [COVID] weakens the immune system.”
Puentes reportedly spoke to a Pfizer employee on the phone who confirmed to her that patients have reported gastrointestinal complications, such as vomiting and diarrhea.
The Wellness Center told Puentes the decision was final and she would be subject to “conduct action” for non-compliance with the COVID booster protocol.
Read the remainder of the exclusive report at the Chicago Thinker.