The US Department of Defense has reportedly halted its coronavirus vaccination requirement for the US military after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) forced an end to the program last month when the yearly defense policy measure, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), was enacted.
In a letter issued on Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced the repeal of the vaccination requirement for the United States Military and National Guard.
According to Austin, Service members who were dismissed due to their unwillingness to take the vaccination can petition their Military Department’s Dismissal Review Boards and Boards for Correction of Military or Naval Records to obtain a change in the characterization of their discharge.
Kevin McCarthy, as House Minority Leader at the time, forced an end to the vaccination requirement by stating that the NDAA would “not advance” until the mandate was eliminated.
The National Defense Authorization Act repealed the COVID-19 vaccination for military personnel, however it did not restore individuals who had been fired or had their benefits reduced because they refused the vaccine.
Vaccine requirements sent almost 8,400 members out of the military for refusing to fulfill a legal order and refusing to acquire the vaccine. Thousands more requested religious and medical exemptions.