The Pentagon is requiring members of the U.S. military to get vaccinated against coronavirus.
All military troops will have until September 15th to get vaccinated, according to a memo sent by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to all Department of Defense employees. It could be even sooner depending on developments regarding vaccine approval or the spread of COVID-19.
Austin said in the memo, which went out to troops on Monday, “I will seek the president’s approval to make the vaccines mandatory no later than mid-September, or immediately upon FDA approval, whichever comes first.”
The Pfizer vaccine is expected to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration in early September. Should that not happen, Austin could seek a presidential waiver to require troops to get the vaccine.
According to the Associated Press, more than 74 percent of Navy members have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Other branches of the military trail this figure, with 65 percent of active duty Air Force members and 60 percent of Air Force reserves having had at least one shot. The Army is said to be at the 50 percent level for the first Covid shot.