Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to “look into how and when” the Pentagon can mandate COVID-19 immunization for Troops;
The federal FDA has granted only emergency use authorization (EUA) for the three COVID-19 vaccines, Pfizer, Modern, and Johnson & Johnson | Austin will need a presidential waiver to require it before it is fully approved by the FDA.
- Austin is expected to “seek authorization to make it mandatory,” the defense official said.
- The Pentagon had intended to wait for full FDA approval, but the White House is encouraging vaccination to stem the tide of COVID-19 infections amid the rise of the delta variant.
- A Justice Department memo last month outlined the presidential waiver as a path to mandate that active-duty troops get the EUA-only vaccinations.