WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — COVID boosters have yet to be required for servicemembers.
In a memorandum on December 17 from the U.S. Secretary of Defense, officials confirmed that doses of the COVID-19 vaccine booster are not mandatory for any Department of Defense personnel.
Officials stated that this is because a booster dose is not required for an individual to be considered fully vaccinated.
DoD personnel are still considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose in a two-dose vaccine series, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine. This includes the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Additionally, personnel are considered fully vaccinated if they have completed a primary COVID-19 vaccination series with a World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing vaccine, or a primary COVID-19 vaccination series while enrolled in a clinical trial.
However, the DoD is recommending all eligible personnel to receive a booster dose. To be eligible, individuals must have completed the primary Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine series six months prior, or received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over two months ago.
COVID-19 vaccines administered by the Department of Defense are available to specified personnel. This includes Servicemembers, DoD civilian employees, eligible DoD beneficiaries and select contractor personnel.
Those who receive a COVID-19 vaccination booster dose from a non-military site are required to provide data for immunization records.
This is in accordance with Defense Health Agency Interim Procedures Memorandum 20-004, which was issued in May 2021.