San Diego County

COVID-19 Vaccine Deadline Approaches for Active-Duty Military Members

U.S. service members are getting close to their deadline to be fully vaccinated

NBC Universal, Inc.

U.S. service members are getting close to their deadline to be fully vaccinated. Each military branch has set their own deadline.

The U.S. Air Force’s deadline for active-duty airmen was Nov. 2 and Dec. 2 for reservists and the National Guard.

The Navy deadline is Nov. 28 for active-duty sailors and Marines, while the reservists date is Dec. 28.

The Army set a deadline of Dec. 15 for all active-duty service members.

Service members will be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their last shot which means the deadline for active-duty sailors is Nov. 14.

“What the secretary has communicated to the military departments is to execute this mandatory vaccination program obviously with skill and professionalism which we always do but also with a measure of compassion,” U.S. Department of Defense Press Secretary John Kirby said.

Servicemembers will have to either get vaccinated, get a medical exemption or religious waiver.

“For a member who still objects, obviously you can ask for an exemption on religious grounds and you certainly can be exempt if you have a pre-existing condition that your doctor advises you not to get it, obviously,” Kirby said.

According to the Navy only six permanent medical exemptions have been approved and no religious waiver requests have been accepted at this time.

According to the Navy, 96% of active-duty Sailors have been vaccinated.

For the remainder of service members that are unvaccinated, and refuse to get the shot, they could face transfers, travel restrictions, or it could be a career ending decision.

“It hasn't been a problem in the past with other vaccines. Now I recognize COVID has a different history to it and different cultural ascription to it. But it's a lawful order and it's our expectation that troops obey lawful orders,” Kirby said.

Contact Us