The U.S. military is ignoring the protection against infection bestowed by having COVID-19 and recovering, according to a lawyer representing Navy SEALs who have concerns about COVID-19 vaccines.
“My clients are seeing for the first time in the military natural immunity is not being recognized as a reason for an exemption to a vaccine,” R. Davis Younts, the lawyer, said on EpochTV’s “Crossroads.”
“So it’s very strange and I think it’s reasonable for my clients to ask the question, ‘Why is natural immunity demonstrated by positive serology being ignored for this vaccine but it’s not for others?'”
Military regulations outline how medical exemptions to required vaccines can be granted because of “evidence of immunity based on serologic tests, documented infections, or similar circumstances.”
But the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which is being imposed on both active duty and civilian Pentagon employees, doesn’t contain that provision.
A memorandum issued by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in August says that all service members must be fully vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19.
“Those with previous COVID-19 infection are not considered fully vaccinated,” he said.
An Oct. 1 memo from another senior Pentagon official concerning civilian employees says that “those with previous COVID-19 infection(s) or previous serology are not considered fully vaccinated on that basis for the purposes of this mandate.”
The Navy referred The Epoch Times to the Pentagon, which declined to answer emailed questions, including why natural immunity isn’t being considered a reason for a medical exemption to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Natural immunity refers to when a person has protection against an illness due to prior infection. In this case, it means protection against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes COVID-19.
The lack of a carve-out is the prime argument in a lawsuit filed against Austin and other officials last month over the mandate. Two active-duty service members cited Army Regulation 40-562, which states that prior infection is a reason for a medical exemption, in noting they have natural immunity.
Younts is representing SEALs who have been told they will no longer be deployable if they don’t get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The men on the elite fighting force have concerns that are primarily faith-based and are exploring applying for religious exemptions to the mandate. But they also have health concerns.
“Ultimately, one of their main concerns is the sense that they have a conviction to be very careful and thoughtful what they put into their bodies. These are Navy SEALs, right? And they think it’s reasonable to ask the question, ‘Why is this vaccine being treated differently?’ We don’t have long-term five- and 10-year safety studies on the mRNA vaccine,” Younts said.
“They’re asking the question, ‘Isn’t there a risk that they’re creating to other people if they get a vaccine that has been shown in some studies to have not just breakthrough cases, but also high viral loads and potentially viral shedding?'”
The two most widely administered COVID-19 vaccines in the United States were developed using messenger RNA technology. The type of vaccine is new.
Another complaint involves nuances on how the vaccines have been treated by regulators. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Pfizer’s shot, the approved version wasn’t available in early September, and there were no plans to make it available in the near future.
“When will the actual FDA-approved vaccine be available for military members?” Younts asked.
A Navy spokesperson told The Epoch Times that, to date, no exemption applications have been approved or denied. The spokesperson referred The Epoch Times to the Pentagon for other questions. The Pentagon didn’t answer whether it has obtained doses of Comirnaty, the approved version of Pfizer’s shot.
The FDA referred The Epoch Times to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services, neither of which responded to requests for comment. Pfizer officials also didn’t respond to inquiries.