Pentagon set to require all personnel get COVID-19 vaccine by next month

Pentagon set to require all personnel get COVID-19 vaccine
by next month 1

Pentagon officials will require all U.S. military personnel to get the COVID-19 vaccination by Sept. 15, giving a boost to the national drive to protect against the deadly coronavirus but potentially opening up the military brass to more partisan crossfire.

The memo made public Monday afternoon said that date could be pushed forward if the Food and Drug Administration gives its long-awaited approval for the vaccine or infection rates continue to spike.

“I will seek the president’s approval to make the vaccines mandatory no later than mid-September or immediately,” once the FDA signs off on it for widespread use, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin wrote. 

“I will not hesitate or act sooner or recommend a different course to the president if I feel the need to do so,” Mr. Austin added.

The decision to require all military troops to get the COVID-19 vaccine comes after Mr. Biden’s July 29 mandate that all Defense Department personnel, both military and civilian, attest to their vaccination status. Barring that, they should be prepared to physically distance, comply with a regular testing requirement, and possibly face travel restrictions.

But the nation’s military services faced sharp scrutiny this spring after the slow rollout of the vaccine among some service members suggested there might be resistance in the ranks to the COVID-19 vaccines.

Price & Product Availability Tracker

Discover where products are available & compare prices

“COVID-19 remains a significant and evolving threat to our nation’s security. The rise of the delta variant and the speed with which it transmits makes these additional protective efforts all the more vital to protecting our force and the nation we defend,” said Deputy Pentagon spokesman Jamal Brown. “Vaccines remain the best and most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID, including the delta variant.”

The memo from Mr. Austin says the military services will have the next “few weeks” to determine how many vaccines they will need to comply with the new order and how to implement any new vaccination plan.  In the meantime, the Pentagon will continue to comply with the presidentially-directed restrictions for unvaccinated personnel, the Pentagon said, according to the AP.

Until now, the Pentagon has relied on encouraging troops to get the vaccine but the recent nationwide spike in COVID-19 cases linked to the delta variant has caused the rethinking of strategy.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Read the Full Article

Prepare Now Before its too Late

Discover where products are available & compare prices

'Vaccine passports' are taking off. How to prove your Covid-19 vaccination status on your phone
SC Gov. Henry McMaster repeats: No mask requirement needed in schools

You might also like