The Department of Defense is planning to require vaccinations for the United States military.
Secretary Lloyd Austin plans to make vaccines mandatory by the middle of September in one of two ways.
If the Federal Drug Administration fully approves the vaccine, the DOD can implement the mandate itself. However, if it’s not approved by mid-September, Secretary Austin will ask the president to sign a waiver.
President Biden agrees.
“I strongly support Secretary Austin’s message to the force today on the Department of Defense’s plan to add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccinations for our service members not later than mid-September,” Biden said.
Killeen Mayor Jose Sigarra said he thinks it’s a good thing.
“Any little bit helps, and I think that we can be grateful that our soldiers are, whether they like it or not, are doing something,” Mayor Sigarra said. “I think it’s going to be good for our country.”
And, that it will make a difference in the communities near Fort Hood.
“It’s going to be a tremendous impact,” Mayor Sigarra said. “A large number of the active duty military live within not just Killeen, but the outskirts of Killeen and the other neighboring cities.”
Other members of the community disagree with the mandate.
“I don’t think it’s fair to require people to put poison in their body,” Fort Hood wife Jessica Sharp said.
She thinks it might push people to use services off post.
“People will be going off post, so things will be more crowded,” Sharp said. “Then are you really avoiding contamination between people because you’re just overcrowding?”
Regardless, military leadership within the Pentagon believe this is a necessary step in protecting the country and its troops.