Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered U.S troops to get vaccinated against COVID-19 immediately in a memo on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, Austin announced the decision to mandate all U.S troops and military personnel to get vaccinated by no later than mid-September or upon FDA approval of the a vaccine, whichever came first. Now that the FDA officially approved the Pfizer vaccine, Austin is pleading that all U.S troops to get vaccinated sooner than later, according to ABC News.
“To defend this Nation, we need a healthy and ready force,” Austin said in the memo. “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.”
The outlet further reports that troops will be able to receive the Pfizer vaccine at their bases, as well as from their commands globally. Pentagon further claimed to have enough vaccines to meet demand. While the memo has no set timeline for completing all vaccinations, military services are to report regularly on their process.
Austin expects U.S troops to move quickly, implying this should be completed in weeks not months, according to a senior defense official. “Our vaccination of the Force will save lives,” said the Austin memo. “Thank you for your focus on this critical mission.”
ARTICLE: LAURA RAMIREZ
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: MILITARY.COM
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