Vaccinations Saves Lives

The practice of immunization dates back hundreds of years.

  1. Buddhist monks drank snake venom to confer immunity to snake bite and variolation (smearing of a skin tear with cowpox to confer immunity to smallpox) was practiced in 17th century China.
  2. Edward Jenner is considered the founder of vaccinology in the West in 1796, after he inoculated a 13 year-old-boy with vaccinia virus (cowpox), and demonstrated immunity to smallpox.
  3. In 1798, the first smallpox vaccine was developed.
  4.  the right of government to impose vaccines was established by the Supreme Court in Jacobson v. Massachusetts. In a 7-to-2 ruling, the Court said Cambridge, Massachusetts could require all adults to be vaccinated against smallpox.

Immunization record of First Lieutenant Herman J. Grabenstein, Jr., US Army Air Corps, 1940s. ASN, Army service number; MED. OFF., medical officer; Comp, compilation; W. D., War Department; A. G. O., Adjutant General’s Office; M. D., Medical Department.

American soldiers have gotten vaccinated during major conflicts since the American Revolutionary War and continue to cooperate in a vaccination routine required by the U.S. military1

Immunization record of Staff Sergeant Eric W. Sandquist, US Army Air Corps, 1940s. REGT., regiment; STIM or Stim, stimulant; MED. OFF., medical officer; cc, cubic centimeter; MFR’S., manufacturer’s; M. C., Medical Corps.

against more than 20 diseases such as flu, tetanus and cholera. Military immunization requirements often exceed those for civilian adults, because of the travel and other occupational hazards confronted by soldiers, marines, sailors, airmen, and coast guardsmen.2

Senior preventive-medicine officers from the five Armed Services develop vaccine recommendations for military trainees and other military personnel, with decisions made by the Army, Navy, and Air Force Surgeons General and the Coast Guard Director of Health and Safety. Modern immunization policy development takes into account the public-health recommendations published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in consultation with its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. These practices were followed by every state agency and government without qualm or hesitation. News reporters enjoined people to take vaccines for their own health and for the health of their relatives and communities and the churches and small groups that attempted to discourage people were avoided and some clubs shut down by local authorities–and there was no public outcry.

A medic vaccinates a line of conscripts at a U.S. Army induction center in 1942 (Library of Congress)

There was never a chance of military personnel “doing their own research” nor of anyone claiming “strongly held religious beliefs against vaccinations” as no religion ever claimed that vaccinations or substances within vaccinations “was against the will” of any god or religious literature. Those fairytales only developed with the advent of COVID-19 and Republican propaganda issued by Donald J. Trump who never was in any military branch or whoever accepted military service.

Mandatory vaccines used during major conflicts for military in US history.

The contribution of military medicine to human immunization can be seen in this chart:

Major contributions of US military to human immunizations

There are still many Americans who wrongly believe that their “right of choice” takes precedence over the right of life and health of other Americans. Medical science, the Center for Disease Control, and medical schools and universities unequivocally state that the COVID vaccines are safe and should be used. Fraudulent doctors Texas and Florida are circulating conspiracy theories3 about the coronavirus pandemic, one claim is that Covid-19 vaccines contain microchips that the government or global elites like Bill Gates would use to track citizens. Unvaccinated COVID patients overwhelm hospitals4 and put an unnecessary strain on health professionals who are quitting in record numbers from the exhaustion of trying to explain to antivaxxers and antimaskers why their ignorant assertions are killing people.

COVID patient under 40 who entered unvaccinated

Most of the new patients are young, rejected vaccinations and relied on their own “research” from athletes and actors who are not vaccinated but follow talking heads at Fox News who have no medical or scientific background. It is especially tragic in Ohio, where only 58% of those 12 and older are immunized while nationally it is 64%.5 Ohio is better for vaccinations than Iowa where only 55.8% are vaccinated, while New York has vaccinated 67.2% of its population.6 The worst states for vaccination are West Virginia (49.02%) and Idaho (49.21%)7 where their senators decry “federal interference” and prefer tax dollars are spent on the military rather than public health. Most of those at risk are under 40, with a maximum of a high school education, married with young children, “fun loving” and addicted to beer and (frequently) drug, evangelical christians, employed in labor/mundane jobs, vote Republican,8 and primarily of black ethnicity (in the South), or Germanic/Nordic heritage (in the North); a common characteristic is a history of diabetes or at risk of diabetes, and respiratory problems.9 New York Times columnist David Leonhardt wrote. “The gap in Corvid’s death toll between red and blue America has grown faster over the past month than at any previous point.” Leonhardt continued, the infection rate in counties that heavily voted for Trump are “more than three times higher than the rate in heavily Biden counties.” “This situation is a tragedy, in which irrational fears about vaccine side effects have overwhelmed rational fears about a deadly virus. It stems from disinformation — promoted by right-wing media, like Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, the Sinclair Broadcast Group and online sources — that preys on the distrust that results from stagnant living standards,” Leonhardt concluded.

