The Pentagon announced new guidelines Monday that will require all active-duty members of the military to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by September 15th.
“I want you to know that I will seek the President’s approval to make the vaccines mandatory no later than mid-September, or immediately upon the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licensure, whichever comes first,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated in the memo.
“I will not hesitate to act sooner or recommend a different course to the President if l feel the need to do so,” he added.
— Kelly O'Donnell (@KellyO) August 9, 2021
President Biden released his own statement supporting the military’s decision.
“I strongly support Secretary Austin’s message to the Force today on the Department of Defense’s plan to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccinations for our service members not later than mid-September. Secretary Austin and I share an unshakeable commitment to making sure our troops have every tool they need to do their job,” said the statement.
“Being vaccinated will enable our service members to stay healthy, to better protect their families, and to ensure that our force is ready to operate anywhere in the world,” added the President.
To date, 350 million individual shots have been administered in the United States, covering roughly 50% of the population.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.