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Washington Post: A dilemma for the Pentagon as a third of the military continues to refuse to get the vaccine


The American newspaper "Washington Post" said that the Pentagon is facing a dilemma with the approach of the mandate in mid-September to make obtaining the Corona vaccine mandatory in the military, as there is still strong resistance among members of the military to taking it.


And the US Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, announced in August that he would seek to get all members of the military to receive the vaccine no later than mid-September, as the latest Pentagon vaccination statistics showed that more than 400,000 personnel - about a third of the force - remained unvaccinated.


Observers and forces say the US Department of Defense's efforts to force a coronavirus vaccination for all 1.3 million active duty personnel will continue to meet resistance from a cross-section of the force, until military leaders put in place an effective strategy to counter widespread skepticism about the seriousness and spread of the epidemic and misinformation about vaccines.


The newspaper said that the mandate endorsed by President Joe Biden is approaching at a time when the rapidly spreading delta variant of the virus is fueling a new wave of infections globally.


The newspaper considered that the mandate was widely seen as a signal to state and local governments and the private sector that they should follow suit, and indeed Biden has directed agencies across the country to obtain vaccines.


Noting the current security crisis unfolding in the Afghan capital, Kathryn Kosminsky, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, said, thousands of US troops were sent with little notice to help evacuate US citizens and US allies after the Taliban took control of the country. "As we see in Afghanistan, there is definitely a need to deploy people quickly, and they may or may not go to places with relatively high vaccination rates."


The Ministry of Defense did not respond to a request for comment by the "Washington Post" on its efforts to address reluctance to obtain the vaccine within the ranks of the military.

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