On Monday, Pentagon outlines a plan. It requires that from the start of September, the members of the country’s military get vaccinated. President Biden has endorsed it. Its leaders distributed memos to all military groups in this regard. According to them, such a measure is a must to ensure the troop’s readiness at all times. If the vaccine gets full authorization from the FDA or if the rate of infections rises, they may even consider accelerating the deadline, says the Defense Secretary. The Defense Secretary also would be seeking the President’s approval for the vaccines once they are fully approved by the FDA.
Pentagon Issues Vaccine Mandates For The US Military
The FDA put the Pfizer vaccine under review and would thus need some time to fully approve it. It is scheduled to happen by next month. Otherwise, the Defense Secretary will need a waiver from President Biden to make the vaccine mandatory. Biden has already said that he supports such a move.
The decision goes in line with similar measures of other Departments of Government, businesses across the country, and the world at large. All nations across the globe are now in a desperate bid to curb the highly contagious Delta variant.
A number of new Coronavirus infections have surged past the previous high of last winter.
The situation is worrisome in the military. Troops are required to live in close proximity with each other in barracks. This increases the possibility of the virus spreading faster than in any other scenario. A large virus outbreak is sure to affect the country’s ability to protect itself in the instance of a threat to its sovereignty.
The Defense Secretary also warned that he will act fast and opt for a different course. He will also seek the President’s approval to do so. The country needs a healthy military to protect it.
On Monday, President expressed his support for his plan to add COVID 19 vaccine to the must-have vaccinations for the service members by mid-September. He said that the country is now on a war-time footing. Getting vaccinated will help the country’s military to remain healthy and prepared to operate in any part of the world.
The Defense Secretary’s memo was distributed among the troops on Monday. Another one in similar lines from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff follows suit.
The memo from the chairman said that the Secretary of Defense desires to make vaccines mandatory for the country’s service members. He also added a handwritten note saying that it is a readiness issue for the force.
The announcement comes a few days after President Biden asked the defense staff to present a plan to require the country’s military to get vaccinated as part of his vaccination campaign among federal staff.
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The COVID 19 situation is worsening in the southern parts of the country. The rate of vaccination, unfortunately, is quite low in these places. Hospitals are now filled with Coronavirus-infected patients.
Mississippi reports that there are no ICU beds in 35 of its medical centers. Arkansas is witnessing a record high in the number of COVID 19 infections. The daily number of new infections is returning to a high the country has not seen after February. It is now more than 108,000. The daily number of vaccine doses being administered is 700,000 per day.
According to the Defense Secretary, the military has a few weeks to prepare itself. It has to estimate the number of vaccine doses it requires and determine how it can implement the vaccine mandate. It may need more time to address the political divide. The mandate is sure to face tough opposition from anti-vaccination groups.
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