DOD: 70% of active duty service members have received first dose of COVID shot
Seventy percent of active duty service members have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine and 62% are fully vaccinated, the Pentagon announced on Friday.
The big picture: The update comes amid initial skepticism toward vaccination, per Politico. In February, approximately one-third of troops had declined the vaccine.
- Democratic lawmakers in March urged President Biden to require the vaccine for all service members.
- Biden said during an interview with NBC's Craig Melvin in April that it would be a "tough call" about whether he would require service members to get the vaccine once the FDA fully approves it.
What they're saying: In a video statement Friday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin urged all service members to get vaccinated.
- "You aren't just protecting yourselves, you're also protecting your teammates, your families and your communities and your country," Austin said.
By the numbers: 226,488 service members have been partially vaccinated and 988,318 have been fully vaccinated, as of July 14, according to to the Department of Defense.