The US services announced that soldiers have about three months to complete the Covid-19 vaccination, otherwise they can be disciplined to the point of being discharged.
The US Army said on September 14 that active-duty soldiers must receive the vaccine by December 15, while the National Guard extended this deadline to June 30, 2022. Soldiers who do not receive the vaccine after this time without exemption will be classified as disobeying orders, may be suspended, demoted, not promoted, reprimanded and even forced discharge.
The level of punishment depends on the rank of the soldier in the US army. Those holding command posts without vaccinations can be suspended or demoted.
US Air Force soldiers must complete the vaccination course by November 2, while the deadline for Air National Guard members and reservists is December 2.
The US Navy and Marines require all soldiers to be vaccinated by November 28, and reserve forces by December 28.
After the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully licensed the Pfizer vaccine, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin issued a directive on mandatory vaccination, requiring the entire US military to submit a development plan. vaccination declaration.
“In thorough consultation with medical professionals and military commanders, with the support of the President, I have determined that mandatory vaccination with the Covid-19 vaccine is necessary to protect the military and the American people. “, Austin wrote in the August 25 directive. “We need strong and combat-ready armed forces to defend our country.”
According to an August census, 73% of America’s 1.4 million regular soldiers have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, but this rate drops to 56% if 1.1 million are taken into account. reserve soldiers. Low vaccination rates have made US officials concerned about the risk of Covid-19 reducing combat readiness, especially in the context of the Delta variant raging.
President Joe Biden on September 9 announced a new 6-step strategy to deal with Covid-19, in the context that the US recorded an average of 150,000 infections and 1,500 deaths a day, and many people in this country refused to receive vaccines. . “We’ve been patient, but patience has limits. Your refusal is costing us all,” Biden said.
Nguyen Tien (Follow CNN)