Dec 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Air Force discharges 27 for defying COVID vaccine mandate

U.S. Air Force member receives a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
U.S. Air Force member receives a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: U.S. Forces Korea via Getty Images

The Air Force has administratively discharged 27 individuals for refusing to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, making them the first members to face such consequences for defying the vaccine mandate, AP reports.

Driving the news: The Air Force's deadline to get vaccinated was Nov. 2, and last month the service branch said that nearly 97% of its active-duty service members had complied with the mandate.

The big picture: All of the 27 personnel discharged were in their first term of enlistment, meaning they were generally younger and lower-ranking personnel, an Air Force spokesperson told AP.

  • None of them had sought medical, administrative or religious exemptions to the mandate, per AP.
  • Last month the Air Force said that around 8,500 active duty members had missed the deadline, though many had filed for medical and religious exemptions.
  • The Air Force did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.
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