One third of the US military is declining to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, a Pentagon official made the announcement to the House Armed Services Committee.
In the past, troops had to receive vaccines on a mandatory basis, however due to the fact that COVID-19 vaccines have only been approved for emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration, troops can opt out.
COVID-19 is responsible for the death of over 530,000 Americans so far.
Air Force General Jeff Taliaferro told the House Armed Services Committee that “acceptance rates are somewhere in the two-thirds territory”.
During the committee’s meeting on Wednesday, Taliaferro told Republican lawmaker Mike Rogers that the military must improve its efforts to “help them understand the benefits”.
The military’s approval of the vaccine is still higher than the rest of the population’s, which is approximately 50%, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
As of March 3, it was revealed that just over 916,575 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had been administered to US Department of Defense (DOD) personnel.
The matter of COVID-19 vaccinations remains controversial worldwide, as vaccines continue to undergo experimental and testing trials and have only been approved for emergency use.
Vaccine controversy worldwide
Skepticism of vaccines has grown in the US recently, according to a study by The Lancet, which stated that “over the past decade, vaccine refusal has accelerated.”
The analysis stated that “the US anti-vaccine movement generally operated at the fringes of society, but it has now expanded its reach through increased political activities and amplifications on the internet, social media, and e-commerce platforms.”
The study also cited distrust of the medical community as well as poor public information campaigns as a reason for the growth in vaccine refusal.
In Canada, three vaccines have been approved for emergency use so far. The list includes Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca.
(Courtesy of Steven Cornfield via Unsplash).
AstraZeneca was recently approved in Canada, and is one of the vaccines that has stirred controversy across the world. In Switzerland, the vaccine has been banned due to lack of data on its efficacy.
Pfizer was one of the first vaccines to be approved for emergency use worldwide, however the vaccine has been denied for the moment in New Delhi. The decision came after India’s drug regulator requested a local safety and immunogenicity study to be conducted.
Covaxin and Covishield vaccines have been blamed for the death of at least 19 people in India since January 16. However, the government has denied it.
No government yet has been able to provide a reason as to why people have died from a COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccines were produced in the fastest time in history, and are being distributed without sufficient human trials, a reason why many are refusing to accept it.
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