Nearly 8,500 Air Force personnel failed to meet a November 2 deadline to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, the military said, noting that around 5,000 continue to seek exemptions on religious grounds, while 800 “refused” outright.
The vast majority of the 326,000 active-duty personnel in the Air Force and Space Force, or nearly 96%, have been fully vaccinated and successfully met one of the most aggressive timelines amongst the military services” in terms of immunization deadlines.
Airmen need to be prepared to operate and attack anytime, anywhere in the world. Getting vaccinated ensures we are a ready force to meet our commitments to the nation while protecting the health of our team and families.
While just over 1,800 troops have been granted an exemption so far, including 1,634 on medical grounds and another 232 who were allowed administrative exemptions, zero have been approved for religious accommodation, raising questions about the fate of the nearly 5,000 who’ve already applied.
Some branches of the military have given extra scrutiny to religious exemptions, with documents obtained by Fox News in September showing that the Coast Guard had urged its chaplains to grill soldiers with a series of questions designed to root out any potential contradictions in their religious views in order to deny their request.
Acting on an order from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in August, the Air Force set its vaccine mandate deadline ahead of any other service.
While the army will require active-duty members to be vaccinated by December 15, and the Marines and navy set a November 28, 2021 deadline.
Reservists and civilian personnel in each service have been given more time, however, with army reserve troops granted the greatest leeway of any branch with a June 30, 2022 deadline.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point WW III News 2021.