Washington [US], August 10 (ANI): US President Joe Biden on Monday (local time) supported the Pentagon's plan to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for American troops by September 15.
"I strongly support Secretary Austin's message to the force today on the Department of Defense's plan to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccinations for our service members not later than mid-September. Secretary Austin and I share an unshakable commitment to making sure our troops have every tool they need to do their jobs as safely as possible," Biden said in a statement, reported Sputnik.
Earlier, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's released a memorandum to the troops that intended all military members to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus by September 15.
Austin released a memorandum to the troops saying the Defense Department intends to make the coronavirus vaccination mandatory by September 15 or by the date the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially approves the experimental injections, whichever comes first, reported Sputnik.
Biden said he was proud of the US military for helping to lead the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and "setting the example of keeping their fellow Americans safe."
Austin said the US military will have the next several weeks to prepare to implement the vaccine mandate, Austin said. Austin added he has "every confidence" that commanders will implement the mandate with professionalism, skill and compassion.
The announcement comes amid decisions by the Biden administration and governors to begin placing restrictions on state and federal employees who are unvaccinated or refuse to attest to their vaccination status. Private companies such as Google have likewise begun to re-implement extra restrictions on unvaccinated employees, reported Sputnik.
Austin said in the memorandum that service members will have the next several weeks to prepare to implement the vaccine mandate. The coronavirus shots will be added to the list of vaccinations that soldiers are required to get, which can number as high as 17 depending on where they serve.
Sputnik reported that more than 1 million service members have been fully vaccinated, according to the Defense Department. (ANI)