The Pentagon announced Wednesday that COVID-19 vaccination would be mandatory for all military members, and directed military services to vaccinate members that had not already been vaccinated as soon as possible.
The move followed the FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, which is what Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said would be given to the troops.
Troops with previous coronavirus infection would not be exempted from the vaccination even though it has been shown that previous infection provides robust immunity to the virus.
“To defend this Nation, we need a healthy and ready force. 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 2019 (COVID-19) is necessary to protect the Force and defend the American people,” Austin’s memo read.
“Our vaccination of the Force will save lives. Thank you for your focus on this critical mission,” he added.
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