Congressman Trent Kelly discusses proposed military vaccine mandate


MISSISSIPPI (WCBI) – The nation’s active-duty military men and women could soon be required to get the COVID vaccine.

Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin this week announced he plans to request a waiver from President Biden to make the vaccine mandatory for active duty service members.

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Right now, the vaccine is still offered on a voluntary basis.

Mississippi Congressman Trent Kelly has spent 35 years in the Mississippi Army National Guard.

We asked his thoughts on mandatory vaccines for the military.

“I don’t think we should make any vaccines mandatory until the full approval process has been completed. Right now, the vaccines are in the emergency approval process. Once that is finalized and they become permanent and they’ve been fully vetted, then at that point in time, I think they should do that if that’s what they think they need to do. However, until that emergency is turned into a permanent approval, I don’t think it’s the right call at the right time,” said Congressman Trent Kelly.

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to give full approval to the vaccines, possibly by the end of the month.

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Aundrea Self is home-grown! She grew up in Starkville and graduated from Starkville High School. She earned degrees in English and Mass Communications from Stillman College in 1996. And it was at Stillman that Aundrea fell in love with news reporting when she did her first story on the school’s renowned student choir. After graduation, Aundrea began her broadcasting career in Columbus as the morning show “sidekick” on WACR radio. She continued to work in radio for six years before making the switch to television. She joined the WCBI family as the Sunrise producer. She eventually began reporting, and that ultimately led to her 7-year run as co-anchor of “WCBI News Sunrise” and “Midday.” Aundrea currently anchors the five and six o’clock newscasts and hosts “MidMorning with Aundrea.” Aundrea has won several Associated Press awards for her work. In 2004, she was honored as a “Top 40 Under 40” by the Mississippi Business Journal. A highlight of her career in journalism came in 2008 when she conducted a one-on-one interview with President Barack Obama as he campaigned in North Mississippi. Outside of work, Aundrea enjoys participating in community events. She spends much of her spare time speaking to area churches, schools, and civic organizations. She is an active member of the Starkville chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Aundrea enjoys reading, spending time with family, and sampling her husband’s tasty dishes! Aundrea and her husband, David, have three children: Kimberly, Alan, and Emilee. If you want to connect with Aundrea, make sure to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


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