U.S. Air Force Discharges 27 Active-Duty Members For Failing To Comply With Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate


The U.S. Air Force has discharged 27 active-duty personnel who have refused to get vaccinated against Covid-19, a spokesperson said on Monday, making them the first active duty military service members to be removed for failing to comply with the Pentagon’s vaccine mandate.

U.S. Air Force Technical Sgt. Alexisa Humphrey prepares to administer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine … [+] at Kunsan Air Base.

United States Forces Korea via Getty Images

Key Facts

The 27 airmen were discharged Friday as they had neither been vaccinated against Covid-19 nor did they seek religious or medical exemption for the same, Air Force spokesperson Ann Stefanek said.

All dismissed individuals were in their first enlistments, which means they had served less than six years in the Air Force.

Stefanek noted that vaccinations were one factor in all 27 discharges, but misconduct could have been an additional one for some of them.

As per the Pentagon’s vaccine mandate, the Air Force had one of the earliest deadlines with all active-duty personnel being required to be vaccinated by November 2. 

Big Number

97%. That’s the percentage of active duty Air Force and Space Force members who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 as of December 7, according to the Department of the Air Force.

What To Watch For

While the Air Force has suspended 27 active personnel for non-compliance, a total of 1,060 members have refused vaccination. It is unclear if all of these members will also face similar action. Around 7,365 Air and Space Force members remain unvaccinated, including those who are waiting for an approval on their medical or religious exemption request.

Further Reading

Air Force Discharges 27 Active Duty Service Members for Refusing Covid-19 Vaccine (Wall Street Journal)

Air Force discharges 27 over Covid vaccine requirement (NBC News)

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