NEW: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to Make Covid Vaccine Mandatory For All Active Duty Troops
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will make Covid vaccination mandatory for all active duty troops.
Last month Joe Biden announced he was asking the Defense Department to “look into how and when” it will add the Covid jab to the list of mandatory military vaccinations.
Initially the Pentagon said it would likely wait until the Covid vaccine was FDA approved before making the jab mandatory for the troops.
However, Lloyd Austin is expected to ask for a presidential waiver as soon as this week.
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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is expected to seek authorization to make Covid-19 vaccines mandatory for all active duty troops as soon as this week, following President Joe Biden’s directive that the military examine how and when it could make that happen.
Austin’s “inclination is towards making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory” for active duty troops, a defense official told CNN.
If the secretary makes that final recommendation, he could seek a presidential waiver to allow the vaccine to be administered to troops before full approval by the Food and Drug Administration. A Pentagon decision and recommendation on how to proceed could come this week, several officials say.
The Pentagon a couple weeks ago said 70% of service members have received their first dose of the Covid vaccine and 62% were fully vaccinated.