The Pentagon has authorized nearly 50 top civilian and military leaders to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the coming weeks to prove to the shots are safe and effective.
In a memo to senior leaders, Deputy Defence Secretary David Norquist laid out specific vaccine allowances for the heads of the military services and combatant commands around the world.
“It is critical that leaders play an active role in promoting the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination to ensure maximum voluntary participation in the vaccination effort,” said Norquist in the memo obtained on December 18 by The Associated Press.
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The memo signed on December 17 said department leaders may receive what he called “show of confidence” vaccines as a “strategic messaging tool” between now and January 15.
Acting Defence Secretary Christopher Miller got his vaccine on December 14, the day it was first rolled out. Frontline healthcare workers at military installations have started getting vaccines.
Other senior leaders who will get the vaccine are Norquist, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as his vice chairman, Gen. John Hyten, and Senior Enlisted Advisor Ramón Colón-López.