(FiveNation.com)- After the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin sent a memo to all service branches mandating that all service members receive the Pfizer shots. The memo stated that those who have acquired natural immunity from COVID due to a previous infection would be exempted from taking the COVID vaccine.
In a report last week, the National File claimed that the Biden administration is “blocking information” about this exemption from the troops. However, it is unclear how this information is being blocked since it was clearly stated in Secretary Austin’s initial memo.
According to Pentagon data as of September 1, nearly 1.3 of the 1.9 million active duty service members have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
But the confusion over a natural immunity exemption is clearly a problem.
It was reported last week that Army Staff Sgt. Dan Robert and Marine Staff Sgt. Hollie Mulvihill finalized their August 17 lawsuit against various government agencies regarding the Pentagon’s vaccine mandate. At the heart of their suit is the issue of an exemption for those with natural immunity.
On August 30, Sgts. Robert and Mulvihill asked US District Court Judge Raymond Moore for a temporary restraining order on the mandate until their suit could go to trial. However Moore denied the request, citing that their attorneys failed to show legal basis for their claims. Moore also stated that the vaccine has been approved by the FDA and millions of Americans have received it without harmful side effects.
According to court records, no trial date has been scheduled in Robert and Mulvihill’s lawsuit. Speaking to the Military Times in late August, Dale Saran, an attorney representing one of the sergeants, said that the Defense Department may not be abiding by its own rules in mandating the vaccine.
Citing Army Regulation 40-562, Saran said the military exempts from any vaccinate requirement for a service member that the military knows has had a documented previous infection.
However, this exemption was listed in the COVID vaccine order.
What seems clear with regard to this military vaccine mandate is that the messaging has been decidedly unclear. It could be this lack of clarity that explains why service members do not know whether or not a previous infection of COVID exempts them from the mandated vaccination.
Is it a deliberate attempt of “blocking information” as the National File suggests? Or is it simply a poorly rolled-out order coupled with bureaucratic incompetence?