A COVID-19 vaccine that could soon win federal authorization may offer a boost for the U.S. military: an opportunity to get shots into some of the thousands of service members who have refused the other coronavirus vaccines for religious reasons.
Already, at least 175 active duty and reserve service members have received the Novavax vaccine.
Some have traveled overseas at their own expense to get it.
The Novavax vaccine meets Defense Department requirements because it has the World Health Organization’s emergency use approval and is used in Europe and other regions.
The FDA is considering giving the shoot emergency use authorization.
Military officials say many troops who refuse the shots cite certain COVID-19 vaccines’ remote connection to abortions.
Laboratory-grown cells from fetuses that were aborted decades ago were used in some early-stage testing of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
The same type of cells were also used to grow viruses to produce the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
People who are uncomfortable with the genetic-based technology, known as mRNA, may also opt for the Novavax vaccine.
Novavax uses a different technology, that trains the body to fight the coronavirus in a different way.