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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 23, 2021 - Health

Benefits of COVID vaccine for children outweigh risks, FDA says

A nurse gives a girl a dose of the Pfizer vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Lyman High School in Longwood, Fla., on the day before classes begin for the 2021-22 school year. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Food and Drug Administration regulators said Friday that the benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children far outweigh the risks for children ages 5 to 11.

Why it matters: The announcement could add momentum to the FDA's authorization of doses for children on an emergency basis, which could happen as early as next week, according to the New York Times.

Oct 22, 2021 - Health

Illinois mandates daycare workers to receive COVID vaccine or weekly testing

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a round table discussion with high school students in October 2018. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced Friday that all daycare workers in the state will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or or submit to weekly testing.

Driving the news: Pritzker said he was issuing the requirement to protect "babies, toddlers, and young children not yet eligible for the vaccine."

Oct 20, 2021 - Health

White House unveils plan to "quickly" vaccinate kids ages 5–11

Charles Muro, 13, is inoculated at Hartford Healthcare's mass vaccination center at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Conn. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Wednesday released its plan to vaccinate children between the ages of 5 and 11, pending authorization from the FDA of the first COVID-19 shot for that age group.

The big picture: The White House said it has secured enough vaccine supply to equip more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care offices, hundreds of school and community health clinics, and tens of thousands of pharmacies to administer the shots.

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