Full List of Vaccines Mandated by the U.S. Military

Over the summer, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced that it would make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for service members amid a surge in infections driven by the Delta variant.

It came shortly after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine and following a spike in virus-related deaths in the military.

Vaccination deadlines vary depending on the military branch. Active duty Air Force personnel must be fully vaccinated by November 2, while the Navy's deadline for active duty personnel is November 28. The Army's deadline is December 15.

But the vaccine mandate has led to some service members declaring on camera that they are refusing to get the shot, despite the risk that they may face discipline or even be discharged for failing to comply without an approved exemption.

The DoD already administers 17 different vaccines to service members—outlined in the "Joint Regulation on Immunization and Chemoprophylaxis for the Prevention of Infectious Diseases."

These are the mandatory vaccinations that all service members are required to receive before initial entry or basic training:

  • Adenovirus
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Influenza
  • Measles, mumps, rubella
  • Meningococcal
  • Poliovirus
  • Tetanus-Diphtheria
  • Varicella

Other vaccines administered depending on risk and occupation:

  • Anthrax
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Pneumococcal
  • Rabies
  • Smallpox
  • Typhoid fever
  • Yellow fever

Service members can request to opt out of a mandatory vaccination on health, administrative or religious grounds. These exemptions can be temporary or permanent.

In an August memo, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said vaccination against COVID-19 is "necessary to protect the Force and defend the American people."

Others have pointed out that the U.S. military has long mandated immunizations, with a vaccination program dating back to the Revolutionary War when George Washington ordered mandatory inoculation to protect troops in the Continental Army from smallpox.

"The Department of Defense already requires 17 vaccines to protect members of the military from infectious diseases, including: influenza, measles, mumps, smallpox, and diphtheria," Rep. Mike Rogers, a Republican who is the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, said in an August statement.

"Vaccines protect our men and women, many of whom live in cramped and crowded conditions, from the spread of disease while at home or deployed across the globe."

According to data from the Department of Defense, more than 1.4 million service members are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while about 315,000 are partially vaccinated as of Wednesday.

There are more than 1.3 million troops on active duty and almost 800,000 in the Guard and Reserve, according to The Associated Press.

Soldier receives COVID vaccine
A soldier receives a COVID-19 vaccine from Army Preventative Medical Services on September 9, 2021 in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Jon Cherry/Getty Images