An elderly COVID-19 patient in a hospital

Older adults have elevated rates of COVID-19 associated with hospitalization and other medical conditions should avoid people who are not vaccinated, underscoring  the importance of preventive measures (e.g., social distancing, respiratory hygiene, and wearing face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain) to protect older adults and persons with underlying medical conditions, as well as the general public. In addition, older adults and persons with serious underlying medical conditions should avoid contact with persons who are ill and immediately contact their health care provider(s) if they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19.10 Underlying medical conditions include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Unvaccinated Texans are 13 times more likely to become infected with COVID-19 than fully vaccinated people, and unvaccinated Texans are 20 times more likely of dying of COVID-19, state data shows. In the September time frame, unvaccinated people in their 40s were 55 times more likely to die from COVID-19 compared with fully vaccinated people of the same age. Unvaccinated people aged 75 years and older were 12 times more likely to die than their vaccinated counterparts.11 Texans who were not fully vaccinated made up nearly 92 percent of coronavirus cases and 86 percent of fatalities in September.12 Unvaccinated Texans in their 40s, for example, were 55 times more likely to die of COVID than immunized people in the same age range.13 Big indoor events like March Madness games remain superspreader threats without widespread vaccination.14



  1. https://academic.oup.com/epirev/article/28/1/3/567796.
  2. US Department of Defense. U.S. Army regulation 40-562; Navy Bureau of Medicine & Surgery instruction 6230.15; Air Force joint instruction 48-110; Coast Guard commandant instruction M6230.4F. In: Immunizations & chemoprophylaxis. Washington, DC: Department of Defense (in press).
  3. https://www.cnbc.com/coronavirus-testing-symptoms-diagnosis-news/?__source=OTS%7Cfinance%7Cinline%7Cstory%7C&par=OTS&doc=106950195.
  4. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/22/unvaccinated-covid-patients-overwhelm-ohio-hospitals-as-delta-surges-across-state.html.
  5. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations_vacc-total-admin-rate-total.
  6. https://www.google.com/search?q=covid+vaccination+rates+by+state&rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS785US785&oq=covid+vaccination+&aqs=chrome.2.69i57j0l4j69i60l3.12998j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8.
  7. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/these-states-have-the-lowest-covid-19-vaccination-rates.
  8. https://www.rawstory.com/trump-counties-infection-rates/?e=idefinancial@yahoo.com&utm_source=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=8195&recip_id=625236&list_id=1. Cf. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/08/briefing/covid-death-toll-red-america.html. Cp. https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/poll-finding/kff-covid-19-vaccine-monitor-october-2021/. Ref. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/11/opinion/a-great-fight-of-our-times.html.
  9. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0243343. Cf. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33315929/: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33461499/ (African-American); https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34463951/ (predictors of poor outcome); https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34329347/ (risk factors). Cp. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6915e3.htm.
  10. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html.
  11. https://www.dshs.texas.gov/immunize/covid19/data/Cases-and-Deaths-by-Vaccination-Status-11082021.pdf.
  12. https://www.expressnews.com/news/legislature/article/Unvaccinated-Texans-were-20-times-more-likely-to-16603388.php?sid=617ac6a2b27bc102150b99c8&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=news_a&utm_campaign=SAEN_ExpressBriefing.
  13. https://www.expressnews.com/news/legislature/article/Unvaccinated-Texans-were-20-times-more-likely-to-16603388.php?sid=617ac6a2b27bc102150b99c8&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=news_a&utm_campaign=SAEN_TexasTake.
  14. https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2021/11/08/study-march-madness-played-a-role-in-covid-19-transmission-upticks/?vgo_ee=ktuC9mRCoUtZvspAr4Fypd6QZkbcADvw0bMN7EHqkAg%3D. Cp. https://www.dallasnews.com/news/public-health/2020/04/24/coronavirus-map-see-every-case-in-texas-county-by-county/.

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