GENERALThe FDA formally licensed the Pfizer-BioNTech COMIRNATY® COVID-19 vaccine on 23August 2021. Secretary Of Defense HON Lloyd Austin issued a memorandum on 24 August2021, which directed Secretaries of the Military Departments to immediately begin fullvaccination of all members of the Armed Forces under DoD authority on active duty or in theReady Reserve, including National Guard, who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.The Secretary of the Air Force HON Frank Kendall directed that DAF components move outaggressively on this guidance.The Secretary of Defense’s direction establishes a requirement for Service members to be fullyvaccinated. Service members can elect to receive any FDA licensed or authorized (EmergencyUse Authorized (EUA)) vaccine to meet that requirement. If vaccinations are being given on amandatory basis, only vaccines with full FDA licensure may be required. At this time, that onlyincludes the COMIRNATY® (Pfizer) vaccine, but more may be added to that list in the future.COMIRNATY® has the same formulation and can be used interchangeably with the FDAauthorized Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Providers can use doses distributed under theEUA to administer the vaccination series as if the doses were the licensed vaccine according toFDA guidance. Other vaccines may be added to this list in the future.Any refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, absent an approved exemption, may bepunishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Prior to receiving the COVID-19vaccine, Department of the Air Force Active and Reserve Component personnel, as well as theAir National Guard, will have access to healthcare providers and chaplains at DAF vaccinationsites to address questions or concerns with COVID-19 vaccination. Commands are advised toconsult with their servicing Staff Judge Advocate office for additional guidance on vaccinationnon-compliance. The process for obtaining exemptions for all mandatory vaccinations isprovided in AFI 48-110_IP for medical exemptions, and DAFI 52-201 for religiousaccommodations. Pursuant to Air Force and DoD policy, approved exemptions may bemodified or rescinded if mission needs dictate.Unit vaccination data will be tracked and monitored in ASIMS with weekly reporting throughcommand channels to the Office of the Secretary of Defense. It is the expectation of the SecAFthat commanders execute this guidance as soon as feasible, taking into consideration theavailability of vaccine and mission requirements.REFERENCES20210824 Secretary of Defense Memo Mandating COVID-19 Vaccination for DoD ServiceMembers. AFI 48-110_IP, Immunizations and Chemoprophylaxis for the Prevention ofInfectious Diseases.DAFI 52-201, Religious Freedom in the Department of the Air Force.20210825 DoD Public Affairs Guidance: COVID-19 Vaccinations for Military Personnel20210904 Updated DAF Public Affairs Guidance: Department of the Air Force MandatoryCOVID-19 Vaccine Implementation20210903 Secretary of the Air Force Memo Mandating COVID-19 Vaccination for DAF MilitaryMembers
PERSONNEL1) Will I be discharged if I refuse to take the vaccine?Should a Department of the Air Force (DAF) service member decline to accept the vaccine,without a valid medical or administrative exemption, we will make available to him/her a fullrange of resources – to include individual and professional medical advice – to demonstratethe safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. We want our people to be fully informed about anymedical procedure, this one included.If counseling and informal efforts fail to convince the member to receive the vaccine, amember’s chain of command could, as a last resort, take appropriate administrative ordisciplinary action commensurate to the alleged offense, up to and including discharge.Commanders have a range of other tools available to them and will ultimately makejudgments based on the circumstances of each case in consultation with legal, chaplain, andmedical professionals.2) Can I choose to separate or retire instead of taking the COVID-19 vaccine?In order to retire or separate in lieu of taking the COVID-19 vaccine, regular [or activecomponent] Active Duty Airmen and Guardians must have a commander-approvedsubmission prior to 1 November 2021, and the approved retirement or separation date must beno later than 1 April 2022 (the first day of the fifth month following the COVID-19 mandatoryvaccination date of 2 November 2021). If a member does not have an approved effectiveretirement or separation date in line with the aforementioned timelines, they are required to bevaccinated.Air Force Reserve IMAs and TRs who opt to retire in lieu of receiving the vaccine must havea commander-approved submission prior to 1 November 2021. The approved retirement datemust be no later than 2 June 2022. Upon retirement submission, these Airmen will be limitedto further participation for out-processing purposes IAW AFR policy and localwing/organization policy. Members with a retirement date after 2 June 2022 must be fullyvaccinated, have an exemption approved or in process, or formally decline the vaccine IAWSecAF direction.Air Force Reserve AGRs will be able to retire without taking the vaccine if their retirementdate is prior to 2 December 2021 or can be placed in terminal leave on or before 2 December2021. If AGRs cannot retire before 2 December 2021 or be in terminal leave status on or priorto 2 December 2021, if at the point the AGR refuses to take the vaccine, their AGR tour willbe curtailed and they will be reassigned to the IRR or discharged.
