Pentagon Orders Mandatory Vaccination of All US Military

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin| Photo: MICHAEL REYNOLDS/EFE

The Secretary of Defense of the United States, Lloyd Austin, ordered on Wednesday (25) the mandatory and immediate vaccination against Covid-19 for all military personnel in the country. In a statement sent to officials in all military departments, Austin called for the immunization of all troops – both active and retired – who have not yet been vaccinated.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby explained at a news conference that vaccines that have been fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be administered. So far, the only immunizer to have received full FDA approval is Pfizer. The other two vaccines being administered in the country – Moderna and Janssen – are only authorized for emergency use.

Asked about the possibility of military fears about vaccination, Kirby emphasized that this is “a legal order”. “And we anticipate that our troops will follow legal orders. When you raise your right hand and take the oath, that’s what you agree to do,” he declared.

However, the spokesman added that commanders have “many tools available” to increase vaccination rates and to get soldiers to make “the right decision without having to resort to disciplinary action”.

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