Pentagon to Require Members of U.S. Military to Receive Coronavirus Vaccine by Mid-September

U.S. soldiers wearing protective masks are seen during a handover ceremony of Taji military base from US-led coalition troops to Iraqi security forces, in the base north of Baghdad, Iraq August 23, 2020. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani/File Photo

The Pentagon will require members of the US military to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by mid-September, according to a memo Monday.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in the missive, which was expected to be sent to troops Monday, that the vaccine requirement will be implemented by Sept. 15 at the latest.

The edict affects active-duty members, CNN said.

“I will seek the president’s approval to make the vaccines mandatory no later than mid-September, or immediately upon [full approval of the vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration], whichever comes first,” Austin wrote.

The memo said the military branches will have the next few weeks to prepare, determine how many vaccines are needed, and how they will go about implementing the mandate.

“We will also be keeping a close eye on infection rates — which are on the rise now due to the Delta variant — and the impact these rates might have on our readiness. I will not hesitate to act sooner or recommend a different course to the President if l feel the need to do so,” Austin said in the memo.

President Biden later said in a statement that he “strongly” supported the Pentagon’s decision.

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SOURCE: New York Post, Steven Nelson and Jackie Salo