Pentagon set to make Pfizer vaccine mandatory after FDA approval By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A syringe is crammed with a dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up group vaccination middle on the Gateway World Christian Middle in Valley Stream, New York, U.S., February 23, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon is making ready to problem up to date steerage to require all U.S. service personnel to be vaccinated after Monday’s approval of the Pfizer (NYSE:) Inc/BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccine by the Meals and Drug Administration, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby (NYSE:) stated.

Kirby informed a briefing the completion date for vaccine steerage was nonetheless being labored on.

The FDA granted full approval on Monday to the vaccine, which had earned emergency-use authorization in December, making it the primary to safe such validation as U.S. well being authorities wrestle to win over vaccine skeptics.

Requested if related steerage might be given for different COVID-19 vaccines, Kirby replied: “Proper now we’re centered on the Pfizer vaccine due to the FDA approval that got here on this morning.”

The Pentagon stated this month it will search President Joe Biden’s approval by mid-September to require 1.3 million army members to get vaccinated towards COVID-19.

After setting COVID-19 guidelines for federal staff, Biden final month directed the Pentagon to look into “how and when” it will require members of the army to take the vaccine. Biden stated then he strongly supported the Pentagon’s plan so as to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the listing of required vaccinations for service members by mid-September.

U.S. Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin has stated the deadline might be moved up if the FDA accepted the vaccine earlier.

The U.S. army stated this month that round half the U.S. armed forces are already absolutely vaccinated, a quantity that climbs considerably when counting solely active-duty troops and excluding Nationwide Guard and Reserve members.

Vaccination charges are highest within the Navy, which suffered from a high-profile outbreak final 12 months aboard an plane provider. About 73% of sailors are absolutely vaccinated, in contrast with the U.S. nationwide common of about 60% of adults ages 18 and over.

As a result of U.S. service members are usually youthful and fitter, comparatively few of them have died on account of COVID-19 – simply 28 in whole, in keeping with Pentagon information.

For a graphic on U.S. presence in Afghanistan over time:

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