Health worker prepares dose of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in Panama City, Panama, July 21 | Photo: EFE / Bienvenido Velasco

The Pentagon will order all active military personnel to be vaccinated against Covid-19 from September, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Monday in a “message to the forces,” whose message also applies to all officials of the Ministry of Defense.

In the text, Austin predicted that he would seek permission from President Joe Biden to impose the vaccination “by mid-September, or immediately with the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to the first. contingency “. Full approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can be granted in early September. So far, the vaccinator has only obtained emergency clearance from the FDA.

Austin expressed confidence that leaders and commanders will carry out the vaccination program “with professionalism, competence and compassion.” At a press conference, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said he was optimistic that all military employees, including those who are reluctant to vaccinate, will “obey” the orders of the Ministry of Defense, and that those in charge of each service will apply it with “professionalism” because they know that one of the prerequisites of the service is to be in good health.

Kirby explained that Austin’s message is addressed to the military as a “warning order,” meaning the application will take place and the forces must prepare for it.

According to Kirby’s data, 73% of active military personnel have already received at least one dose of the vaccine and over 60% have completed the full vaccination. The percentages vary depending on the service, which is why the compulsory vaccination will be divided into phases. Biden expressed his “strong” support for Austin’s message to Defense Department officials to get the vaccine.