As Biden prepares to vaccinate federal workers, troops get a pass

WASHINGTON – In an army controlled by civilians, the rules are often different for people in uniform. Now those differences extend to v...

WASHINGTON – In an army controlled by civilians, the rules are often different for people in uniform. Now those differences extend to vaccinations.

On Thursday, President Biden announced that all federal employees and contractors on site must be vaccinated against the coronavirus, or be required to undergo regular testing and other measures.

The new requirement would extend to 766,372 civilians working for the Defense Department, but not 1.3 million active duty members, although many soldiers and civilians work side by side.

Mr Biden said he was asking the department to “consider how and when they would add Covid-19 to the list of vaccines our armed forces must receive,” the first time he has suggested a potential warrant for troops in active service. But he stopped long before he said he would use his powers as Commander-in-Chief to force the military to obtain vaccines not yet fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration by issuing a waiver.

The military is firmly at the center of an intensifying debate over vaccination mandates as Biden and other officials struggle to get ahead of the Delta variant sweeping the country.

Military personnel receive regular vaccines, and unvaccinated military personnel are sometimes not allowed to deploy overseas and face other restrictions. But politically, forcing vaccines on the military is almost certain to start a storm among Mr. Biden’s detractors.

Many conservatives have suggested Mr Biden is making the military too “awake” and have warned that forcing vaccines on troops would be a bridge too far. The White House has already been baffled, some military officials said, by the backfire of its door-to-door vaccine awareness campaign and has since acted cautiously on the mandate issue, particularly as where it would apply to the troops.

Military commanders and medics are increasingly frustrated by their lack of tools to scale up vaccination among troops, as they look with suspicion on rising infection rates.

Younger troops were the most hesitant to get the vaccine, believing their symptoms would be mild if they caught the virus. But the Delta variant hits younger patients with more force.

“From day one, we’re all on the prep,” Rear Admiral Bruce L. Gillingham, the Navy Surgeon General, said in an interview Thursday. “My advice is that when it is authorized, we should mandate it. I have been energetic. I’m not going to get ahead of the chain of command, but I think there is tremendous value “in doing what can be done to prevent transmission on ships and at other facilities,” said Dr Gillingham.

As of this week, nearly 70 percent of active-duty troops have had at least one hit. Nearly 74% appear to be fully immunized, according to the latest Pentagon data, but officials say the number drops sharply when members of the National Guard and reserves are included. Only 39 percent of civilian defense ministry employees have been fully immunized.

Members of the National Guard may be ordered to be vaccinated by Heads of State; this week, members of the California Guard they were told they had to be vaccinated in early August or undergo regular testing, as part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s broader mandate for state workers.

“The California Military Department, which includes the California Army and Air National Guard and the California State Guard, will fully comply and implement the governor’s directive on regular Covid-19 testing for those who are not vaccinated and checking the vaccination of those who are, ”said Lt. Col. Jonathan M. Shiroma, spokesman for the Guard, who was instrumental in the country’s immunization effort. Status this spring.

Fort Rucker in Alabama recently became the first military base in the United States to require uniformed service members to be unmasked. provide proof of vaccination.

Many troops who are hesitant to get vaccinated say they fear the vaccines are unsafe or have been developed too quickly, concerns that reflect broader trends in the country. Enlisted personnel are more likely to say no than officers. Military spouses seem to share this hesitation, according to polls.

Some troops specifically cite the anthrax vaccine, which was believed to cause unwanted effects among the military in the late 1990s, as proof that the military shouldn’t be on the front lines of a new vaccine.

At least one other federal employer will have a tiered system of vaccine requirements. Monday, the The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that it would require 115,000 of its frontline health workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus over the next two months, making it the first federal agency to mandate that employees be vaccinated, but reflecting efforts in other hospitals and medical facilities that have required workers who provide care to patients to be vaccinated. Hundreds of other ministry employees will not be subject to the warrant at this time.

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III had previously said he would not be comfortable with a warrant until the FDA had fully approved the vaccine.

On a plane to the Philippines on Thursday, a spokesperson told reporters that Austin “never considered closing options regarding appropriate force vaccination.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: As Biden prepares to vaccinate federal workers, troops get a pass
As Biden prepares to vaccinate federal workers, troops get a pass
Newsrust - US Top News
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