Soldier ’embarrassed’ for refusing military vaccine

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Sgt Ollie Palmer said he stopped acting as a “guinea pig” for vaccines and returned to being a father to his son

Lance Corporal Sean Barclay said he felt “embarrassed” for the army when he was reprimanded for refusing to have a vaccine.

The father-of-two spent five days on a hunger strike in 2013 after he was asked to take a smallpox injection.

The rules, put in place after 1963, require soldiers to have the jab, with the consequences of refusing disciplinary.

Lance Corporal Barclay said he was told he could “beat the heck out of the authorities” if he did not want to be vaccinated for diphtheria, mumps and rubella, but he refused.

The father-of-two spent five days on a hunger strike in 2013

Lance Corporal Barclay, from 16 Engineer Regiment, had refused to take the “Yoshi” shot, which is used to protect people who have come into contact with the dead.

‘Embarrassed’

The 24-year-old wanted a testosterone replacement injection, which is not part of the advice for the vaccine.

He told BBC Radio 4’s The World at One he was unhappy when the military didn’t want to give him the injections because the military “mocks” soldiers for wanting to be fathers.

Image copyright SWNS Image caption Lance Corporal Barclay was told he could “beat the heck out of the authorities” if he didn’t want to be vaccinated

Lance Corporal Barclay was told he could “beat the heck out of the authorities” if he did not want to be vaccinated for the deadly vaccine.

“I stopped my career as a civil servant and police officer, I decided that I could not be a guinea pig for the military,” he said.

“And that to me has been the most difficult thing to get my head around.”

“I couldn’t see myself effectively being reprimanded for something that was within my rights.”

After he returned to normal service in 2013, Lance Corporal Barclay spent five days on a hunger strike, which he described as “embarrassing”.

One of his superiors compared him to a “condescending cabbie who just refuses to be taken on a journey”.

Image copyright SWNS Image caption Lance Corporal Barclay was forced to stay behind when colleagues were vaccinated

Image copyright SWNS Image caption The rules are aimed at defending troops after the 1963 polio outbreak

Image copyright SWNS Image caption Lance Corporal Barclay wants an overhaul of the rules

The rules came into place at the beginning of the 1960s, while polio was still endemic in the UK.

Around 150,000 men could have taken the shot at the time.

The Ministry of Defence said he was not disciplined “or punished as a consequence” of his actions.

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