Channel 1 Los Angeles
8/24/2021 Washington D.C.
the FDA approved full licensure of the Pfizer vaccine this morning. As also I’m sure you’re aware, back in August, on the 9th, the Secretary articulated that it was his intent to mandate the COVID-19 vaccines upon FDA licensure, or by mid-September, to seek a waiver from the President.
So now that the Pfizer vaccine has been approved, the department is prepared to issue updated guidance requiring all service members to be vaccinated. A timeline for vaccination completion will be provided in the coming days. The health of the force is, as always — of our military and our civilian employees, families and communities is a top priority. As — it was important to remind everyone that these efforts ensure the safety of our service members and promote the readiness of our force, not to mention the health and safety of the communities around the country in which we live.
A schedule item — the Secretary and General Milley will be attending this afternoon the funeral for former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at Arlington National Cemetery. Mr. Rumsfeld served as the 13th Secretary of Defense, as well as the 21st. He also served in the United States Navy in 1950 — in the mid-1950s as a pilot, a flight instructor, and he continued his service as a Reservist until 1975, when he became the Secretary of Defense for the first time. On behalf of the Department of Defense, we send our deep condolences to his family, to the loved ones, and indeed, to the country.