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Air Force sets deadlines for mandatory COVID vaccination

Capt. (Dr.) Joseph Santamaria administers COVID-19 vaccine at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, May 14, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Tory Patterson)
September 06, 2021

The Air Force has now set deadlines for personnel to receive the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine.

Unless seeking an exemption, active-duty personnel are expected to be “fully vaccinated” by Nov. 2, while Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve members are to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 2, the Air Force said Friday.

Service members are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completing the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, or two weeks after receiving a single dose of a one-dose vaccine.

“Vaccinations will help ensure service members’ health and safety while preserving the department’s readiness and ability to execute worldwide air and space forces missions,” the Department of the Air Force said in a release Friday.

“We are taking an aggressive approach to protect our service members, their families and their communities from COVID-19 and the highly transmissible Delta variant,” said Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones. “As members of the nation’s armed forces, our Airmen and Guardians must be able to respond to situations around the globe — being fully vaccinated will help us safely meet the readiness requirements that our national security depends on.”

Mandatory vaccination through a military provider will initially only include the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 ® vaccine (widely referred to as “Comirnaty®” upon receipt of FDA approval), which is today the only vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Airmen and Guardians may also receive the COVID-19 vaccines approved under FDA emergency use authorization, including Moderna, Janssen and AstraZeneca, from both military and civilian providers.

Airmen and Guardians who have proof of vaccination documented in their medical records, the Air Force said.

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