3) If I have an Active Duty Service Commitment, will it be waived if I choose to separate orretire instead of taking the COVID-19 vaccine?No. Active Duty Service Commitment waivers will not be automatically granted; however,Airmen and Guardians may, in accordance with AFI 36-3203, Service Retirements, paragraph3.8., “Waiver of Restrictions,” request an Active Duty Service Commitment waiver inconjunction with their retirement or separation application.
4) I have an approved retirement or separation date that is beyond 1 April 2022, and I do notwant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Can I adjust my retirement or separation date insteadof taking the COVID-19 vaccine?Regular [Active component] Airmen and Guardians may request to adjust their approvedretirement or separation date to be effective NLT 1 April 2022 (the first day of the fifth monthfollowing the COVID-19 mandatory vaccination date of 2 November 2021).5) If my retirement or separation request is denied, will I have to get the COVID-19 vaccine?Yes, pursuant to the 24 August 2021 Secretary of Defense memorandum, the subsequent 3September 2021 Secretary of the Air Force memorandum, and subsequent DAFimplementation guidance.6) If I have applied for retirement or separation in lieu of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, orhave requested a medical or religious exemption, will I still be allowed access to myinstallation and workplace while my application or request is being processed?Commanders and directors may permit service members who are not fully vaccinated accessto the installation and the workplace in accordance with the screening and testingrequirements of OSD Force Health Protection (FHP) Guidance 23 (and subsequent revisions),and applicable DAF policies.7) I’m currently on terminal leave, will I be required to take the vaccine?Members on terminal leave will not be required to take the vaccine; however, if recalled toactive duty, the member will be required to take the vaccine.8) Will I be allowed to reenlist or extend my current enlistment if I refuse to take the vaccine?Reenlistment is a command prerogative and a commander may take into account vaccinationstatus in making that determination.9) If discharge is premised on the refusal to follow the order to take the vaccine, will the DAFowe me involuntary separation pay?No. The Air Force or Space Force will not owe you separation pay.10) Do I need to repay bonuses/education if I refuse to take vaccine?If an Active Duty Service Commitment (ADSC) was incurred as a result of educationalopportunities, and it was not completed before any potential separation or discharge, then theservice may seek to recoup any associated funding or payments.11) Will I be denied PCS/TDY or Formal School opportunities if I refuse to take the vaccine?It is possible commanders may deny PCS/TDY or Formal School opportunities if a memberis unvaccinated.
12) Can I be pulled from training if I refuse the vaccine?It is possible commanders may pull a member from training if a member is unvaccinated.13) I’m requesting a Mandatory Separation Date (MSD) waiver. Will it be denied if I don’t takethe vaccine?Failing to maintain retention and/or readiness standards could result in denial of an MSDwaiver request.
OPERATIONS14) Why do I have to take the vaccine? Won’t those with exemptions also affect readiness?COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be safe and very effective in preventing hospitalizationsand deaths. Vaccine requirements are tied to personal medical readiness, and are designed toafford Service members with the best protections available so they can perform missionsacross the globe.Personnel with approved exemptions will be identified as required in all applicable datasystems. Commanders will assess impact to individual and unit level readiness usingvaccination status as a key parameter to determine availability to perform mission and abilityto meet mission requirements. DAF personnel who are not vaccinated may be nondeployable
based on specific mission circumstances. Pursuant to Air Force and DoD policy,approved exemptions may be modified or rescinded if mission needs dictate.15) If I am classified as non-deployable because I am not vaccinated, will I be subject todischarge?In accordance with DAFMAN 48-123, paragraph 126.96.36.199, mobility status is an ongoingrequirement that a service member is reasonably free from any medical conditions orlimitations that would preclude a deployment. In accordance with DoDI 1332.45,paragraph 1.2.b., service members who are considered non-deployable for more than 12consecutive months will be evaluated for a retention determination or, as appropriate,referral into the Disability Evaluation System or initiation of processing for administrativeseparation.16) I’m a flyer. Will there be a grounding or “feet-on-the-ramp” policy if I refuse the vaccine?(Also refer to Question 17)All Airmen performing flight or controller duties must maintain medical readiness. Memberswho are non-compliant with medical standards may face administrative, disciplinary, andflying grounding status actions. These could include Duty Not Involving Flying (DNIF),Duty Not Involving Controlling (DNIC), and Duty Not Involving Alert (DNIA). A memberwill not automatically be placed in a DNIF/DNIC/DNIA status. Commanders should assessmission requirements before taking these administrative actions.
