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    Thousands of Troops with COVID Vaccine Exemption Requests No Longer Facing Separation with Mandate Gone

    Thousands of Troops with COVID Vaccine Exemption Requests No Longer Facing Separation with Mandate Gone

    Thousands of troops across all services who had pending religious exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine are no longer facing the risk of separation from the after the Pentagon announced it won't review their cases anymore in the wake of a law eliminating the vaccine mandate.

    In total, 17,500 troops were seeking a religious exemption, according to an internal Defense Department document reviewed by Military.com. An additional 19,000 troops had already had their religious exemption requests adjudicated, with only a fraction being approved across the active duty and reserve components.

    The Marine Corps approved the fewest, with only 0.52% of requests approved; the and Space Force, 2.31%; the Navy, 1.02%; and the , 6.04%.

    Read Next: Pentagon Unveils New Parental Leave Policy After Delay Caused Uncertainty for Troops

    While the Biden administration has stood firm on the vaccine mandate since it was implemented in August 2021, pressure from Republicans in Congress to eliminate the requirement has mounted ever since. As part of a compromise to allow the annual defense policy bill to pass in December, a provision was added that required the elimination of the mandate across the services.

    The internal Defense Department document said that the services had stopped pursuing the separation of service members in December, in compliance with the law.

    Although the mandate led to a string of court cases and pressure…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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