By Pam Long

Fast tracking the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for a probable military mandate creates unparalleled dilemma for commanders who will face prodigious legal, medical, safety and ethical questions.

As the former commanding officer of the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment of the 36th Medical Evacuation Battalion, I recommend urgent caution for military commanders with orders to have all soldiers vaccinated with the experimental SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

My concerns include the legality of a mandate, lack of treatment protocols and surveillance for adverse reactions, and a research-based risk assessment.

Legal challenges to a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine mandate

Under Emergency Use Authorization, state governments cannot mandate the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in the civilian sector. A military mandate would require demonstration that the military sector had a compelling justification for a mandate. Healthy, young service members are not an at-risk group as they are not obese, not over the age of 65 and do not have comorbidities…