WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 for individuals 16 and older, paving the way for the Department of Defense to require all service members to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 
“Today’s full approval by the FDA for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 marks a crucial step forward as we protect our service members and communities from this deadly virus. As I said when Secretary Austin announced that he would seek to make COVID-19 vaccination required across the entire force: vaccination is the only way to beat this virus. 
“Protecting those who serve the United States in uniform from COVID-19 is far too important for partisan games or anti-science misinformation. COVID-19 vaccination across the U.S. military is a national security and military readiness issue. I applaud the Biden-Harris Administration for trusting science and prioritizing the health of service members, their families, and our communities.”