Unvaxed Military Faces Repercussions After COVID Mandates End

The Defense Department has rescinding its COVID-19 vaccine mandate, but unvaccinated military members say they're suffering repercussions including being denied benefits, being ineligibility for promotion, being considered non-deployable.
FILE - Staff Sgt. Travis Snyder, left, receives the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine given at Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, Dec. 16, 2020, south of Seattle. U.S. military forces around the world will no longer be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The mandate was lifted under an $858 billion defense spending bill passed by Congress and signed into law Friday by President Joe Biden. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

At a glance

  • The mandate was rescinded as part of the National Defense Authorization Act that President Biden signed into law this past December.
  • On Dec. 29, the Defense Department followed suit, rescinding the mandate that has frayed military morale and resulted in the discharge of over 8,000 service members who refused the vaccine.
  • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered the mandate in August  2021.
  • The vaccine mandate was rescinded for the National Guard and Reserves earlier this month.

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