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Two service members go to court against COVID vaccine mandate

Two U.S. service members who have recovered from COVID-19 are asking a Federal Judge to stop...
Two U.S. service members who have recovered from COVID-19 are asking a Federal Judge to stop the Defense Department’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.(WITN News)
Published: Oct. 3, 2021 at 5:34 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Two U.S. service members who have recovered from COVID-19 are asking a Federal Judge to stop the Defense Department’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The service members, one Army and the other Marine Corps, argue that since they have developed natural immunity after recovering from the virus, it should be their choice to receive the vaccine. Lawyer and retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Wade Faulkner says the Federal Judge could rule in their favor in stopping the mandate, but it remains an uphill battle.

“A lot will depend on who this judge is in this court in Colorado and what his political leanings may be,” he said.

“The judge may issue an injunction. If he does, I’m sure you can expect the Department of Defense to appeal that and ultimately get it to a higher court, whether it be the 10th circuit court of appeals or the Supreme Court.”

Texas A&M Central Texas Nursing Director Amy Mersiovsky says from a medical perspective, they have an argument, just not a convincing one.

“We do know that patients who’ve had COVID-19 do have an immunity,” she said.

“However, the question is how long? Well, research is showing that the vaccine is giving stronger and longer immunity than the natural immunity gained from having the infection.”

A recent CDC study in Kentucky found that people who had COVID and were unvaccinated were twice as likely to be reinfected than those with COVID but fully vaccinated. Regardless, Faulkner says the more likely outcome for these service members and others who don’t want the vaccine is to file for an exemption.

“There is a way to gain exemption from a medical or administrative exemption,” he said.

“Often times you’ll see the courts tell the litigants you need to go through the military process first, and then if you don’t get the answer or satisfaction you’re looking for, then come back to the court.”

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