Why is anyone in military allowed to refuse covid vaccine?

News reports state herd-immunity against covid is becoming elusive, perhaps even impossible, because too many people refuse to be vaccinated. And that, apparently includes up to 30 percent of our military. Funny; back in the ’50s, when I was drafted, or in early ’80s when my son became an Air Force officer, nobody asked us whether we would like to be vaccinated against various diseases. It was simply understood that this came with the uniform.

It became more interesting for me when, at Fort Lewis, the then 4th Division became part of the Strategic Army Corps (STRAC), supposedly equipped and prepared to deploy anywhere in the world at 24 hours notice. That involved additional jabs for yellow fever, typhoid, cholera and others. I cannot understand how it can even be legal for active duty service members to refuse the covid vaccine. Have they not a sworn duty to be ready to defend this country?

And this readiness surely must include protecting themselves against disease.What would happen if the unit had to deploy to an area like present day India? Would they leave a third or more (the unvaccinated) behind, thus weakening the response? Would they send them anyway and risk losing them to covid?

When will common sense, and the common good, override non-science based personal preferences?

Frank Baumann

Snohomish

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