Secretary of Defense Austin Issues Guidance for Mandatory Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination of Department of Defense Service Members
Today the DOD announced mandatory vaccines for service members. The Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III issued a memorandum for Mandatory Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination of Department of Defense Service Members.
The memo directs the Secretaries of the Military Departments to immediately begin full vaccination of all members of the Armed Forces under DoD authority on active duty or in the Ready Reserve, including the National Guard, who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
This will of course, be enforced at all Washington State Military instillations including JBLM. A spokesperson for JBLM said on Facebook that “According the DOD, there are already enough Comirnaty (previously called Pfizer-BioNTech) COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinate our remaining unvaccinated service member population.” In response to questions they also stated this does not apply to Civilian DOD contractors and “is only for DOD service members.”
Coronavirus has hit the JBLM area, as the 29th death of an Active Duty Service Member was announced a few weeks ago, Lt. Col. Scott Flanders was the 29th troop to die from COVID-19.
The DOD Stated that “Mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 will only use COVID-19 vaccines that receive full licensure from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in accordance with FDA-approved labeling and guidance. Service members voluntarily immunized with a COVID-19 vaccine under FDA Emergency Use Authorization or World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing in accordance with applicable dose requirements prior to, or after, the establishment of this policy are considered fully vaccinated. Service members who are actively participating in COVID-19 clinical trials are exempted from mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 until the trial is complete in order to avoid invalidating such clinical trial results.
The Secretaries of the Military Departments were also directed to impose ambitious timelines for implementation and to report regularly on vaccination completion using established systems for other mandatory vaccine reporting.”
Where to find more information on getting your vaccine
To get your vaccine at JBLM, run by the Madigan Army Medical Center, the Pfizer vaccine is available on JBLM at the Lewis Main Exchange from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. No appointments are needed. The shots are available for all service members, TRICARE beneficiaries 12 years and older, military retirees and DOD civilians.