Soldiers in the United States, beginning as soon as Sept may be forced to take the COVID-19 vaccine shots.
According to the Army Times, the Department of Army Headquarters delivered an order to members alerting them that a deadline will be established soon, pending FDA approval.
The decision comes as several prominent Republicans have expressed objection to military troops being required to receive vaccinations.
Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) are two of the 24 House co-sponsors of a measure that would outlaw these sorts of military obligations.
Army Times said in report, “Commanders will continue COVID-19 vaccination operations and prepare for a directive to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for service members [on or around] 01 September 2021, pending full FDA licensure.
“Commands will be prepared to provide a backbrief on servicemember vaccination status and way ahead for completion once the vaccine is mandated,” the report adds.
“As a matter of policy we do not comment on leaked documents. The vaccine continues to be voluntary. If we are directed by DoD to change our posture, we are prepared to do so.”
Around 68% of all active duty troops and 70% of Army personnel have received one dose of COVID-19 vaccination.
With 77% of sailors having gotten at least one vaccination, the Navy is the most vaccinated branch of the military.
COVID-19 vaccinations may be required in the near future for both Veterans Affairs workers and Navy sailors.
Some prominent Republicans have reacted angrily to discussions of mandatory vaccination in the military.
Massie later tweeted that his disagreement of the regulations stemmed from conversations with troops who stated that they would rather quit the Army than be vaccinated.
In a tweet on Saturday July 3, he stated, “I’ve been contacted by members of our voluntary military who say they will quit if the COVID vaccine is mandated.”
On June 14, he submitted HR 3860, which would repeal all vaccination mandates for the military.
Among the others was a Monday tweet saying, “NO ONE should be forced or coerced by ANYONE to take the COVID vaccine. The fact that policy discussions in the US are centered around “proof of vaccine” instead of ‘evidence of immunity’ shows that science and reason have been drummed out by politics, profits, and superstition.'”
The third tweet featured a link to a Service.com story detailing 23 incidences of heart inflammation among 436,000 vaccinated military personnel, along with the following message, “Military personnel should not be forced to take this vaccination … Especially not those who have gained immunity to SARS-CoV2 as a result of a previous illness.”
Boebert, a longstanding opponent of vaccination mandates even before the vaccines were available, turned to Twitter to express her displeasure with the planned mandate.
“No American that does not want to be vaccinated should be forced,” she wrote, “This includes our military members.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) previously sparked outrage when she made a comparison between vaccinated grocery shop employees wearing a nametag badge indicating their vaccination status and Jews killed by Nazis during the Holocaust.
“Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s forced Jewish people to wear a gold star,” she said in a May tweet that included a link to a report about the grocery shop.
According to Military Times, those U.S. troops who refused the vaccinations (especially Anthrax) face consequences ranging from nonjudicial penalty, loss of rank and pay, to career-ending dishonorable discharges and time in a military brig. In the last 20 years, some veterans have been able to have their service records repaired, but many cases are still pending before military record correction committees. Many judges declined to accept veterans’ petitions for appeals based on the 2004 court order, which suspended the military’s forced Anthrax vaccination program and ruled the preceding six years of vaccine administration unlawful.