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Iran Press TV

Pentagon orders military personnel to get vaccinated immediately

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 26 August 2021 1:15 AM

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says the country's military troops must receive their Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible.

"To defend this Nation, we need a healthy and ready force," Austin said in the memo Wednesday. "After careful consultation with medical experts and military leadership, and with the support of the president, I have determined that mandatory vaccination against coronavirus disease ... is necessary to protect the Force and defend the American people."

The order by Austin comes a day after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

According to Pentagon data, more than 800,000 service members have yet to get their shots.

As the Delta variant of the coronavirus is surging across the United States, the Covid-related deaths are also increasing among the military personnel. Over the past month, the number of service member deaths jumped from 25 to 34 – by more than a third.

Meanwhile, speaking at the White House, US President Joe Biden described the FDA approval "an important moment in our fight against the pandemic." He also asked the businesses owners to force their employees to get vaccinated.

"If you're one of the millions of Americans who said that they will not get the shot until it has full and final approval of the FDA, it has now happened," Biden said.

"It's time for you to go get your vaccination. Get it today," Biden added. "... There is no time to waste."

He made the comments as vaccine hesitancy remained an obstacle in battling the virus, with may Americans still refusing to get the shot.

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