A U.S. official confirmed that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will request approval for the COVID-19 vaccine to become mandatory for all U.S. military service members by mid-September.
The official noted that Food and Drug Administration approval may come before that date, but that Austin’s recommendation would put in place the procedures for implementing a mandatory vaccine should that happen before his timetable.
MORE: Defense Secretary to announce mandatory COVID vaccinations for troops ‘soon’: Sources
Austin’s recommendation to President Joe Biden to make the vaccine mandatory will be announced in a memo sent Monday to all military service members.
Because the COVID-19 vaccines are currently only under being used under an emergency use authorization from the FDA, Biden will have to grant a waiver to enable the Pentagon to make the vaccinations mandatory.
MORE: Biden’s vaccine requirement could ‘very well’ require troops to get the shot
According to the Pentagon’s latest statistics more than 70% of all active-duty service members have received at least one dose of the available COVID-19 vaccines.
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