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Photo: Getty Images

The commanding general of Fort Rucker has announced that the Alabama military base will require service members not wearing face masks "to show proof of vaccination" while on duty to combat rising COVID-19 cases.

Why it matters: The order, issued Wednesday, makes Fort Rucker the "first military base in the continental" U.S. to permit leaders to "check the vaccination status of those in uniform," the Washington Post notes.

Details: Maj. Gen. David Francis said in a video that due to "the rising rates in the counties around us and some on Fort Rucker," leaders were implementing the guidance.

  • "[I]f you are not wearing a mask, the leadership will be able to ask you, ask soldiers, to prove that they’ve been vaccinated by showing their vaccination card," Francis said.

Yes, but: The order does not apply to civilians, who "must be taken at their word unless the supervisor has good reason not to," according to the guidance.

The big picture: There's been an uptick in coronavirus cases across the U.S., driven by the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant.

  • Roughly 70% of military personnel have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. In Alabama, just over 40% of the population has received at least one dose, per WashPost.
  • Alabama is among several Republican-led states to ban agencies, schools and businesses from requiring COVID-19 vaccine passports to access services.

Go deeper

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.

Oct 22, 2021 - Health

CDC director: U.S. may change definition of "fully vaccinated" as boosters roll out

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday the U.S. "may need to update" its definition for what it means to have full vaccination against COVID.

The big picture: The CDC and the FDA have officially approved boosters with every authorized vaccine in the U.S. for people who meet specific requirements. Walensky explained that since not everyone is eligible for a booster, the definition has not been changed "yet."

How one local leader is pushing for COVID boosters

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

At the Triangle View Apartments on B Street SE, Beatrice Evans, 68, is helping her neighbors get their shots.

On Oct. 27, Evans, the building’s tenant association president, is organizing a vaccine clinic to offer COVID-19 booster shots to the residents, largely Black seniors.

Why it matters: 49 of the 50 D.C. residents who since June have died of COVID-19 were Black, according to an analysis of DC Health data first reported by DCist.