As deadlines loom, the U.S. military grants few vaccine exemptions.


Two months after the Pentagon started requiring all troops to get the coronavirus vaccine or face dismissal, the overwhelming majority have now had pictures, partly as a result of none acquired a non secular exemption, military officers stated.

While vaccine exemptions are sometimes broadly worded, requests based mostly on non secular beliefs are coming underneath shut scrutiny in the military and at the Department of Veterans Affairs, the first federal company to impose a mandate.

About 97 p.c of the nation’s 1.3 million active-duty service members have had not less than one dose of the vaccine, and roughly 87 p.c have had each pictures.

The widespread federal and personal sector mandates pose a check for the nation, and the military and Veterans Affairs are being carefully watched by firms and authorized consultants. Across the nation, there are not less than 40 authorized challenges to vaccine and testing mandates issued by cities, hospitals, universities and different employers which have but to maneuver ahead, whereas others have been knocked again.

The leaders of most main non secular organizations have advisable that their members get the vaccine. Officials say that nobody is actively discouraging individuals in the military from in search of a non secular exemption. But anybody in search of one from the Pentagon or Department of Veterans Affairs can be required to have a longtime historical past of adherence to a faith that prohibits vaccines, amongst different issues.

Vaccine reluctance in the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs mirrors that of civilian society, the place vaccine charges are largely decrease with out such mandates.

Over the summer time, as the Delta variant surged, military officers grew to become alarmed at the rising variety of deaths; over the fall, extra energetic responsibility members died from the virus than in all of 2020, none of them vaccinated.