The Pentagon will require members of the U.S. military to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by September 15, according to the Associated Press.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin wrote in a memo to troops, obtained by the AP, that he will “seek the president’s approval to make the vaccines mandatory no later than mid-September” or when the vaccine receives final FDA approval — “whichever comes first.”
The FDA is expected to give final approval to the Pfizer vaccine early next month. However, without formal approval, the military would need a waiver from Biden to make the vaccine mandatory.
The memo comes a little more than a week after President Biden instructed defense officials to draft a plan to require troops to receive shots. At the time he said a military vaccine mandate was not a question of if, but when.