Tuesday is the deadline for active duty airmen and Guardians to be fully vaccinated – the earliest deadline of any of the services. About 96% of the Air Force uniformed personnel was fully vaccinated by late last week.

The Air Force already released 40 would-be airmen and Guardians from recruitment training for refusing the vaccine, as Military.com reported.

But in general, the administration is signaling there may be some wiggle room in meeting the deadlines, including the Nov. 22 date by which DOD civilians are required to be vaccinated.

Roll Call cited three officials who said vaccine resisters may not be terminated on those deadlines but that it would kick off a process of what officials have repeatedly called “counseling” or “education.”

“There will be escalation in disciplinary actions that will go through a process. Nobody is going to be fired on the 22nd,” Stephen Morani, DOD’s acting assistant secretary for sustainment, told lawmakers recently. “Education is critical in this space — to educate people about the safety of it and the risk of not having it.”

Army photo by Pfc. Caitlin Wilkins, 50th Public Affairs Detachment

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