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Pentagon Repeals Memo Mandating Covid Vaccination For Armed Forces

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U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has repealed a more-than-a-year-old order making it mandatory that members of the Armed Forces be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Austin issued the memorandum on August 24, 2021, at a time of surging in Covid cases in the U.S.

Austin also rescinded a memorandum issued on November 30, 2021, pertaining to the vaccination of National Guard and Reserve personnel.

This rescission requirement was established by the James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023.

"No individuals currently serving inthe Armed Forces shall be separated solely on the basis of their refusal to receive the Covid vaccination if they sought an accommodation on religious, administrative, or medical grounds," the Defense Secretary says in the memorandum.

Although the Pantagon has discontinued the mandatory requirement of Covid vaccination, Secretary Austin continues to urge all American defense service members, civilian employees, and contractor personnel to get vaccinated and boosted against Covid to ensure Total Force readiness.

Anti-Covid vaccines have been administered to more than 2 million U.S. Defense personnel so far, and 96 percent of the Force is fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services, has extended the Covid pandemic's status as a public health emergency.

The Covid Public Health Emergency was first declared in January 2020 and has been renewed in every quarter since then.

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