Dec. 2, 2021, marked the Department of the Air Force’s deadline for Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Airmen to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
This final deadline for Department of the Air Force service members to be fully vaccinated resulted in more than 95% of the total force having at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.
“Thank you to each total force Airman who has met the responsibility to get vaccinated,” said Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall. “To those yet to get vaccinated, the order is clear — take action now or be held accountable for failing to do so. This is about being ready to defend the nation, as well as protecting ourselves, our teammates, and our loved ones.”
Since the Secretary of Defense’s vaccination mandate Aug. 24, the Department of the Air Force set the most aggressive timelines amongst the military services to ensure total force members are protected.
“The health and wellbeing of our Reserve citizen Airmen is a readiness issue,” said Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, chief of the Air Force Reserve and commander of the Air Force Reserve Command. “By meeting this deadline, our Airmen are ready to execute the mission anywhere in the world, even in places where the COVID-19 vaccination rates are low and disease transmission is high.”
Across the nation, Guard and Reserve Airmen were directly involved in administering vaccines to their active component and civilian counterparts as each respective deadline approached.
“By taking an aggressive approach to vaccination, we are ensuring the health and readiness of the force,” said Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones. “Ultimately, we have to overcome this pandemic that’s taken the lives of over 700,000 of our fellow Americans. We’ve got to be mission ready — we’ve got to be vaccinated.”
COVID-19 screening tests are required weekly for all individuals entering a Department of Defense facility who are not fully vaccinated, including those who have an exemption request under review or who are exempted from the COVID-19 vaccination.
“Being vaccinated maintains our total force readiness that our nation depends on,” said Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh, Air National Guard director. “This vaccine ensures our success with our national defense missions. By taking this aggressive approach for vaccination, we are able to protect those around us, and maintain a ready and able force.”
Units will be responsible for running self-test programs and may reach out to either the Defense Logistics Agency Contact Center or their servicing Military Treatment Facility for assistance with ordering and purchasing the self-test kits.
For the most current DAF vaccination statistics, visit https://www.af.mil/News/Coronavirus-Disease-2019/.