Honorable Governor Brown,
On behalf of thousands of my constituents and hundreds of thousands of Oregonians, I implore you to reverse your vaccine mandates on our state, healthcare and education employees in Oregon. As you know, I was vaccinated with my colleagues in April and contracted Covid from another vaccinated individual in August. Breakthrough cases are on the rise, OHA recently reported “that of the nearly 12,000 new cases in the week ending Sept. 18, nearly 2,800, or 23%, were among those who had been vaccinated against the disease.” Recent CDC Data released showed even more breakthrough cases as published by Johns Hopkins, “469 COVID-19 cases were identified among Massachusetts residents who had traveled to the town during July 3–17; 346 (74%) occurred in fully vaccinated persons.” Further, “Data from COVID-19 tests in the United States, the United Kingdom and Singapore are showing that vaccinated people who become infected with Delta SARS-CoV-2 can carry as much virus in their nose as do unvaccinated people.”
There is also emerging data on the vaccines effectiveness over time, “Amid persistent concerns that the protection offered by COVID-19 vaccines may be waning, a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that America’s workhorse shot is significantly less effective at preventing severe cases of disease over the long term than many experts had realized.” Further, the FDA panel recently, “first rejected, by a vote of 16-2, boosters for nearly everyone. Members cited a lack of safety data on extra doses and also raised doubts about the value of mass boosters, rather than ones targeted to specific groups. Then, in an 18-0 vote, it endorsed the extra shot for select portions of the U.S. population — namely, those most at risk from the virus.”
Your administration’s urgency of vaccinations was to limit the number of hospitalizations caused by severe illness from Covid, as Oregon has the least number of hospital beds per capita than any other state. However, more data continues to become available regarding those carrying natural antibodies due to prior infection and recovery of Covid, “a new study suggests that not all memory B cells are created equal. While vaccination gives rise to memory B cells that evolve over a few weeks, natural infection births memory B cells that continue to evolve over several months, producing highly potent antibodies adept at eliminating even viral variants.” Further, data continues to mount on those with highly potent natural immunity or what scientist are calling hybrid-immunity, “a series of studies has found that some people mount an extraordinarily powerful immune response against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19. Their bodies produce very high levels of antibodies, but they also make antibodies with great flexibility — likely capable of fighting off the coronavirus variants circulating in the world but also likely effective against variants that may emerge in the future.”
Madam Governor, your vaccine mandates do not take into account any of this data! So, what exactly is the end goal? Emerging data of naturally acquired antibodies and immunity show far better results against severe infection, long term. The FDA is only allowing boosters for a small segment of the population, the majority of which are retired and not in the workforce. So why force a vaccine; which data shows that it continues to lose effectiveness after four months, on a majority of Oregon workers that are not eligible for a booster?
Our state, healthcare and education workers provide vital roles for all Oregonians, from our oldest to our youngest populations. As I told you in August, “Covid is here to stay. I and my family are vaccinated by choice. I have and continue to encourage Oregonians to be vaccinated against Covid. I and thousands of others like me are proof however that you can still contract and spread Covid even if vaccinated. Forcing vaccines on Oregonians is wrong. Forcing vaccines on Oregonians based on their profession is worse.”
Madam Governor, I urge you to change course on your vaccine mandates. If not for some of the emerging data I have outlined above, then for the freedom of choice for every Oregonian. I encourage you to provide all of the best scientific data to Oregonians and let them make a decision after consulting with their medical professionals. You shouldn’t have to be in a Union to be afforded a delay from your forced vaccine mandates. Data continues to come in and I urge you to delay your vaccine mandates for all Oregonians.
David Brock Smith
Oregon House of Representatives District 01
Curry, Coos, Douglas & Josephine Counties