COVID vaccines would be required for military under new plan

WASHINGTON (AP) – Members of the U.S. military would be required to have the COVID-19 vaccine beginning Sept. 15, under a plan announced by the Pentagon on Monday and endorsed by President Joe Biden. That deadline could be pushed up if the vaccine receives final FDA approval or infection rates continue to rise.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says he will seek the president’s approval to make the vaccines mandatory no later than mid-September, or immediately upon FDA licensure, whichever comes first.

Austin’s decision comes a bit more than a week after Biden told defense officials to develop a plan requiring troops to get shots as part of a broader campaign to increase vaccinations in the federal workforce.