This is by far, the most logical and supporting decision the Pentagon has ever made.
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According to the statement given by Pentagon’s press secretary, John Kirby, “There is a religious exemption possibility for any mandatory vaccine, and there’s a process that we go through to counsel the individual both from a medical and from a command perspective about using a religious exemption. We take freedom of religion and worship seriously in the military. It’s one of the things that we sign up to defend,” Kirby said. “And so it’s something that’s done very carefully.”
Service members also will be able to apply for medical exemptions, Kirby said. Though “A service member can’t request an exemption just because he or she doesn’t want to take the vaccine.”
“You’ve got to go through a process to get that approved. Troops who have pre-existing medical conditions, or are on the advice of their physician might not have to take the vaccine. But if you’re just objecting because you’re objecting, once it’s become mandatory, that’s a lawful order, and our expectation is that you’re going to obey that order.”
“Nobody is looking for strong, punitive disciplinary measures here. Frankly, we believe that most troops will respond positively to the order, just like they do in every other mission-critical order that they’re issued. But there are tools available to commanders, short of disciplinary action, to try to get soldiers to do the right thing.”
“The primary care physician will be able to help make that determination,” he added.
According to Pentagon, more than 73 percent of active-duty military members have received at least one shot of the vaccine to date.
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