The Pentagon will require all active duty troops to receive the Covid vaccine by September 15, according to a memo obtained by the Associated Press.
Last month Joe Biden announced he was asking the Defense Department to “look into how and when” it will add the Covid jab to the list of mandatory military vaccinations.
Initially the Pentagon said it would likely wait until the Covid vaccine was FDA approved before making the jab mandatory for the troops.
Via The Associated Press:
The Pentagon will require members of the U.S. military to get the COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 15, according to a memo obtained by The Associated Press. That deadline could be pushed up if the vaccine receives final FDA approval or infection rates continue to rise.
“I will seek the president’s approval to make the vaccines mandatory no later than mid-September, or immediately upon” licensure by the Food and Drug Administration “whichever comes first,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says in the memo to troops, warning them to prepare for the requirement. “I will not hesitate to act sooner or recommend a different course to the President if l feel the need to do so.”
The memo is expected to go out Monday.
Austin said in his memo says that the military services will have the next few weeks to prepare, determine how many vaccines they need, and how this mandate will be implemented. The additional time, however, also is a nod to the bitter political divisiveness over the vaccine and the knowledge that making it mandatory will likely trigger opposition from vaccine opponents across the state and federal governments, Congress and the American population.
The Pentagon a couple weeks ago said 70% of service members have received their first dose of the Covid vaccine and 62% were fully vaccinated.