A third of service members have refused coronavirus vaccines, defense officials say
Author: Alex Horton Abstract: The military cannot yet require the vaccination for its 1.3 million troops, defense officials said. Library Catalog: www.washingtonpost.com URL: www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2021/02/17/vaccine-service-members-refusal/
The military mandates that service members receive a variety of vaccinations at enlistment, and often additional inoculations are required before deployments for typhoid, polio and other diseases. But the emergency use authorizations for the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccines prevent commanders from requiring their use without Food and Drug Administration approval, Taliaferro said.
“I’m not sure I want to be a guinea pig, and I really don’t want my kids to be either,” one military spouse told the group. “I want to know the side effects and what can happen in 20 years.”
Rep. Mike Green (R-Tenn.), a former Army physician, said he was concerned about rewriting the statute that prevents the military from requiring troops to receive treatments not approved by the FDA.
The law was put in place because of the Tuskegee study, Green said, a cruel, decades-long experiment that began in the 1930s involving Black men with syphilis. Researchers watched them die untreated and later withheld drugs that could help, such as penicillin.
“We need the full-blown research done before we saddle our warriors with an experimental medication,” Green said.