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Department of Defense Settles COVID-19 Lawsuits

The Department of Defense has settled two lawsuits challenging the DoD COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The settlement happened in a federal court in Florida and, according to some sources, spells the “end” of the military’s COVID vaccination mandate.

However, the technical end of the DoD COVID-19 mandate actually happened thanks to a 2021 DoD memorandum, which the DoD official site says ended the requirement “that members of the Armed Forces under DoD authority be vaccinated against COVID-19.”

When Was the COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Repealed?

The lawsuits mentioned above do not affect the state of current policy regarding COVID-19 vaccinations. Why? Because DoD was required to rescind the mandate via the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023.

The outcomes of the lawsuits only further solidify the DoD position on COVID vaccination mandates; they are no longer applicable and are likely never to return, at least not in the form addressed by the courts and the 2023 NDAA.

Why the Vaccine Controversy?

Army Times reported on various lawsuits by troops who allege they were denied religious exemptions for the vaccination. Several lawsuits were brought by those later dismissed from the military for refusing to follow the vaccination order.

Those were typically general discharges, which can be appealed and upgraded if circumstances warrant it. Those dismissed for refusing the COVID vaccination may also be permitted to rejoin the military.

Army Times reports approximately 17,000 service members refused the vaccine, with roughly 8,000 discharged. Religious exemptions from vaccinations in the military seem to be rare, but for COVID-19, there were many more applications for such exemptions than usual.

Related: What Military Discharge Qualifies For VA Benefits?

Was the COVID-19 Vaccination Experimental?

Army Times published an article about the court case, noting a quote by the legal representation of the plaintiffs in one of the COVID-19 lawsuits, who said, “Our heroic service members can no longer be forced to take this experimental jab…”

But lawyers are not clinicians. Degreed professionals with training, experience, and context in the scientific community take exception to the notion that the COVID-19 vaccination is experimental and that the entire United States population was part of a reckless trial of an unproven medicine.

A fact-checking feature on Reuters.com, an international news agency that’s been operating since 1851 (that is not a misprint) notes, “Claims that COVID-19 vaccines are ‘experimental’, have skipped animal testing and have not completed initial research trials are false.”

The Centers for Disease Control also weighed in, noting, “Nearly all the ingredients in COVID-19 vaccines are also ingredients in many foods – fats, sugars, and salts” adding, “None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain ingredients like preservatives, tissues (such as aborted fetal cells), antibiotics, food proteins, medicines, latex, or metals.”

Did you know you can see what ingredients are and what ingredients are not in Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Novavax COVID-19 vaccines?

During the worst of the COVID-19 global pandemic, more than 740 thousand military members, contractors, and DoD civilians were diagnosed with COVID-19. Of that number, more than 6500 were hospitalized and there were 690 deaths from COVID-19.

About the author

Editor-in-Chief | + posts

Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.