Samuel Case, FISM News
President Joe Biden is on the fence about requiring members of the military to take a COVID-19 vaccine once one is fully approved by the FDA. Biden told NBC’s Craig Melving that he wouldn’t be the one to make the call. He would instead leave the decision to the military.
I’m not saying I won’t. I think you’re going to see more and more of them getting it. And I think it’s going to be a tough call as to whether or not they should be required to have to get it in the military, because you’re in such close proximity with other military personnel.
Approximately one-third of the military has been given one dose of a vaccine, but a good portion of younger troops are opting out of taking it. Military.com reports; “More than 779,000 troops across all three components — active duty, reserves and National Guard — have gotten at least one jab and nearly 500,000, or 23% of the total force, are fully vaccinated.”
As the vaccines are still not officially approved by the FDA, rather being used under emergency use authorization, the Defense Department cannot require anyone to take the shot.
Inoculations may be mandatory once the candidates become fully approved, similarly to how the military requires various other vaccines to serve. Defense Department Press Secretary John Kirby said the conversation is being had within the department, but a decision hasn’t been reached.
Obviously we’re thinking about what happens when they become FDA-approved, that certainly would … change the character of the decision-making process about whether they could be mandatory or voluntary, but I don’t want to get ahead of that process right now.