Navy could soon make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory, Chief of Naval Personnel says

MCCSSS entry-level Marine receive COVID-19 Vaccination
Posted at 7:33 PM, Jun 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 14:53:52-04

NORFOLK, Va. - The Chief of Naval Personnel, Vice Admiral John Nowell, told Sailors during a recent virtual Town Hall that COVID-19 vaccines could soon be mandatory.

"It's very personal for everybody. It's a very personal decision. It's Emergency Use Authorization so unlike the flu vaccine, which we do make mandatory in the Navy, that's not something that we can do," he said. "Although I believe that when it's formally approved, which we expect pretty soon, we probably will go to that and then that question will kind of be moot."

CNP Nowell said it's about keeping Sailors safe as well as their shipmates and families. Speaking of families he said his entire family has been vaccinated.

CNP Nowell also added that whether someone gets vaccinated or not won't affect their VA benefits.

"Regardless of whether they take the vaccine or not, if you're in the military then we're responsible for your healthcare, okay? And once you get out and through the VA, the VA is still responsible for that and so sometimes we'll hear if something does come up where there's an issue with the vaccine, will I be covered? Of course sailors would be covered, we don't anticipate that," he said.

According to the Department of Defense reports close to 845-thousand service-members are now fully vaccinated.