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Jacksonville Marine weighs in on possible mandatory vaccinations for troops

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 7:10 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Military troops could be mandated to get vaccinated for COVID-19 if approved by the Pentagon.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is expected to make an announcement as soon as this week on the Pentagon’s decision to mandate vaccination for active duty troops. This comes just after the recent federal mask guidance update requiring all members of the Department of Defense to wear masks on duty whether they have received the COVID-19 vaccine or not.

When asked to weigh in on the topic, Jacob King, a Marine in Jacksonville, questioned whether the rewarding feeling of getting vaccinated would still remain for some since soldiers will still be required to wear masks while on duty.

“It kind of puts to question for the people who haven’t got the vaccine, if the vaccine even worth trying to get,” said King.

In normal circumstances a decision for mandatory vaccination would have to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration, but if recommended by the Secretary of Defense, he could then request a waiver from President Biden allowing for vaccine to be administered to troops prior to FDA approval.

After seeing the data on infection rates, which caused at least 80% of all U.S. COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks of July, King says, “If it proves to work then you can’t [look] past the facts.”

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