I am an admirer of our military forces through and through. They are for the most part underpaid, underappreciated, and do often pay the ultimate price. A good example are the sacrifices from the last 20 years in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have always placed a great deal of confidence in the chain of command all the way to the top. However, today my confidence has been shaken by an edict issued by our current Secretary of Defense mandating the application of the coronavirus vaccine to individuals who have demonstrative natural immunity from previous infection. Although, I am sure that Mr. Austen has every confidence in his medical advisors, he has been terribly misinformed in this regard. It is so egregious, that I would submit that the Department of Defense may be at risk for thousands of lawsuits for individuals who are vaccinated in the face of documented previous CV19 infection and who experience significant/serious adverse reactions unnecessarily and possibly as a result of having adaptive or natural immunity from previous infections.
There is no question that none of the current vaccine options provided anywhere near the immunity and protection that previous infection with natural immune responses do. No. Question. This is intuitively obvious to the most casual scientific observer, and I would call out whoever is recommending a systemwide vaccination mandate to individuals who have previously had this coronavirus. This is the height of medical irresponsibility and is downright immoral. All of those individuals in the DoD falling under this mandate – active-duty soldiers, officers, Marines, airmen, etc. – are not being granted informed consent by any stretch of the imagination. It’s one thing to simply not have the information which is usually the case as none of these vaccines have been properly vetted. The total absence of public comment that always accompanies any FDA approval is a sign of duplicity of the first order. But it is quite another to impose a potentially harmful medical intervention on individuals for whom it is absolutely not needed and may, based on emerging research, be actually contraindicated. Nothing like this has ever happened in the history of medicine since World War II. And those examples needn’t be footnoted here.
A recent summary – peer-reviewed and published in the journal “Nature” in July 2021 – of the science of immunity to COVID 19 clearly states that there is no evidence whatsoever that any vaccine confers the level of immunity rendered by previous infection. Arguably, this journal is among the most respected journals in all of science. To wit:
Turner et al.1 present clinical evidence, from people who have had COVID-19, that long-lived, memory plasma cells that produce antibodies are generated in the bone marrow. These cells provide long-term antibody production that offers stable protection at a level of 10–20% of that during the acute phase (blue line). Memory plasma cells are a cell type that can be maintained for many years, if not a lifetime8. Wang et al.2 have characterized antibody responses at between six months and a year in people who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2; their results also provide evidence for the generation of immunological memory.
In evaluating vaccine efficacy, we should not expect the high antibody concentrations characteristic of acute immune reactions to be maintained in the memory phase. It is an old misconception, when advocating frequent re-vaccinations, that antibody concentrations during the acute immune reaction can be compared with those later on, to calculate an imaginary ‘half-life’ of antibody-mediated immunity. This ignores the biphasic character of the immune response.
The good news is that the evidence thus far predicts that infection with SARS -CoV-2 induces long-term immunity in most individuals. This provides a welcome positive note as we wait for further data on memory responses to vaccination.
So, it does not appear that there is any need to actually vaccinate previously infected individuals. There is some scientific chatter that a vaccination on a previously infected individual can produce unusually high antibody levels to the CV 19 virus, but there is no evidence that they last very long nor that they confer any meaningful added immunity or protection. Again, we are supposed to be “following the science”, no? The scientific conclusion I am citing above was published one month ago. I have no idea how the minions in the DoD could possibly know any more than this.
Then, there is the potentially greater risk of severe vaccine related reactions in individuals who have already had infections. This evidence is mounting. Whether you agree with this is irrelevant. The fact is that until proven otherwise, WE SIMPLY DON’T KNOW. That is a problem in terms of the international principle of informed consent. I.e., consent cannot be “informed” if no one knows the outcomes.
And as far as the military goes, someone didn’t tell Lloyd Austen to read his own Uniform Code of Military Justice where it says on page 6 of the Joint Instruction (AR 40-562, BUMEDINST 6230.15B, AFI 48-110_IP, CG COMDTINST M6230.4G) Immunizations and Chemoprophylaxis for Prevention of Infectious Disease:
- Permanent Exemptions may be granted indefinitely based on one of the following:
- HIV infection, prolonged or permanent immune suppression
- Determination by a medical provider that further vaccination will seriously endanger patient’s health
- Medical, Reactive exemption: Previously severe reaction after specific vaccine (e.g., anaphylaxis)
- Medical, Immune exemption: Evidence of existing immunity (e.g., by serologic antibody test, documentation of previous infection or natural infection presumed)