Pentagon to mandate COVID-19 vaccine, as Pfizer is approved

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Pentagon says it will require service members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine now that the Pfizer vaccine has received full approval. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby says that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is making good on his vow earlier this month to require the shots once the Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine.

"So now that the Pfizer vaccine has been approved, the department is prepared to issue updated guidance requiring all service members to be vaccinated," Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said. "The health of the force is, as always, our military and our civilian employees, families and communities is a top priority, as it was important to remind everyone that these efforts ensure the safety of our service members and promote the readiness of our force, not to mention the health and safety of the communities around the country in which we live."

Kirby said guidance is being developed and a timeline will be provided in the coming days.