The Pentagon repealed on Tuesday January 10 the obligation for the American military to be vaccinated against Covid-19, after having been forced to do so by Congress. This health restriction, one of the last major ones that were still in place in the United States, had caused the departure of more than 8,000 people from the ranks of the American army, according to the Pentagon.
Lloyd Austin, the Minister of Defence, wrote in the memo ending this provision to be “particularly proud” of the action of his ministry in the fight against the virus. He also indicates that the Pentagon will continue to encourage vaccination. The text does not mention a possible return to the troops of soldiers dismissed for non-vaccination.
Congress had adopted on December 15, in a text devoted to the budget of the army, a provision asking the Ministry of Defense to reverse this vaccination obligation. Its purpose, according to the Pentagon, was to protect the health and optimal level of readiness of the American military. Kevin McCarthy, then leader of the Republicans in the House, had assured that the obligation had undermined the recruitment of the army, the Pentagon replying that it did not have data allowing to affirm it.