Pentagon Makes Vaccination a Requirement for US Troops

In a memo today from Defense Secretary Llyod Austin, Military troops must immediately begin to get the COVID-19 vaccine as the Defense Department has added it to the list of required shots troops must get as part of their military service.

This decision comes after the Food and Drug Administrations full approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine earlier this week on Monday. In the memo, Austin orders service leaders to “impose ambitious timelines for implementation.” According to AP News, Pentagon data shows that more than 800,000 service members have yet to get their shots. Though there is no specific timeline for completing the vaccinations in the memo, it says that the military services will have to report regularly on their progress, according to AP News. The news site also says that a senior defense official said that Austin made it clear to the services that he expects them to move quickly and that this will be done in weeks, instead of months. 

“To defend this Nation, we need a healthy and ready force. After careful consultation with medical experts and military leadership, and with the support of the President, I have determined that mandatory vaccination against coronavirus disease… is necessary to protect the Force and defend the American people,” said Austin in the memo. 

Troops will be able to get the Pfizer vaccine at their bases and from their commands around the world, says AP News. The Pentagon said that they have enough vaccine supply to meet demand. Troops also may go out and get any of the other COVID-19 vaccines on their own.

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