Kicked Out: 8,500 Active-Duty Air Force Troops Failed To Meet November 2 Vaccine Mandate Deadline

FILE PHOTO. © Reuters / Stringer


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.

In updated vaccination stats for troops released by the Air Force on Wednesday, the branch said that 8,486 soldiers remain unvaccinated, including 2,753 who have not started the process, 4,933 currently seeking a religious exemption, while 800 flat-out declined to take the jab.

However, despite the holdouts, 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, the Air Force said.

“Our Airmen need to be prepared to operate anytime, anywhere in the world,” Air Force Chief of Staff General CQ Brown Jr. said in a statement. “Getting vaccinated ensures we are a ready force to meet our commitments to the nation while protecting the health of our team and families.”

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