Pentagon Tells Military Troops They Must Vaccinate Immediately
Now that the Food and Drug Administration has fully approved the Pfizer vaccine, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is following through on his promise to require troops to get vaccinated.
Austin wasted no time in announcing military members must get vaccinated once the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine. He said in a memo that service leaders will “impose ambitious timelines for implementation” for the more than 800,000 military personnel who have not gotten the vaccine.
It was also announced that the Pfizer vaccine will be added to the Defense Department's list of required shots for those enlisting.
Austin said in the memo, “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. Our vaccination of the Force will save lives. Thank you for your focus on this critical mission.”
Troops around the world will have the Pfizer shots available to them from their command. The Pentagon says they have enough vaccine to accommodate all troops, or individuals can also go get the shots on their own.
For now, the decision from the Pentagon only applies to the Pfizer vaccine since it's the only one that has been FDA approved. Moderna has applied for approval, but has not been approved yet. Johnson & Johnson says they hope to get approval later this year.