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U.S. military announces deadlines for service members to get COVID-19 vaccine

FILE:  Capt. Wilifred Hale receives a COVID-19 vaccination from Sgt. Anna Carter Dec. 31, 2020,...
FILE: Capt. Wilifred Hale receives a COVID-19 vaccination from Sgt. Anna Carter Dec. 31, 2020, at Fort Pickett, Virginia. Hale is currently serving as the administrative officer in charge of the task force of Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen conducting COVID-19 testing across the state, and Carter is a medic assigned to Charlie Company, 429th Brigade Support Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.(U.S. National Guard photo by Cotton Puryear)
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 10:36 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The U.S. Army on Tuesday announced active duty units are expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 15, 2021 and reserve and national guard units are expected to be fully vaccinated against the virus by June 30, 2022.

At the end of August, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced all U.S. military service members must be vaccinated after the Food and Drug Administration gave full authorization to the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine.

Soldiers who refuse the vaccine will first be counseled by their chain of command and medical providers, the Army said in a news release.

“Continued failure to comply could result in administrative or non-judicial punishment – to include relief of duties or discharge,” the Army further stated.

Soldiers will be able to request an exemption from receiving the vaccine if they have a “legitimate medical, religious or administrative reason.” Soldiers who are pending exemption requests will not be subject to adverse actions until the exemption is fully processed.

The deadly for all active-duty service members in the U.S. Navy is November 28, 2021. Navy Reserve service members are expected to be fully vaccinated by December 28, 2021.

The U.S. Air Force announced it will require active-duty members be fully vaccinated by November 2, 2021. The deadline for Air Force National Guard and Air Force Reserve personnel is December 2, 2021.

The U.S. Marine Corps said all active-duty service members must be vaccinated by November 28. The deadline for Marine reservists is December 28.

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