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Tipsheet

U.S. Army Announces That 98 Percent of Active Duty Soldiers Are Vaccinated Against COVID-19

AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File

The United States Army announced Thursday that 98 percent of active-component Soldiers have been vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus by the Dec. 15 deadline. 

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According to a news release from the Army, a total of 468,459 Soldiers were inoculated. Ninety-eight percent of the active-duty force have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 96 percent, 461,209 Soldiers, are fully vaccinated. The Army is currently processing thousands of exemption requests for medical and religious reasons.

In a statement, Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth said that Soldiers who are not vaccinated and are not pending a decision on an exemption will undergo separation proceedings.

“Vaccinating our Soldiers against COVID-19 is first and foremost about Army readiness,” Wormuth said in the statement. “Thank you to the medical staff who have been supporting the pandemic response at home and to the vaccinated Soldiers who put the health and welfare of their fellow Soldiers and families first. To those who continue to refuse the vaccine and are not pending a final decision on a medical or administrative exemption, I strongly encourage you to get the vaccine. If not, we will begin involuntary separation proceedings.”

The news release notes that “[b]eginning in January, Army commanders will initiate involuntary separation for the less than one percent of active component Soldiers who continue to refuse the vaccination order without an approved or pending exemption.”

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So far, Army commanders have relieved a total of six active-duty leaders. This includes two battalion commanders. Additionally, the Army has issued 2,767 general officer written reprimands to service members refusing the vaccination order. Currently, 6,263 active duty Soldiers have temporary exemptions for medical or administrative reasons. 

“Army officials have approved four permanent medical exemptions and no religious accommodations,” the release states.

“Approximately 83 percent of Soldiers across all Army components have received at least one dose or are completely vaccinated,” the release concludes. “Additional information about exemptions for Reserve and Guard Soldiers will be released next summer as they reach their goal to have all Soldiers vaccinated by June 30, 2022.”

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