Despite a Deadline, Nearly 8,500 Active-Duty Air Force Members Remain Unvaccinated


Nearly 8,500 active-duty members of the Air Force and Space Force have missed the deadline for getting COVID-19 vaccinations, including 800 who flatly refused and nearly 5,000 with pending requests for a religious exemption, the Air Force said Wednesday.

The Air Force said that of the 326,000 active-duty members of the Air Force and Space Force, 95.9 percent are fully vaccinated and 96.9 percent have gotten at least one shot.

“A vaccinated force is a protected force, better able to deploy and to defend our interests anywhere at any time,” Ann Stefanek, an Air Force spokeswoman, said.

“Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is a necessary requirement to keep our people safe and healthy. This is a readiness issue.”

Tuesday was the Air Force deadline for all active-duty members to receive vaccinations.

Biggest COVID Vaccine Study Ever Finds Concerning Links

The Air Force deadline was the first of all the military services, providing an initial glimpse into how America’s military will handle the mandate.

The Air Force said 8,486 service members had not been vaccinated as of Tuesday. Of that total, 800 had “verbally refused.”

Another 2,753 had not started the vaccination process for reasons not cited in the Air Force announcement, and 4,933 have pending requests for exemption on religious grounds.

The Air Force said that by Dec. 2, it would complete its review of requests for medical and religious exemptions.

Will COVID vaccine mandates dwindle the country's military forces?

Thus far, a total of 1,866 requests for medical or administrative exemptions have been approved. It said zero requests for religious exemptions have been approved.

This sets thousands of disciplinary actions in motion and sets the stage for exemption procedures that could drag on for weeks.

The vaccination deadline for the Air Guard and Reserve is Dec. 2.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , ,
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City