Thousands of U.S. military personnel refuse to be given the vaccine against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Air Force Maj. Gen. Jeff Taliaferro, vice director of operations for the Joint Staff, told Congress on Wednesday that “very early data” suggests that just up to two-thirds of the service members offered the vaccine have accepted.
“We’re still struggling with what is the messaging and how do we influence people to opt-in for the vaccine,” said Brig. Gen. Edward Bailey, the surgeon for Army Forces Command. He said that just 30% have agreed to take the vaccine in some units, while others are between 50% and 70%. Forces Command oversees major Army units, encompassing about 750,000 Army, Reserve, and National Guard soldiers at 15 bases.
Professor Ian Frazer from the University of Queensland was involved in developing a vaccine against the human papillomavirus that causes cervical cancer, and it took several years to develop.
He said last year it is a challenge to make a safe vaccine for a virus such as the CCP virus, as any virus that affects the upper respiratory tract is hard for the immune system to target, reports the ABC.
“It’s a separate immune system, if you like, which isn’t easily accessible by vaccine technology,” Professor Frazer told the Health Report.
The body’s immune system regards the upper respiratory tract as a separate system,
“It’s a bit like trying to get a vaccine to kill a virus on the surface of your skin,” said Frazer.
“One of the problems with corona vaccines in the past has been that when the immune response does cross over to where the virus-infected cells are, it actually increases the pathology rather than reducing it,” Professor Frazer said.
“So that immunisation with SARS corona vaccine caused, in animals, inflammation in the lungs which wouldn’t otherwise have been there if the vaccine hadn’t been given.”
To manufacture a new vaccine is no easy matter, said Larisa Labzin, an immunologist from the University of Queensland.
“For each virus or different bacterium that causes a disease, we need a different vaccine because the immune response that’s mounted is different,” Dr. Labzin told ABC Science in April.
Resistance against the new vaccine from the military happens at the wrong time for the Biden administration, as troops are being deployed across the U.S. to administer the vaccine at various centers. The government is looking to American forces to set the example by having the vaccines themselves, reports NewsMax.
“We cannot make it mandatory yet,” Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, commander of the Navy’s 2nd Fleet, said last week. “I can tell you we’re probably going to make it mandatory as soon as we can, just like we do with the flu vaccine.”