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The Washington Post reports that up to 12,000 Air Force personnel are rejecting the Pentagon mandate and refusing to get vaccinated for Covid-19. Overall, hundreds of thousands of service members are unvaccinated. Those who do not get the vaccine could face dismissal from the service and even charges in the military justice system.

  • Katherine Kuzminski, senior fellow and director of the Military, Veterans and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security, said the Air Force has a number of punitive actions available for service members’ refusal to follow the lawful order.
  • Each service can set its own guidelines and timelines for the mandate, with the Air Force setting the earliest deadline of Nov. 2, said Kuzminski.
  • Kuzminski said the Air Force must weigh the potentially significant impact on readiness, which is difficult to evaluate because the distribution of vaccine refusal among military occupational specialties, ranks and bases is unclear.

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