Dr. J. Michael Vila - Alberta Children's Hospital Pediatrician - Open Letter to AHS

Re: COVID Vaccine Mandate

Written as a letter to Alberta Health Services on September 21, 2021. Click to download it.

We need more BRAVE doctor whistleblowers like Dr. Vila to come forward and speak out about what is really going on inside our publicly-funded medical institutions around cases, capacity utilization, and of course the vaccines and associated mandates. Thank you Dr. Vila for speaking up and putting it all on the line.


J. Michael Vila, M.D., F.R.C.P.C. Alberta Children's Hospital Pediatrician

To Whom It May Concern,

I am not an “anti-vaxxer”. I am not a conspiracy theorist. I agree with, and abide by public health measures that can reduce the COVID burden on the community and on health care. Furthermore, in my position as a hospital-based pediatrician for 11 plus years, I have consistently and successfully advocated for children to be vaccinated when their parents are hesitant to do so, often educating them about the risks and benefits of vaccines and correcting any misinformation they may have. That being said, I am strongly opposed to the vaccine mandate that AHS has put forth.

I am hospital-based pediatrician who consistently uses evidence to support my medical decision-making and provide the best care to the patients I care for. I am a father of four amazing boys. And every day, I work as hard as possible to be the best pediatrician and father I can be. These are my raisons d’être. I have received every vaccine available to me since birth, including influenza vaccines annually. My boys, aged 7-13, have also received every vaccine, including influenza annually, not because they’re high risk, but because the science is clear that the benefit outweighs the risk. And this is how most of us practice medicine. We look to the gold standard if one exists, we search and critically analyze the evidence where it exists, and we balance the risks and benefits of every investigation and treatment we offer. I practice medicine this way, and teach my children to use this method in their lives to help guide their decision-making.

Once the various iterations of the COVID vaccine were announced, I was hopeful of a return to normalcy from the times pre-COVID, as did most people. However, I was reticent given the paucity of long-term data regarding the safety of these vaccines, especially in children. I was simultaneously weighing the risk of me getting COVID vs the risk of novel mRNA vaccines. This is why I hadn’t been vaccinated at the outset of vaccine availability. The more I read the data, the more hesitant I was. Until I decided, based on my review of the literature, in a very informed way that I was taught throughout medical school and residency, that my risk from COVID was significantly less than the risk from the vaccines. That was my personal choice, and an informed and educated one. I work at Alberta Children’s Hospital, and I would be remiss to not mention that the care of my patients obviously play a role in this decision-making also. Should we have seen a large volume of hospitalizations within the pediatric population, or if it had been obvious and supported by the evidence that being vaccinated reduced transmissibility to my patients, I would have adjusted my decision to reflect that. But the more I read the data, the more I realized that not to be the case, so I remained steadfast in my decision to not get this novel vaccine. When it was announced that COVID vaccines would be mandatory within Alberta, I was shocked. Nevertheless, the emergence of the DELTA variant resulting in increasing hospitalizations and severe disease, in conjunction with this mandate, provided me with the opportunity to further review the latest data. The data is clear in not supporting such a mandate and I will explain this below.

I recognize that this goes against public perception and more importantly, places me in the minority of physicians that have gone above and beyond listening to epidemiologists and other experts and have looked at the data myself. This stance risks my professional reputation among my colleagues who think everyone should be vaccinated but have neither the time, nor the energy to review the evidence themselves. That I am risking being unable to work in what I have always thought of as a dream, with the population I’m caring for, being able to teach medical students and residents, in this hospital environment which I absolutely love for the people who make this institution truly amazing, should highlight the level of dedication I have to this cause and the emphasis I am placing on it.

I will demonstrate below that natural immunity is far superior to vaccine immunity in terms of future infection risk, discuss the risk of transmission between those vaccinated and unvaccinated, and then show vaccine effectiveness and adverse event data. I will then discuss 2 potential disastrous adverse consequences of the vaccine with respect to Antibody-Dependent Enhancement and biodistribution data. Lastly, because I am a hospital-based pediatrician and have always been an advocate for the pediatric population, I will demonstrate why this vaccine should not be administered to the pediatric population as the risks, including long-term risks, far outweigh any potential benefits.

Natural immunity vs vaccine coverage

In Israel, the largest real-world study looking at natural vs vaccine-induced immunity had over 32,000 participants, half of whom were unvaccinated, and compared their rates of re-infection vs the other half who were vaccinated and had breakthrough infections, adjusting for the time the infection/vaccine took place, ensuring all were in Jan/Feb 2021. After adjusting for comorbidities, there is a 13.06-fold increased risk of breakthrough infection (vaccinated) vs re-infection (previous infection) in the asymptomatic group. When looking at symptomatic groups, the difference is even higher, demonstrating a 27.02-fold increased risk of breakthrough infection vs re-infection. When not adjusting for time of first exposure to either vaccine or first infection (ie. infection occurring anytime between March 2020 and Feb 2021), the results still favored natural immunity, showing a 5.96-fold increased risk of breakthrough infection vs re-infection, and 7.13-fold increased risk in the symptomatic breakthrough group compared to the symptomatic re-infected group. Adding one dose of the vaccine after being infected, resulted in a meagre (and not statistically significant) 0.53-fold decreased risk of re-infection in the 1-dose vaccine group.1

This is why in Israel, one of the first countries to implement widespread immunizations, develop one of the most robust contact tracing systems, and implement vaccine passports, their passport includes those who are vaccinated and also those who have recovered from the virus, thereby demonstrating that natural immunity can be just as protective, if not more protective than the vaccine.2 The European Union similarly accepts evidence of previous infection as immunity in its digital COVID certificate.3

Furthermore, in Qatar, a study following 43,000 antibody positive individuals over 35 weeks, documented that the efficacy of a previous natural COVID infection against re-infection is between 93-99%.4

The NIH and WHO both independently report that this protection from natural immunity last for at least 6-8 months (8 months is the longest period studied to date).5-6


I cannot know for certain the impetus for the vaccine mandate within AHS. I would hope that the mandate was invoked to protect the patient population that we care for, with the notion that bei