According to a report published by the Army Times, the US Army has ordered troops to prepare to deliver required COVID-19 vaccines as early as September 1.
“The directive came from an executive order sent to the force by the Department of the Army Headquarters,” the report adds.
“Commanders will continue COVID-19 vaccination operations and prepare for a directive to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for service members [on or around] September 01, 2021, pending full FDA licensure,” the order said. “Commands will be prepared to provide a back brief on service member vaccination status and way ahead for completion once the vaccine is mandated.”
EXORDS are primarily used when the President directs the Secretary of Defense to carry out a military operation. The Army and the Department of Defense have both denied that mandatory vaccinations are in the works.
“As a matter of policy, we do not comment on leaked documents. The vaccine continues to be voluntary”, according to Army Spokesperson Maj. Jackie Wren. “If we are directed by DoD to change our posture, we are prepared to do so.”
This order is likely a result of the lack of soldiers willing to take the vaccine. According to reports released by MilitaryTimes, between the four military branches, the Army had the lowest rate of vaccination.
According to the latest study released by JAMA’s Cardiology Journal, 23 male soldiers, including 22 who were deemed previously healthy, between the ages of 20 and 51 experienced “acute onset of marked chest pain” four days after receiving their second dose. The case study included patients who sought treatment for chest pain in the military healthcare system after receiving COVID-19 vaccination and were later diagnosed with clinical myocarditis.
Despite the reports, the Veterans Affairs administration is currently considering requiring all VA employees to receive the vaccine. In addition, the Navy has told the sailors that, despite the highest rate of vaccine acceptance so far, the program may become mandatory. The Pentagon has not yet issued any guidance to the services in preparation for a mandatory vaccine roll-out in September.