Pentagon seeks to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for US military members

As per a new order proposed by the Pentagon and supported by President Joe Biden, members of the U.S. military will be required to get coronavirus shots from September 2021. According to a memorandum distributed to the troops, leading Pentagon leaders claim that vaccines will be integral to ensure military readiness.

According to Lloyd Austin, United States Secretary of Defense, a mid-September deadline could be set if the vaccine gains final FDA approval or if the rate of infection continues to increase.

Notably, the plan by Pentagon extends the time for the US FDA to offer final approval to the Pfizer vaccine which is expected in early September. Without formal approval, the Secretary of Defense will need a waiver from the President to make vaccine jabs compulsory.

Efforts made by Lloyd Austin replicate the moves made by companies and governments across the globe as nations struggle with the highly-infectious Delta COVID-19 variant that has driven the number of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths to new highs across the U.S.

Seemingly, infection concerns are growing in the military, where the members work closely and together on ships and barracks, steering the risk factor. A large virus outbreak in the military sector could adversely affect America’s ability to defend itself in any security crisis.

Recently, President Joe Biden expressed his support to Austin’s plans to add coronavirus vaccine shots to the list of important and required vaccinations for service members not later than mid-September.

The coronavirus outbreak has aggravated across the nation, with healthcare facilities witnessing deeper strain in unvaccinated regions of the South USA. Moreover, patients are being admitted to emergency rooms as they wait for beds to be available.

Sources cite that the U.S. is recording an average of 108,000 new infections, close to 500 deaths, and administrating 700,000 vaccines daily.   

Source Credit: https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-vaccine-us-military-requirement-pentagon-3975940c732352f72e41f6e34a3a2669