According to Stripes, the military’s newspaper, “Up to 12,000 Air Force personnel have rejected orders to get fully vaccinated against the coronavirus despite a Pentagon mandate and officials say it is too late for them to do so by Tuesday’s deadline, posing a first major test for military leaders whose August directive has been met with defiance among a segment of the force.”
While about 96% of airmen are currently vaccinated, the final few percent have decided to take a stand against the jab despite the dire consequences. And the consequences of not getting the vaccine by Tuesday, November 2nd, are, for the average airman, quite dire. “Officials have warned that,” according to Stripes, “barring an approved medical or religious exemption, those who defy lawful orders to be fully immunized are subject to punishment, including possible dismissal from the service or they could be charged in the military justice system.”
For refusing a vaccine, 12,000 airmen could be locked up in the brig or tossed out of the service they call home. And that won’t just affect morale, it’ll also affect readiness as competition and tensions with China heat up.