Sep. 16, 2021 -- The U.S. Army says all active-duty soldiers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 15 and all Reserve and National Guard units must reach that status by June 30, 2022.
Soldiers who don’t get vaccinated will be counseled by their superiors and could face administrative or non-judicial punishment, including being discharged or relieved of duties, the army said in a news release.
“This is quite literally a matter of life and death for our Soldiers, their families and the communities in which we live,” Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, the U.S. Army surgeon general, said in the release.
“Case counts and deaths continue to be concerning as the Delta variant spreads, which makes protecting the force through mandatory vaccination a health and readiness priority for the total Army.”
There are 485,000 active-duty service members in the U.S. Army, 189,500 in the Reserve, and 336,000 in the National Guard, NBC News says.
Soldiers can seek administrative and medical exemptions. They will be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completion of a two-dose vaccine or a single-dose vaccine.
In August, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin added the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of required vaccinations for service members.