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‘Better safe than sorry’: Locals react to Pentagon requiring vaccines for active troops

‘Better safe than sorry’: Locals react to Pentagon requiring vaccines for active troops
‘Better safe than sorry’: Locals react to Pentagon requiring vaccines for active troops((AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File))
Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 9:56 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Now that the Food and Drug Administration has fully approved the Pfizer vaccine, the Pentagon is requiring all active troops to get vaccinated, including the thousands on Ft. Benning.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby says that vaccine requirement was made with the health and safety of all service members in mind.

“The health of the force is as always -- our military and civilian employees, families and communities -- is a top priority,” said Kirby.

With support from President Joe Biden and COVID-19 cases on the rise, Columbus residents say they understand why the Pentagon is now requiring all active troops to get vaccinated.

“I look at it ‘better safe than sorry’ because I work around people coming from any and everywhere,” said Ft. Benning employee Veronica McCants.

“My wife and I -- we’re all for it and, you know, I’m all for the boosters too. If I got to get a booster, I get a booster,” said Columbus resident Robert Head.

The latest vaccine requirement for active military service members comes after the FDA fully approves the Pfizer vaccine.

“It’s important to remind everyone that these efforts ensure the safety of our service members and promote the readiness of our force not to mention the health and safety of the communities around the country in which we live,” said Kirby.

“The more protected they are, the more protected we are as a nation,” said Head.

Others say they believe the choice to get the vaccine should be up to each soldier.

“I feel like if they don’t want to, they don’t have to,” said Columbus resident Cameila Jones. “It’s their right to choose if they want to get it or not. But I do feel like they should due to the fact because they could be traveling.”

While some people may still be hesitant about getting vaccinated because of the side effects, locals strongly encourage people to protect themselves and others.

“It only hurts a little while and then you have a measure of protection. You’re not completely protected from anything in the world,” said Head.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby says the deadline for when those troops need to be vaccinated will be announced soon.

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