The military has a 100% vaccination policy. If you are not vaccinated, you cannot be in the military. The purpose is to ensure that its personnel can always be ready to meet our nation’s challenges.
Would you believe that one U. S. Navy warship is out of commission because the pandemic virus has compromised mission capability? Even though everyone is fully vaccinated, some sailors have become infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
This was not hard to predict. mRNA vaccines are good for about six months. The military did not consider this (or were not aware of it) and did not insist on getting a six-month booster shot for everyone.
You might remember that the CEO of Southwest Airlines was fully vaccinated and had his booster shot and still became infected. Unfortunately, vaccines are not likely to end this pandemic. They have a short lifespan of effectiveness against infection, hospitalization, and death. Yes, fewer people will probably be hospitalized compared to the unvaccinated, but the vaccine is not stopping the spread of the pandemic virus.
This warship, the USS Milwaukee, has a crew of roughly 100. It was not published how many sailors were infected – only that they were segregated from the rest of the crew. Last year, the USS Theodore Roosevelt had more than 1,000 out of a crew of nearly 5,000 incapacitated with the pandemic virus. They were sidelined for two months.
I was in the Navy for 31+ years – 16 as a Naval Flight Officer with several patrol squadrons over sixteen years during the Vietnam and Cold Wars. My shot record is many pages long with the required vaccines and shots to keep current. When deploying to points offshore, I was always required to keep myself up to date with any needed immunizations.
I think the Navy (and the military, in general, as well as many other institutions – hospitals, care providers, fire and police, etc. – are short-sighted in taking fully qualified people and sidelining them (or firing them) because of the pandemic. Highly skilled people are needed in all our industries.
After nearly two years of enduring daily health crises, are we saying that we cannot protect those who work for us? We cannot safeguard female sailors from pregnancy aboard ships. We obviously cannot defend our sailors from the pandemic virus.
Our country operates on strict guidelines of the FDA/CDC/WHO and other public health authorities. Yet, what works in other countries to shut down the pandemic virus spread is not even tried in the United States. Why? My first guess is always – Follow the Money!
If a drug that works effectively at shutting down the spread of coronavirus for millions cannot be used effectively on Navy vessels, then something is wrong. Warships are closed communities, and containing and killing viruses should not be that difficult with effective antiviral drugs rather than weak, time-restricted vaccines that are worthless six to nine months after vaccination.
I believe that the rapid spread of the Omicron variant might become the panacea for our pandemic. People with naturally acquired immunity have innate protection from the entire spike of the virus and the overall molecular structure. Vaccines provide our immune systems a sliver of a look at the spike and are expected to interpret the entire virus based on that view.
Omicron is rapidly invading the planet. In most places, the new cases are skyrocketing, and deaths are static or declining. There are some exceptions, such as South Korea.
South Africa is going exponential with new cases, and daily deaths are significantly lower than one would expect. In addition, Israel will not allow anyone to enter its country without verifying a vaccine or booster shot within six months. That has effectively kept the spread of the pandemic virus under control.
India was decimated with the Delta variant and has yet to see any noticeable increase in new cases of Omicron. Is it because of the effectiveness of the unproved antivirals used to control and almost eliminate the virus just a few months ago? I do not know, but it appears no one is entertaining similar thoughts.
Our bureaucracies stymie fast, effective responses. We have a track record of two years of partial success that is being overcome by time because of viral variants. Will the following coronavirus variants be more lethal than the Delta one? We are not ready when all our hold cards have vaccines written across the top. Even the new antiviral pills are designed to reduce the severity of symptoms – not stop the spread of the disease.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com