(Washington) The U.S. Air Force has announced that 27 people have been fired for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19. They were, according to the authorities, the first soldiers to be fired for violating the obligation to be vaccinated.
The Air Force has given its members until November 2 to receive their doses. Thousands of soldiers are said to have refused or sought exemptions.
Forces spokesman Ann Stephanek said Monday that they were the first to release 27 members administratively on vaccine grounds.
According to MMe Stephanek, everyone involved is on their first phase registration. So these are the young soldiers at the bottom of the hierarchy. Although US forces have not disclosed the nature of the member’s release, a bill is under consideration in Congress to prevent the military from providing honorary or conditional release to honorary members who have been expelled due to vaccine rejection.
Earlier this year, the Pentagon mandated vaccination of all its members, including those on duty, members of the National Guard and members of the Reserve. Each division of the Armed Forces is free to determine the deadline and procedures to be followed for vaccination.
The Air Force has imposed a rapid deadline, so we are coming to the first clearances. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has argued that the vaccine is essential to maintaining a healthy military force and maintaining the United States’ ability to respond to the national security crisis.
None of the 27 people released by the Air Force sought medical, administrative or religious exemptions, Mr.Me Stephanek. According to several officers from various military services, the Air Force was the only unit that went so far as to expel members for refusing the vaccine.
Officially, these 27 soldiers were fired for refusing to obey the order.
The fact that dismissals for refusing to comply with an order is not uncommon in the military ranks. In the first three quarters of 2021, nearly 1,800 Air Force members were laid off because of this.
According to recent Air Force data, more than 1,000 members have refused to be vaccinated and more than 4,700 others are seeking religious exemption. As of last week, only 97% of active Air Force members had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In the case of Navy and Marine Corps members, they have until November 28 to be vaccinated. The reserve is still until December 28th.
Army soldiers have until Wednesday and National Guard or Reserve members still have until June 30 to do so.