Austin urges military to take COVID-19 vaccine as refusals persist

“You’ll see that these vaccines have undergone intensive safety monitoring,” Austin tells service members in the video after urging them to read the CDC and Defense.gov websites.

“You’ll see that they are safe and they are effective. And you’ll see that millions of your fellow citizens have already taken them with little to no side effects,” he continued.

The department has grappled with undisclosed thousands of service members refusing to take the vaccine, from nuclear operators to deployed soldiers in war zones.