The Pentagon will mandate Covid-19 vaccinations for military members

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, joined by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, tour the Pentagon Wednesday, Feb. 10. 2021, in Arlington, Virginia.
There are four months left in 2021 and we are still in a global damn pandemic. People are still dying and yet, despite having a life-saving vaccine readily available and free, at least in the West, many refuse to take it. The Pentagon, in hopes of protecting service men and womeen, are going to be mandating that the military get vaccinated. Currently, the Pentagon is waiting for the FDA to fully approve the Pfizer vaccine before issuing the mandate. As a veteran, having a vaccine mandated shouldn’t come as a surprise for those serving in the military. The first week of boot-camp we go through a sort of production line of sorts in which we receive damn near ten vaccines if not more. Below are a few more details about the mandate:

The Pentagon will mandate the Covid-19 vaccine for members of the military by no later than mid-September, according to a new memo from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

The deadline could be pushed up if the Food and Drug Administration gives final approval to the Pfizer vaccine, which is expected early next month. The military will have the next few weeks “preparing for this transition,” Austin said.

Last month, as a result of the spike in Covid cases, President Joe Biden said that federal employees will be asked to attest to being fully vaccination, and those who do not will be required to wear a mask and socially distance from other employees and visitors.

Biden, in a statement Monday, commended the new mandate by Austin.

“I am proud that our military women and men will continue to help lead the charge in the fight against this pandemic, as they so often do, by setting the example of keeping their fellow Americans safe,” the president said.

More than 1 million members of the military are fully vaccinated and another 237,000 are partially vaccinated, according to the Defense Department. The Army has the most servicemembers fully vaccinated, with the Navy and Air Force not far behind.

[From NBC News]

I am glad that the Pentagon will treat the COVID vaccine like all other vaccines for service members. The Pentagon is being hella responsible by protecting those protecting the U.S. and its borders. It warmed my heart to see that one million service members are already fully vaccinated and 237,000 are partially vaccinated. When you consider that there are 1.4 million active duty service members in the U.S. military, that is a very high percentage of folks being responsible and getting vaccinated. And that is BEFORE a mandate. I am assuming that the mandate is to capture the stragglers still reluctant to get vaccinated. I also hope schools will start requiring staff and students to be fully vaccinated before they can attend class or work. It is important to reach herd immunity by having the majority of the population vaccinated to get this damn virus under control.

I am looking forward to the FDA giving their final approval on the Pfizer vaccine. At least that will shut down any excuse people have for not getting vaccinated. I still have family members refusing to get vaccinated. One cousin and his entire family came down with COVID after a trip to Vegas. I refuse to be around anyone who is refusing to get vaccinated, including family, unless they have a legitimate medical condition or the they are too young to get vaccinated. I need people to continue to take this virus seriously. I know I do and so does the Pentagon and the Biden administration.

National Guardsmen protect the Capitol

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin

Photos credit: Avalon.red

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13 Responses to “The Pentagon will mandate Covid-19 vaccinations for military members”

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  1. SusanRagain says:

    I am surprised this took so long.
    My family has 5 generations of service in US Army and Navy and I grew up hearing
    “Once you sign up you are no longer a civilian, you are Property of the US Military. You follow orders, eat what they provide, sleep where and when they tell you, wear their uniform, etc.”

    I am very comfortable with this decision. I have been pro vax all along.

  2. LightPurple says:

    George Washington mandated smallpox vaccine. A military tradition carries on.

  3. Becks1 says:

    Good, but it does sound like the military is way ahead of the game anyway with the vaccination rates. And that was my thought when I read this yesterday – that I was sure there were other vaccines mandated for service, and probably different ones depending on where you were going to be deployed? So this is just one more vaccine that, like other vaccines, protects you and the people around you.

    • Agirlandherdog says:

      It literally is an assembly line of vaccinations. I can remember my dad coming home with his entire arm black and blue from shoulder to elbow from repeated vaccination shots for everything under the sun.

  4. Astrid says:

    This is welcome news. My daughter just finished her stint in the Air Force and is now working as an AF contractor overseas. Even as a government contractor, she was offered the vaccine right out of the gate when it got temporary approval, which she took. The Pentagon is making good choices, in my book.

  5. Busybody says:

    I hope the Pentagon makes the vaccine mandatory for contractors and dependents who live/work on military facilities. There may only be 1.4 million active duty members, but there are at least that many contractors and civilians working in the same space as our AD military.

  6. Eh says:

    Finally! I know it was because it was not fully approved but for heavens sake my husband’s work is like 30% vaccinated. These yahoos, I swear.

  7. Aud says:

    The military wives that I know are the most outspoken antivaxxers. This seems necessary

    • Eh says:

      LOL. All of my neighbors are military wives and you’re not wrong. There are outliers (myself included) but in general you’re spot on. Many in my neighborhood behaved like nothing was going on at the height of lockdown.

  8. Sealit says:

    Not surprising. My husband would get a ton of vaccines before a cruise. He just retired and started a new job as a government contractor. They required proof of vaccination. I’d be interested to know vaccination rates by branch. All the families we know in the Navy and Air Force have gotten their shots. Even the Republicans.

    • Eh says:

      Sealit, my husband is USMC and at his helicopter squadron the most recent statistics were 30% vaccinated, 70% unvaccinated. Atrocious. Luckily they just went back to fully masked up at work because of the Delta variant.

      • Sealit says:

        @EH – 30% is terrible. I’ll try not to make assumptions based on military branches. All my husband’s guys on his last ship were getting their shots as soon as it became available. They were tired of getting quarantined every other month. Stay safe!!

  9. Kkat says:

    My brother laughed at a anti vaxxor in our family’s face when they were going on about him getting the “unsafe” covid vaccine.
    He had the anthrax vaccine when he was active duty