First US lawsuit filed over mandatory COVID vaccinations in New Mexico

A third of all military personnel are refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine, and in some units just 30 percent of enlistees are willing to have a shot, according to a new report.

The figure is alarming commanders as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the United States. 

Personnel who refuse the vaccine will face no repercussions due to a federal law that ‘prohibits the mandatory application of medicines within the military that are not fully licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration’, The Nation reports.

At present, the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines have only been granted ’emergency use authorizations’ by the FDA.

But regulators and officials say the vaccines are safe and, in the case of the Moderna and Pfizer shots, at least 94% effective. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 66% effective in trials, but is a single shot rather than two.

While it could take years for the shots to become fully licensed by the federal agency, the military may make the vaccine mandatory once that happens. 

‘Obviously, we’re thinking about what happens when they become FDA-approved,’ Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby stated on Monday.

‘It would change the character of the decision-making process, about whether they could be mandatory or voluntary. But I don’t want to get ahead of that process right now.’ 

Some personnel are reluctant to receive the vaccine due to backlash from the military’s rushed rollout of an anthrax vaccine back in the 1990s. 

In 1997, the government made it mandatory for personnel to receive the jab, but ‘huge numbers of service members complained of debilitating side effects’ and a lengthy legal battle ensued. 

One in three military members is refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new report in The Nation

In 2004, courts determined that the government had violated federal law by mandating the vaccine when it was revealed that the FDA hadn’t ‘adequately studied’ how effective it was against the inhalation anthrax. 

Mandatory anthrax vaccinations resumed three years later following ‘further testing and study’.   

Some young enlistees told The New York Times that that history has made them less inclined to receive the shot – even though it occurred almost a generation ago. 

‘I would prefer not to be the one testing this vaccine,’ one 24-year-old service woman told the publication. 

As The Nation reports, ‘the government and military have nasty histories of experimenting on people, including service members, without their knowledge or consent’.

At the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, as little as 30 percent of personnel are accepting the vaccine.    

Brigadier General David Doyle told The Associated Press that a majority of troops are turning down the shot because they believe it has been rushed. 

‘They tell me they don’t have high confidence in the vaccine because they believe it was done too quickly,’ he said. 

Other military members are refusing the jab because of misinformation and conspiracy theories. 

According to The Associated Press, one Marine last month refused to receive the vaccine because he believed it implanted a ‘tracking device’. 

There is no merit to that theory. 

Military officials are hoping to speed up the authorization process in order to make it compulsory.     

‘I can tell you we’re probably going to make it mandatory as soon as we can, just like we do with the flu vaccine,’ Vice Admiral Andrew Lewis, commander of the Navy’s 2nd Fleet, told the Associated Press. 

In the meantime, however, they are focusing on messaging.

They concede they still do need to do a better job in debunking misinformation and making personnel feel less like they are experimental guinea pigs.  

There are about 1.3 million active-duty troops, according to The Washington Post

As of mid-February, just 150,000 had received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Still, at around 12 percent, that number is higher than the general population. 

As of Wednesday, around 25.5 million Americans have been fully vaccinated – about seven percent of the population.  

– Reporting by Andrew Court for DailyMail.com – 

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