Soldiers who refuse to take the vaccine risk being discharged.
Following Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III’s order that all military members be vaccinated, the US Army has announced that soldiers who refuse to acquire the COVID-19 vaccination may be discharged.
The Army said in a statement on Tuesday that those who refuse the vaccine will first be counseled by their chain of command and medical providers.
However, if they are not granted an exception for a legitimate medical, religious, or administrative cause and continue to disobey, they may be reprimanded, which might include being removed of duties or dismissed.
The Army said in a statement that all active duty soldiers should be vaccinated by December 15, and Reserve and National Guard units should be fully vaccinated by June 30, 2022.
There are 485,000 active duty soldiers in the Army. There are additionally 189,500 Reserves and 336,000 National Guard members.
Those with pending exemption requests will not be disciplined until their requests are fully completed, according to the statement.
Soldiers who have had COVID-19 before are not automatically excused from full immunization and should visit their primary care managers, according to the Army.
The Army’s surgeon general, Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, said, “This is literally a matter of life and death for our Soldiers, their families, and the communities in which we live.”
“As the Delta variant spreads, case numbers and deaths continue to be worrying, making defending the force through mandated vaccination a health and readiness priority for the whole Army.”
Lloyd urged the secretaries of the military branches to guarantee that service members get vaccinated with vaccinations approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in a memo issued in late August. So yet, only the two-dose vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech has received full approval.
Austin’s memo instructed them to “impose aggressive implementation timetables and to report on immunization completion on a frequent basis utilizing current methods for other mandated vaccine reporting.”
In the memo, Austin stated, “To defend this Nation, we need a healthy and ready force.”
“I have determined that mandatory vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is vital to safeguard the Force and defend the American people after extensive consultation with medical specialists and military leadership, and with the approval of the President.”
More than 1.1 million military members have been properly vaccinated as of September 8, while. This is a condensed version of the information.