By Friday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will announce that US military troops will need to vaccinate against COVID-19. A mandatory vaccine policy will cover all active-duty forces in the military totaling 1.3 million service members.
President Directed Defense Secretary To Mandate Vaccines in Military
The directive requires all 1.3 million service members to be required to get shots in their arms. It comes just days after President Biden urged all federal employees to get vaccinated.
President Joe Biden, in a speech last week, said he will direct the Defense Secretary to check how the Defense department can make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory.
In addition, Biden also asked the Department of Justice to study the legality of mandating a vaccine that has yet to secure full approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Initially, DOJ officials said a vaccine mandate might need a presidential waiver.
Defense Secretary Austin to Make A White House Recommendation
Meanwhile, reports said that the Defense Secretary will present a recommendation to the White House tomorrow. At present, an estimated 64% of active-duty military forces already complete their COVID vaccination. In contrast, around 70% of all US adults received at least a single vaccine shot.
In addition, Biden will also require all federal employees and on-site contractors to complete their vaccinations. Otherwise, they will have to subject themselves to regular testing.
Biden’s announcement covers the Defense Department’s civilian employees. However, it does not affect active-duty service members. Biden can plug the military loophole with his directive to the Defense Secretary to make the Friday announcement.
Increase in Coronavirus Cases Prompt More Vaccinations
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the seven-day total cases for the US increased by more than 64% last week. The US coronavirus rate is now closing into figures similar to that in February this year. This is the time before vaccines received their emergency authorization.
With the surge attributed to the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, the US can see increased restrictions to help prevent the further spread. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said that the administration is looking into the possibility of a vaccine mandate to bolster protection against the virus.
Reducing The Unvaccinated Rates
The White House hopes that requiring the military to vaccinate can also increase the number of vaccinated Americans. Despite an abundance of vaccines, only about half of the United States population received at least one dose. If things go from bad to worse with regard to the pandemic, the White House said it may consider another economic shutdown.
Private companies are also starting to require vaccines for returning workers. Big Tech such as Google and Facebook will require proof of vaccination before allowing workers back to the office.
Even food manufacturing companies such as Tyson are now requesting workers to get a vaccine. In addition, Mcdonald’s will now require mask wearing for workers and customers in hard-hit areas. However, the recent surge in cases put many companies’ plans to resume office work on hold.
Watch the News Leader video report that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin weighs recommending vaccine mandate for troops:
Do you agree with mandating vaccinations for military members despite the lack of a fully approved vaccine? Do you think that’s a good idea considering the increasing spread of COVID-19 nationwide?
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