Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said Tuesday a booster shot requirement was “under active discussion” at the Pentagon.
“It is still under active discussion at the Pentagon. But there’s been no policy decision made about requiring the booster shot, making it mandatory,” he said during an off-camera gaggle with reporters.
“Again, I want to add the secretary strongly encourages those who are eligible to get the booster shot because the science does show it absolutely helps reduce the risks of contracting and certainly for those who get it in breakthrough cases, the science shows that it minimizes the effects of covid. So we strongly encourage people who are eligible to get the booster,” he said.
He said the Department of Defense is not tracking the number of service members who have taken the booster shot, since it is not mandatory and not every service member is eligible.
Kirby said currently active duty personnel with at least one vaccine dose is now over almost 97.2 percent, and active duty personnel that are fully vaccinated stands at almost 91 percent.
He said of the total force, including reservists and the Guard with at least one dose, it is almost 90 percent. He the total force who are fully-vaccinated stands at just under 75 percent.
“So the vast majority of our people, and this shouldn’t get lost — the vast majority are doing the right thing and did the right thing even before the vaccine was mandatory but they’re getting the shot, so I think it’s important to keep that perspective,” he said.
Regarding news that the Air Force is discharging 27 airmen over declining to get the vaccine, he said administrative discharges are “common practice.”
“In the Air Force alone in 2021, they administratively discharged over 1800 Department of the Air Force service members for non-COVID related reasons, so I get the focus on the 27, but again, administrative discharges are common practice, and you can see the numbers — the vast majority, the vast, vast majority had nothing to do with COVID,” he said.
As previously reported by Breitbart News, the Navy relieved Cdr. Lucian Kins on Friday for declining to take the vaccine or submit to testing.