Fast tracking the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for a probable military mandate creates unparalleled dilemma for commanders who will face prodigious legal, medical, safety and ethical questions.
Under Emergency Use Authorization, state governments cannot mandate the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in the civilian sector. A military mandate would require demonstration that the military sector had a compelling justification for a mandate. Healthy, young service members are not an at-risk group as they are not obese, not over the age of 65 and do not have comorbidities that cause complications from respiratory diseases.
“In 2008, the federal court affirmed that the FDA, [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] HHS and [Department of Defense] DOD allowed an illegal AVIP program by mandating an experimental anthrax vaccine for military personnel that was not licensed for use against inhalation anthrax, nor approved for use by a presidential waiver.”
The illegal anthrax vaccine mandate caused adverse health outcomes in thousands of service members, triggered a retention crisis among pilots and imposed disciplinary actions under the Uniform Code of Military Justice against service members who refused an experimental and highly reactogenic vaccine.
Commanders should demand to see a research-based risk assessment from DOD on the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. This risk assessment should be compared to the alternative “no vaccine mandate” course of action for a virus with a 99.9% survival rate.
Some of the hazards previously identified in mRNA animal research include liver damage in ferrets, enhanced respiratory disease in mice and ADE lung damage in monkeys. Furthermore, service members of child-producing ages, both male and female, should be informed that developmental and reproductive toxicity has not been established in this vaccine.