On Tuesday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Your World,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said that soldiers who have religious objections to the military’s coronavirus vaccine mandate can claim one and those “who have pre-existing medical conditions, or on the advice of their physician might not have to take the vaccine.” And there will be counseling for those who object for reasons that are not medical or religious.
Kirby said, [relevant remarks begin around 3:15] “Well, a member of the military who wants to claim a religious exemption can certainly do that. There’s a process for that. It’s not a blanket check. I mean, you’ve got to go through a process to get that approved. Troops who have pre-existing medical conditions, or 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.”
He added that there will be counseling for those who object for reasons other than “religion or medical” reasons.
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