UPDATED 3:41 PM PT – Monday, August 9, 2021
The Pentagon announced requirements for all members of the military to get the COVID-19 vaccine by September 15. In a memo sent to Department of Defense employees on Monday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he would seek Joe Biden’s approval to mandate vaccines for all active duty troops.
Austin added he would not hesitate to move up the deadline in infections continued to rise. He added if the FDA gave final approval of the vaccines earlier than expected, the deadline could also be pushed to an earlier date.
To defend this Nation, we need a healthy and ready Force. All FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines are safe and highly effective. They will protect us, and they will ensure we remain the most lethal and ready force in the world. (2/2) pic.twitter.com/R7q8bshAs5
— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) August 9, 2021
The decision comes just days after Biden announced all federal employees to either be vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing. Biden would have to give final approval for the military mandate.