On January 14, a week before President Biden’s inauguration, the Pentagon’s senior deputy general counsel at the time, William S. Castle, recommended that medical professionals be allowed to offer vaccinations to inmates. He noted that the Pentagon “has repeatedly asserted in litigation that detainees receive health care comparable to that afforded to active duty members on the island, and that the level and type of treatment depends on and conform to the accepted medical standard. of care.”
The US military base at Guantánamo has around 5,500 residents, including around 250 school-aged children, and a foreign workforce of around 2,200 Jamaican and Filipino workers who work under Pentagon contracts. The children are too young to be offered the vaccinations, but the foreign workers have been offered to them.
As of April 1, according to base health officials, all but about 400 adults were eligible for vaccines, and about 47 percent of those eligible had not taken a single dose. Health officials there were unwilling or unable to quantify how many of those people claimed to have refused to get a vaccine, which was offered in a basic ballroom that, before the pandemic, had served as a living room. bingo.
It is also unclear how many people have been infected with the coronavirus at the base, which is separated from Cuba proper by a minefield. The military acknowledged two cases in the first month, both involving servicemen who recovered, but then blackouted specific disclosures.
- On April 13, 2021, U.S. health agencies called for an immediate halt in the use of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose Covid-19 vaccine after six recipients in the United States developed a rare disease involving blood clots in one to three weeks after vaccination.
- All 50 states, Washington DC and Puerto Rico has temporarily discontinued or recommended health care providers to suspend use of the vaccine. The U.S. military, federally run vaccination sites and a host of private companies including CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart and Publix have also suspended injections.
- Less than one in a million Johnson & Johnson vaccines is currently under investigation. If there is indeed a risk of blood clots from the vaccine – which remains to be determined – this risk is extremely low. The risk of contracting Covid-19 in the United States is much higher.
- The hiatus could complicate the country’s vaccination efforts at a time when many states face an outbreak of new cases and seek to address the reluctance to vaccinate.
- Johnson & Johnson has also decided to delay the rollout of its vaccine in Europe amid concerns over rare blood clots, dealing another blow to Europe’s inoculation surge. South Africa, devastated by a more contagious viral variant that has appeared there, has also suspended use of the vaccine. Australia has announced that it will not buy any doses.
The military managed to prevent a major outbreak there by forcing people arriving from the United States to be quarantined for 14 days.
No war court hearing has been held for over a year and almost none of the defense attorneys have traveled there to meet with detainees due to the pandemic. The International Red Cross has also canceled a series of visits for the protection of unvaccinated detainees.
The few lawyers who traveled there and endured the two-week quarantine said they then met their clients under conditions they said made communication virtually impossible. Detainees and visitors were kept several meters apart, separated by plexiglass barriers, and wore protective clothing that left only their eyes exposed. They spoke through masks and had difficulty hearing.