Following days of denials that any directives have been issued concerning forcing active service members to take coronavirus shots, the Pentagon has now admitted that it will be considered once FDA approval has been given.
As we previously reported, an Army Times report noted last week that “The Army has directed commands to prepare to administer mandatory COVID-19 vaccines as early as Sept. 1, pending full Food and Drug Administration licensure.”
“The directive came from an execute order sent to the force by Department of the Army Headquarters,” the report adds.
An update to a purported leaked military directive says that “Commands will be prepared to provide a backbrief on servicemember vaccination status and way ahead for completion once the vaccine is mandated.”
The Army and the DoD denied any plans for mandatory vaccines, yet the rumours were enough for many concerned service members to contact their elected representatives and ask for action.
As we noted yesterday, Kentucky representative Thomas Massie has introduced legislation to block mandatory COVID vaccines for troops.
I’ve been contacted by members of our voluntary military who say they will quit if the COVID vaccine is mandated.
I introduced HR 3860 to prohibit any mandatory requirement that a member of the Armed Forces receive a vaccination against COVID-19.
It now has 24 sponsors. https://t.co/lbqYESmBYy
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) July 3, 2021
When asked about the matter by reporters Tuesday, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said “Should the FDA approve it then I am certain Pentagon leadership will take a look at what our options are going forward, including the potential options of making it mandatory. But I’m not going to get too far ahead of process right now.”
“We are a planning organization. I don’t think that should surprise anybody that we’re trying to think about what the implications would be and how we would react to that,” he added.
Kirby further noted that as things stand the vaccines are still voluntary because they are under emergency use authorization.
“They are safe, they’re effective. And it’s really the best incentive to protect you, your families, and your teammates,” Kirby declared.
As Military.com notes, ‘Troops are already mandated to get 17 different vaccines, including shots against measles, mumps, diphtheria, hepatitis, smallpox and the flu,’ so it wouldn’t be surprising to see COVID shots mandated also.
The outlet also reported that a DoD source said “We’re all just kind of waiting to see what happens with the FDA. We’re preparing for when and if the FDA makes the decision.”