Austin reportedly expected to make COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for active-duty troops

General Lloyd Austin in 2016
General Lloyd Austin in 2016(Diane Rutherford | WWNY)
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 11:37 AM EDT
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WASHINGTON (WWNY) - Several news sources are reporting that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is considering seeking authorization to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for all active-duty troops.

According to CNN, that decision could come as early as this week.

A defense official tells CNN that Austin is inclined to seek a waiver from President Joe Biden that would allow him to mandate vaccinations before the Food and Drug Administration gives its full approval to the vaccines.

Right now, all three vaccines administered in the U.S. are under FDA emergency authorization.

Originally, the Pentagon planned to wait for full authorization, but Biden directed defense officials to take steps to add COVID-19 vaccines to the list of shots troops must have.

Last week, Biden announced all federal employees must report their vaccination status. Those who are unvaccinated will have to wear masks a work, stay physically distant, and undergo regular testing.

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