Pentagon Ends COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate With New Memo; Lloyd Austin Quoted

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Lloyd Austin, secretary of the Department of Defense and a two-time Wash100 awardee, has issued a memorandum to rescind COVID-19 vaccination requirements for members of the U.S. armed forces in compliance with the fiscal year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.

The new DOD memo cancels the August 2021 vaccination mandate for service members and the November 2021 memo requiring National Guard and Reserve personnel to be vaccinated against COVID-19, DOD said Tuesday.

Austin said the Pentagon will continue to encourage all service personnel to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“The Department has made COVID-19 vaccination as easy and convenient as possible, resulting in vaccines administered to over two million Service members and 96 percent of the Force – Active and Reserve – being full vaccinated,” he wrote in the memo.

“Vaccination enhances operational readiness and protects the Force,” Austin added.

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