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Pentagon releases spiritual exemption pointers for bypassing necessary vaccine

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The Pentagon on Tuesday launched pointers for the way service members may request a non secular exemption in lieu of getting the coronavirus vaccine.

By mid-September, all active-duty forces within the army will likely be required to get pictures of their arms to counter the coronavirus as {cases} proceed to as soon as once more improve nationwide.


“There’s a spiritual exemption chance for any necessary vaccine, and there is a course of that we undergo to counsel the person each from a medical and from a command perspective about utilizing a non secular exemption,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby mentioned Tuesday.

Kirby mentioned army service members who want to search an exemption will likely be required to be recommended by a medical skilled and a commander over the dangers posed by not receiving the vaccine.

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As well as, they are going to focus on how the choice may have an effect on their deployability, journey, and even assignments – although the request processes will differ in every department. 

“We take freedom of faith and worship significantly, within the army, it is one of many issues that we signal as much as defend,” Kirby mentioned. “And so it is one thing that is carried out very rigorously.”

Exemptions for pre-existing medical situations will likely be permitted as effectively, although these will likely be recognized by a medical skilled. 

Kirby additionally mentioned that any service member who’s hesitant to obtain the vaccine will obtain counseling on its security and effectiveness.

“We’ve got each expectation that when the vaccines are made necessary, the troops are going to….do the appropriate factor,” he mentioned. “Going ahead with this specific vaccine, the secretary’s expectation is that commanders are going to deal with the administration of that vaccine with – as he wrote in his memo – professionalism, talent, and compassion.”

Kirby’s feedback come simply in the future after Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin formally introduced all service members who usually are not already vaccinated will likely be required to obtain both the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine by Sept. 15.

Austin mentioned the necessary vaccinations could possibly be enforced sooner if the Meals and Drug Administration permitted one of many vaccines previous to mid-September.


Greater than 74 p.c of Navy service members have acquired the vaccine. However different branches have lagged behind.

The Air Power has reported a 65 p.c vaccination price, whereas the Military has reported 50 p.c of its service members have acquired a minimum of one shot within the arm.

 Ronn Blitzer, Lucas Y. Tomlinson contributed to this report. 

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