Pentagon to make COVID vaccines mandatory following FDA nod of Pfizer's shot
- The completion date of vaccination guidelines is underway
- 28 military personnel have died so far due to COVID-19
- Vaccination rate remains highest in US Navy
Following the approval of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccination on Monday by the United States Food and Drug Administration, the country's Department of Defense is on a path to issue guidelines that would require personnel to get vaccinated against the disease, according to media reports citing statements from Pentagon's spokesperson John Kirby.
The completion date of vaccination guidelines for the active-duty personnel was still underway, the Pentagon said on Monday, according to reports from Reuters.
Kirby said that the federal branch of the government is currently "focused on the Pfizer vaccine because of the FDA approval that came in this morning" while addressing the possibility of similar guidelines for other COVID-19 vaccines.
Earlier this month, the Pentagon announced that approval from the United States President Joe Biden for similar actions. A memo from the Pentagon suggested that the department will require members of the country's military to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by September 15.
Hours later, Biden said he "strongly supports" the decision of United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin's that will require members of the country's military to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by September 15.
He wrote, "I strongly support @SecDef and @DeptofDefense's plan to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccinations for service members. We are still on a wartime footing against this virus, and every eligible American should get vaccinated."
According to data released from the United States Department of Defense, a little over two dozen military personnel have died from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, reported Reuters.
The department also announced earlier this month that more than half of the strength of the armed forces has already been fully vaccinated against coronavirus.
According to the data recorded at the beginning of August, the United States Army reports the lowest inoculation rate out of the three major branches of defense forces ranging close to 50%. The Air Force reports active-duty personnel to have a partial vaccination rate that is more than 60%. The Navy has a single-shot vaccination rate of more than 74% of all active duty and reserve sailors.