Army: Refusal of COVID-19 vaccine could lead to discharge

Coronavirus

According to J&J, the booster dose of the vaccine “generated a rapid and robust increase in spike-binding antibodies” 28 days after the primary single-dose shot in participants between the ages of 18 and 55 and in those 65 years and older. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, file)

TAMPA (WFLA) – The U.S. Army says it is implementing its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for soldiers, and warning that members who refuse to get the shot could be subject to “relief of duties” or “discharge.”

The Pentagon announced in August it would require members of the U.S. military to get the COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 1.

Soldiers who refuse the vaccine without an exemption could face administrative or non-judicial punishment – to include relief of duties or discharge, a release from the Army stated. They will first be counseled by their chain of command and medical providers. 

The release added commanders, command sergeants major, first sergeants and officers in Command Select List (CSL) positions who refuse to be vaccinated and are not pending an exemption request face suspension and relief if they refuse to comply.

Active duty units are expected to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 15, 2021 and Reserve and National Guard units are expected to be fully vaccinated by June 30, 2022.

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