The United States Department of Defense (DoD), through the initiative of President Joe Biden, is moving towards implementing mandatory vaccinations within the military and has returned to the wearing of face masks.
The DoD on Thursday ordered all employees deployed in areas with high risks of COVID-19 transmission to start wearing face masks again, especially now that a highly transmissible Delta variant is on the rise.
“In accordance with the guidance the President issued today, all military and civilian DoD personnel will be asked to attest to their vaccination status,” Jamal Brown, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary on COVID-19 Vaccinations, said in a statement.
However, those who cannot comply must adhere to minimum safety standards and regular testing.
In comments at the White House on Thursday, President Biden asked the DoD to look into steps to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccinations for service members.
“Men and women in uniform, who protect this country against grave threats, should be protected as much as possible from getting COVID-19,” he said.
Though not yet mandatory, service members have been getting vaccinations throughout the country. As of July, at least 70 percent of active-duty members have received at least one shot of the vaccine, while at least 62 percent have been fully vaccinated.