Pentagon to mandate COVID-19 vaccine, as Pfizer is approved

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon said Monday that it volition necessitate work members to person the COVID-19 vaccine present that the Pfizer vaccine has received afloat approval.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said Monday that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is making bully connected his vow earlier this period to necessitate the shots erstwhile the Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine. He said guidance is being developed and a timeline volition beryllium provided successful the coming days.

Austin’s determination reflects akin moves by governments and companies astir the world, arsenic nations conflict with the highly contagious delta variant that has sent U.S. cases surging to heights not seen since past winter. And hospitalizations and deaths are expanding among the military. Over the past month, the fig of work subordinate deaths jumped from 25 to 34 – much than a 1 3rd increase.

In a memo Aug. 9, Austin said he’d question the president’s support to marque the vaccine mandatory nary aboriginal than mid-September, oregon instantly upon FDA licensure “whichever comes first.” The Pentagon has said that the subject has capable vaccines to conscionable the requirements.

Kirby said the steps Monday to marque the vaccine mandatory are an effort to guarantee the information of work members. Concerns astir the microorganism are particularly acute successful the military, wherever work members unrecorded and enactment intimately unneurotic successful barracks and connected ships, expanding the risks of accelerated spreading. Any ample microorganism outbreak successful the subject could impact America’s quality to support itself successful immoderate information crisis.

In a connection to the unit earlier this month, Gen. Mark Milley said aesculapian professionals urge the vaccine, and that getting the changeable is cardinal to maintaining a subject that is prepared to support the nation. At the bottommost of his message, Milley scrawled a handwritten note: “Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is simply a cardinal unit extortion and readiness issue.”

As of Aug. 18, much than 1 cardinal work members were afloat vaccinated and astir 245,000 much had received astatine slightest 1 shot, according to the Defense Department. Just implicit fractional of the U.S. colonisation is afloat vaccinated with 1 of the country’s 3 options, from Pfizer, Moderna oregon Johnson & Johnson.

Kirby said the Pentagon determination is lone for the Pfizer vaccine.

Moderna has besides applied to the FDA for afloat support of its vaccine. J&J said it hopes to bash truthful aboriginal this year.

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