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The U.S. military reports it is nearing a 100% COVID-19 vaccination rate among troops, saying service has been turned away by 3,411 general officers.
The active forces haI recorded a 97% completion rate of the vaccination schedule, with this figure expected to rise to 98% after additional troops complete their current booster schedule.
In August 2021, the Pentagon issued a vaccination mandate for the armed forces, with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordering each branch to fully vaccinate active duty, guard and reserve troops. Troops from various military branches had months to comply with the order, with each branch setting its own deadline for completing the regime.
The military set its deadline for Dec. 15, 2021, by which time soldiers must have started a vaccination regimen or applied for an exemption. The Army has set a deadline of June 30, 2022 to complete all components, including recalls.
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Army officials said the service only had to separate 669 soldiers out of 3,411 official reprimands for refusing the vaccination warrant, marking a minimal setback, but the numbers provided to Fox News Digital by the army show that 4,365 soldiers requested religious exemptions and 729 of the soldiers requested medical exemptions.
Only 22 soldiers received medical exemptions and only 8 received religious exemptions, with approximately 3,000 other exemptions awaiting approval.
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The numbers only increased by 1% between March and May, but with almost all active duty troops vaccinated, the number is unlikely to change much more in the future.
These numbers represent active duty members only. The Army no longer issues numbers for denials and exemptions from the Army Reserve or National Guard.
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Various State National Guardsmen pushed back the orders, creating a tense standoff. Officials tried to pressure the troops by withholding their salaries and banning them from training.