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Fort Gordon prepares to implement vaccination mandate

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 2:39 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - With the Pentagon saying it will require service members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Fort Gordon says it stands ready to implement that order — but it’s not possible to do overnight.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Monday that guidance is being developed and a timeline will be provided in the coming days.

That fits in with what Fort Gordon said to expect.

Anne H. Bowman, deputy public affairs officer at the post, said the Pentagon and each service branch will need to push down their tailored plans for moving forward and executing a vaccination process for each military installation.

Once a higher headquarters issues an tasking order, that will set the wheels in motion at the installations, and that’s what will happen at Fort Gordon, Bowman said.

At that point, we’ll start to get a better idea of what the process will look like here, Bowman said.

A few weeks ago when the Pentagon set the stage for the vaccination mandate, Fort Gordon said: “Vaccinating every eligible Service member improves readiness and, once Service members are fully vaccinated, has an immediate and positive impact on their families, neighbors, and the communities in which they serve.”

In a memo Aug. 9, Austin said he’d seek the president’s approval to make the vaccine mandatory no later than mid-September, or immediately upon Food and Drug Administration licensure, “whichever comes first.”

FDA approval came first, happening Monday morning.

The Pentagon has said that the military has enough vaccine doses to meet the requirements.

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