The Coronavirus has swept the world and has left a trail of death and illness in its wake. As the pandemic has progressed, several countries have come up with a number of vaccines that serve as protection from the Covid 19 virus. The United States has seen large mass vaccination drives and over 70 % of the American population have taken both or at least one dose of the vaccine. However, there are some who are still hesitant about receiving the vaccine and are worried about the side effects of taking it.
While authorities and medical professionals have advocated the benefits of the vaccine, hesitancy among some portions of the population still looms. Recently President Joe Biden has decided on pursuing this matter with relation to the military. He has asked the Pentagon to consider including Covid-19 vaccines as one of the necessary shots that military troops must take.
Vaccines For The Military And The Legal Ramifications Of Opposing It
Such a move has received conflicting responses. Arnold Strong, a retired Army Colonel who worked as an army lawyer has admitted that his firm has received a slew of calls from troopers and servicemen. Strong’s firm Tully Rinckey has heard from countless servicemen and women who are worried about the vaccine neither made mandatory for them.
Many have demanded to know whether they could oppose an order asking if it is within their rights to do so. The calls have shown a common thread of worry over the efficacy of what many believe to be an untested and therefore unsafe vaccine. Many of the armed forces seem to distrust the government-supported vaccine but with respect to their legal rights, they don’t have an alternate option.
Legally speaking Strong and his firm Tully Rinckey state that the vaccines are considered to be a necessity for armed personnel since they eat, sleep and work in close contact with others. Despite public disapproval, authorities seem to be going ahead with the new mandate. It is reported that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is working towards the mandate of Covid 19 vaccines for all military servicemen and women. A waiver of the federal law by President Biden seems imminent. On top of this, President Biden plans on enforcing this mandate, or federal workers risk facing constant testing and travel restrictions.
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By the President waiving the federal law, authorities hope to avoid the legal battles and court cases that were predominant in the 1990s after the anthrax vaccine was made compulsory. The reasons for the military personnel’s wariness on the matter are varied. Despite being a culmination of public opinion on the Covid-19 vaccine it is also in part due to the government’s mode of enforcing the anthrax vaccine program.
When the anthrax vaccine was made mandatory, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had not given their approval of the vaccine at the time. Despite this crucial detail, the government was ruthless in its inoculation process of the armed forces. Due to the distrust of the anthrax vaccine, many objected to being forced into getting inoculated. A lot of the military servicemen and women quit the armed forces. Many more were disciplined and court-martialled. Others still were removed from service and were made to leave without an honorable discharge.
While some seem to actively oppose the Covid-19 vaccine, there are many who not only support the inoculation drive but have also taken all the necessary doses. They are worried that living in such close quarters with others can prove to be fatal for their health. Some have stated that the vaccination mandate will be a welcome change as it is not possible to work with others who are not vaccinated and escape the virus.