Soldiers in the U.S. Army may be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as early as September 1.
According to the Army Times, the Department of Army Headquarters sent an order notifying members that a deadline would soon be set, pending licensure from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The decision comes as some prominent Republicans have voiced opposition to mandatory vaccines for members of the military.
Leaked documents show that the Army plans to make vaccines compulsory for all soldiers as early as September 1
‘Commanders will continue COVID-19 vaccination operations and prepare for a directive to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for service members [on or around] 01 September 2021, pending full FDA licensure,’ the order from Army leadership said, as obtained by the Army Times.
‘Commands will be prepared to provide a backbrief on servicemember vaccination status and way ahead for completion once the vaccine is mandated.’
An army spokesperson declined to comment on the requirement to DailyMail.com.
‘As a matter of policy we do not comment on leaked documents. The vaccine continues to be voluntary. If we are directed by DoD to change our posture, we are prepared to do so,’ said Major Jackie Wren in an email.
Around 68 percent of all active duty troops have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and around 70 percent of soldiers in the Army.
The Navy is the most vaccinated branch of the military, with 77 percent of sailors having received at least one shot.
Discussion over compulsory vaccination in the military has sparked backlash from some prominent Republicans.
Massie tweeted that his opposition to the requirements came from discussions he had with soldiers that said they would rather leave the Army than be vaccinated.
‘I’ve been contacted by members of our voluntary military who say they will quit if the COVID vaccine is mandated,’ he said in a tweet on Saturday.
He filed HR 3860, which would prohibit all vaccine requirements for the armed forces, on June 14.
When asked for comment on the vaccine requirement, Rep Massie’s office referred DailyMail.com to three tweets by him in recent days.
Among the others was a tweet from Monday that reads:
‘NO ONE should be forced or coerced by ANYONE to take the COVID vaccine.
‘The fact that policy discussions in the US are centered around “proof of vaccine” instead of “evidence of immunity” shows that science and reason have been drummed out by politics, profits, and superstition.’
‘The military should not force members to take this vaccine… especially not those who have already developed immunity as a result of a prior SARS-CoV2 infection.’
‘No American that does not want to be vaccinated should be forced. This includes our military members,’ she wrote on Tuesday.
Her office did not return a request for comment from DailyMail.com
Also among the bill’s the co-sponsors is Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.
Greene previously embroiled herself in controversy when she compared vaccinated grocery store employees wearing a nametag badge signifying their vaccine status to Jewish people who were murdered by Nazis in the holocaust.
Greene has been a long-time critic of the vaccines, and vaccine passports.
The representative’s office did not reply to a DailyMail.com request for comment.
The bill is unlikely to pass into law due to Democrats holding the majority in the House and Senate.