I am currently an active duty Navy sailor. On August 24th, 2021 the Secretary of Defense released a memorandum on the subject of “Mandatory Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination of Department of Defense Service Members.”
The memo states:
“Service members are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completing the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or two weeks after receiving a single dose of a one-dose vaccine. Those with previous COVID-19 infection are not considered fully vaccinated. Mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 will only use COVID-19 vaccines that receive full licensure from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in accordance with FDA-approved labeling and guidance. Service members voluntarily immunized with a COVID-19 vaccine under FDA Emergency Use Authorization or World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing in accordance with applicable dose requirements prior to, or after, the establishment of this policy are considered fully vaccinated.”
Medically, I believe we could challenge the fact that they aren’t accepting Naturally Immunity; however, this article is directly focused on the legality of this mandate.
Following this memorandum by the Secretary of Defense, the Navy released its own administrative message titled, “2021-2022 Navy Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination and Reporting Policy.” This message echoes the same words:
“In accordance with references (a), (b), and this NAVADMIN, Navy service members will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 through administration of vaccines that have received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licensure or through the voluntary administration of vaccines under FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use Listing.”
The message continues to say:
“This NAVADMIN constitutes a lawful order. Refusal to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, absent an approved exemption, will constitute a failure to obey a lawful order and is punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and/or may result in administrative action. Adjudication will be in accordance with paragraph 3.e.(5) below. Prior to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, Navy service members will have access to healthcare providers to address questions regarding the risks of COVID-19 and the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination.”
The key phrase in both these messages is that members are directed to be “fully vaccinated against COVID-19 through administration of vaccines that have received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licensure or through the voluntary administration of vaccines under FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).”
My concern is that currently, and to the best of my knowledge, nowhere in the United States does the FDA-approved Pfizer “COMIRNATY” vaccine exist. I understand that the Pfizer EUA vaccine and COMIRNATY have the same ingredients. Legally, though they are different. Dr. Robert Malone voiced a similar concern. It seems the FDA understands this issue because if you read the Fact Sheet For Healthcare Providers Administering Vaccine (Vaccination Providers), Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Of The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine To Prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) sheet (Revised 23 August 2021) it states that:
“The FDA-approved COMIRNATY (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) and the EUA-authorized Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine have the same formulation and can be used interchangeably to provide the COVID-19 vaccination series.”
At the end of this paragraph it refers the reader to footnote 1. Footnote 1 states:
“The licensed vaccine has the same formulation as the EUA-authorized vaccine and the products can be used interchangeably to provide the vaccination series without presenting any safety or effectiveness concerns. The products are legally distinct with certain differences that do not impact safety or effectiveness.”
The important statement is that the FDA is acknowledging that the vaccines are legally distinct. Currently, the military cannot be forced to take an EUA COVID-19 vaccine. That can only happen if President Biden signs an executive order mandating military members to take an EUA product.
On the first week of the mandate, our entire base did a vaccine drive for all unvaccinated members. I assume this happened, or is happening, everywhere at all bases. We were ordered there by our Commanding Officers. Those of us that refused had to sign a counseling sheet.
I believe that this order is unlawful because none of the vaccines administered were the COMIRNATY vaccine. Our medical doctors present stated that there was no legal issue because the vaccines have the same formulation. I believe that is false. The FDA even seems to agree. I believe this was an unlawful coercion tactic to force vaccination of military members with existing EUA products. Neither the Navy, nor the Secretary of Defense, can mandate an EUA vaccine. That can only come from the President.
The fact that the FDA sheet even states that the products are legally distinct makes me believe that for this order to be lawful, every member must be given the opportunity to receive a vaccine with the label COMIRNATY.
It is hard to believe everyone is accepting this at face value and not reading into the facts. I don’t think it is too much to ask for clarification, but when high ranking Navy doctors and COs only regurgitate what they are told, the entire premise that the military creates leaders starts to fall apart. Much like Lt Col. Scheller requested (and if you don’t know about that, please look it up), I ask for accountability and honesty. It seems those things fall short on the priority list for the military these days.