soldiers (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Armando A. Schwier-Morales)

Pentagon to require civilian employees, servicemembers to vaccinate

The Department of Defense announced Aug. 9 that "no later than mid-September," it will require all civilian employees and military servicemembers to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. 

In a statement announcing the decision, DOD leadership recommended everyone under its auspices who is not yet vaccinated to go ahead and get the necessary shots, even before the actual order is expected to be rolled out in the coming weeks. 

“To defend this Nation, we need a healthy and ready force,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin wrote in a memo to all DOD personnel. “I strongly encourage all DoD military and civilian personnel—as well as contractor personnel—to get vaccinated now and for military Service members to not wait for the mandate.” 

"All FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines are safe and highly effective," the memo continued. "They will protect you and your family. They will protect your unit, your ship, and your co-workers. And they will ensure we remain the most lethal and ready force in the world." 

While it is possible there will be some exceptions to the rule as plans develop, none were specified in the brief document. 

The full memo is available online on the DOD website.

This is a developing news story, and it will be updated.

2021 Digital Almanac

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