Pentagon To Require All Service Members To Get COVID-19 Vaccine

A spokesperson for the Pentagon announced on Monday that the U.S. military would be issuing updated guidance to require all service members to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We’re going to move forward making that vaccine mandatory,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said. “We’re preparing the guidance to the force right now. The actual completion date of it — in other words, how fast we want to see it done — we’re working through that guidance right now.”

The Defense Department will issue the updated guidance in the coming days.

“These efforts ensure the safety of our service members and promote the readiness of our force, not to mention the health and safety of the communities around the country in which we live,” Kirby said.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin earlier this month announced that he would seek the president’s approval to add the coronavirus vaccine to the Pentagon’s list of required shots by mid-September, a decision that would apply to the nation’s roughly 1.3 million service members.

The Food and Drug Administration fully approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.

According to the Defense Department, five service members died from COVID-19 between August 11 and August 18. A total of 34 COVID-19 related deaths has been reported by the military since the start of the pandemic.

Individuals that fail to honor the military’s guidance may face “administrative and disciplinary repercussions.”

“The public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,” Janet Woodcock, acting FDA Commissioner, said. “Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic.”

 

 

About RavenH

Raven Haywood is a journalist for 10+ years. Graduate from Howard University.

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