(Washington) The vaccination against COVID-19 will be mandatory for all members of the US armed forces “by mid-September”, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement to Pentagon officials on Monday.
Posted on Aug 9, 2021 at 1:55 pm Updated at 2:14 pm
President Joe Biden said in a statement that he “strongly supports” the move and said he shared with Mr. Austin “an unwavering commitment to ensuring that our forces have all the tools they need to do their jobs as safely as possible to do”.
The Pentagon employs nearly 1.4 million active soldiers.
In late July, Joe Biden asked the military to consider “how and when” the vaccine against COVID-19 should be added to the list of mandatory vaccines for the troops.
At the same time, the White House had declared that millions of federal employees would either need to be vaccinated or comply with a number of requirements.
More than half of the American population is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as the United States has been suffering from an outbreak of the Delta variant epidemic for several weeks.
The mass vaccination campaign was promoted by the Biden administration immediately after taking office. But after a peak in early April, the pace of daily vaccinations had dropped sharply.
Joe Biden’s goal of at least 70% adults with at least one injection wasn’t finally reached until early last week, almost a month later.
However, the number of vaccinations has increased slightly since the beginning of July.