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Biden orders Pentagon to plan for mandatory coronavirus vaccines for troops, but the shots remain voluntary for now

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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday directed the Pentagon to consider how and when they will require troops to receive the coronavirus vaccine but stopped short of mandating the shots as the vaccines remain under emergency-use authorization by the Federal Drug Administration.

Though the military requires troops to receive many vaccinations, federal law prohibits the Pentagon from mandating those without full FDA approval. The president has the authority to bypass the restriction and require troops to get the shot, but Biden has not done so.

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