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Soldiers from the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, prepare Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate people at the Miami Dade College North Campus on March 10. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

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.

Go deeper: Alabama military base 1st in U.S. to require troops show COVID vaccine proof

Go deeper

Oct 14, 2021 - Health

FDA panel unanimously endorses Moderna boosters for certain populations

A pharmacist prepares to give a COVID-19 booster vaccination. Photo: Karwai Tang/Getty Images

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel on Thursday endorsed boosters for Moderna recipients who are at high risk of severe COVID-19, occupational exposure to COVID-19 or are 65 years and older.

Why it matters: The unanimous decision mirrors the FDA conditions for those who qualify for a Pfizer booster.

Oct 14, 2021 - Sports

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says he requires all employees to be vaccinated

Photo: Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said in a podcast Wednesday that he requires all of his employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Driving the news: Cuban's comments come the same week Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Monday that prohibits COVID-19 vaccine mandates by any "entity," including employers.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
39 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

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