Pentagon Mandates Covid-19 Vaccine for Civilian Workers

All civilians who work for the Defense Department and the military services must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by November 22, under new guidelines released on Monday.

A memo signed by Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks on Friday said the new mandate is in line with the presidential directive issued last month requiring federal agencies to implement vaccine requirements.

“Vaccinating (department) civilian employees against COVID-19 will save lives and allow for the defense of our Nation,” said Hicks. “Thank you for your focus on this critical mission.”

The memo lays out a schedule for the two-shot and one-shot vaccines.

The Pentagon earlier this year required all members of the military to get vaccines, and each service set up its own dates for the active duty and reserves to comply with the mandate.

Those getting the FDA approved Pfizer vaccine must get their first doze by October 18, and their second dose by November 8. Those getting the Moderna vaccine must get their first dose by October 11 and their second dose by November 8. And those getting the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine must get vaccinated by November 8.

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second shot, or after the single Johnson and Johnson shot. The Moderna and J&J vaccines are authorised for emergency use.

The memo says those who had COVID-19 infections are “not considered fully vaccinated” for the purposes of the mandate.

Each of the military services released its own deadlines for their personnel to get the vaccines. Army active-duty soldiers must be fully vaccinated by December 15, and Army Reserve and National Guard by June 30, 2022.

Navy active-duty must be fully vaccinated by November 28, and Navy Reserve by December 28. The Marine Corp has similar dates at the end of November for active duty and the end of December for Reserves.

Active-duty members of the Air Force and Space Force must be fully vaccinated by November 2, and Guard and Reserve personnel by December 2.

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