One college student in New York who fell very ill after getting her second COVID-19 shot has been officially expelled from school in the wake of refusing to get one of the booster shots on the order of her normal primary care physician.
At age 20, Diamond Ellie Puentes was enrolled at Union College using a scholarship when she was outright expelled from the school and was told she had just a short few days to pack up her life and leave the school grounds. She reached out numerous times to try and get a medical exemption from the booster, but to no avail.
"I was in class, I received an email stating, ‘you have been unenrolled and you have 72 hours to leave campus,'" stated Puentes in an interview.
Puentes had always had her personal reservations about the vaccine for the coronavirus, citing her age, concerns about possible adverse side effects, and how fast the vaccine itself was developed and put on the market. "It kind of freaked me out a little bit," she claimed.
Because of all of this, she applied to get a religious exemption. In response, the school denied her outright, and in the following August, she was forced to get her first dose of the Pfizer variant of the vaccine. At that time she did not have a reaction and went on in September to get her second dose.
It was this second dose that forced Puentes to fall ill with a sore throat and various other symptoms. She then later went on to deal with vomiting and extreme pain in her abdomen.
"These health problems culminated in her going to an emergency room, where she stayed for six hours and was diagnosed with gastritis," read a report from the Chicago Thinker, which first brought the story to light. "Seven months later, she continues to have symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea."
As stated by the CDC, the standard side effects from getting the COVID-19 vaccine include headache, tiredness, chills, muscle pain, fever, and nausea. The CDC goes on to explain, "Some people have side effects from the vaccine, which are normal signs that their body is building protection. These side effects may affect their ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days."
After this, Puentes was issued and then provided a doctor's note and requested a medical exemption.
"It is my opinion that Ms. Puentes be granted an exception from receiving the booster COVID vaccine," stated her doctor in the note addressed to the faculty of Union College. "She currently is in an unfavorable state of health, presumably caused by the vaccine itself and getting this vaccine is ill-advised."
Her request was denied as of April 11th, 2022.
Ignoring the written advice from Puentes' doctor, Union College’s Director of Health Services Angela Stefanatos stated, "The vaccine is not associated with gastritis, which is the diagnosis you received in the ER two weeks after vaccination. Two episodes of streptococcal sore throat in 7 months is not an indication of a weakened immune system. There is no evidence in the literature that vaccination for Covid19 weakens the immune system."
"The committee is denying the request for a medical exemption for the booster."
In the wake of all of this, Puentes thinks she is just an easy target for this expulsion play because of her financial situation. She knowns of many others who have gotten their medical exemptions, but currently Puentes is making use of academic scholarships that cover the costs of her schooling. She otherwise has quite limited economic means.
"Puentes wrote that her expulsion ‘felt personal,’ as she is a first-generation, low-income college student and a recipient of an academic scholarship that paid for the majority of her tuition," explained the Thinker. "She feels that ‘it’s easy to let someone like [her] go,’ because Union College ‘no longer had to pay for [her] education and knew that [she] did not have the financial resources to fight back.'"
The student stated it was entirely "unjust for an institution to withdraw a student or fire a staff member because they have chosen not to comply with a policy with valid reasoning." If she complied, Puentes stated, "it would’ve enforced that what the institution is doing is okay."