17) Will some AFSCs be allowed to refuse the vaccine if there is a shortage in their career field?Does the “pilot shortage” give me leverage?No. All service members, regardless of pay grade and/or career field, are required to bevaccinated. Individual vaccination status in critically manned AFSCs will not be offered assolution to manage career field shortfalls. Members could face administrative or legal actionsif they decline to take the vaccine.
MEDICAL18) What if the vaccine on my base is not licensed by the FDA? Can I be forced to bevaccinated?Service members can elect to receive any FDA licensed or authorized (EUA) vaccine to meetthe vaccination requirement. If vaccinations are being given on a mandatory basis, the onlyvaccine that may be used at this time is the Pfizer-BioNTech COMIRNATY® COVID-19vaccine. (COMIRNATY® has the same formulation and can be used interchangeably withthe FDA authorized Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Providers can use dosesdistributed under the EUA to administer the vaccination series as if the doses were thelicensed vaccine according to the FDA. Other vaccines may be added to this list in thefuture.)If supplies are limited, members can choose to get vaccinated on their own or wait foradequate supply at a DoD facility. MTFs will have adequate vaccine supplies to meet theSecAF’s vaccination timeline.19) Will vaccine refusal cause me to be DNIF/DNIC/DNIA?Maybe. All members must maintain medical readiness. Members that are non-compliantwith medical standards may face administrative, disciplinary, and flying grounding statusactions. These could include Duty Not Involving Flying (DNIF), Duty Not InvolvingControlling (DNIC), and Duty Not Involving Alert (DNIA).A member refusing COVID-19 vaccination will not initially be placed in a grounding status.Before duty, during review of Go/No-Go Items they may be deemed not medicallycompliant. Also, once designated as “Red” in ASIMS the member may be considered tohave failed to maintain medical qualification standards.20) Are there exemptions for vaccination?Yes. Much like the annual flu shot, there are medical and administrative exemptions(including religious accommodation exemptions). Airmen and Guardians should consult withtheir local MTF for information on the exemption process. Medical and administrativeexemptions are addressed in AFI 48-110_IP, Immunizations and Chemoprophylaxis for thePrevention of Infectious Diseases. Religious accommodations are addressed in DAFI 52- 201,Religious Freedom in the Department of the Air Force. FHP 23 (and subsequent revisions),directs that COVID-19 screening testing is required for service members who refused toreceive, who are pending an exemption, or who are exempted from COVID-19 vaccinationand are entering a DoD facility. This testing requirement will be executed at least weekly. SeeFHP 23 (and subsequent revisions) for details.
21) If I am “high-risk,” do I have to take the vaccine?Most “high-risk” medical conditions are suitable for the COVID-19 vaccination.Vaccinations are usually helpful for populations at higher risk for infection and more severeillness complications. Members may consult with their Primary Care Provider (PCP) orsupporting MTF/RMU (ARC/ANG) for appropriate plan of vaccination.22) If I have religious objections, do I have to take the vaccine?Only service members with an approved exemption do not have to take the vaccine. Refer toDAFI 52-201 and AFI 48-110 for information on requesting an exemption from thevaccination requirement for reasons of religious accommodation. Members who submit areligious waiver to not receive the vaccination will be exempt from the requirement whiletheir request is pending. If the waiver is denied, the member will be required to bevaccinated. Commanders must counsel the requestor after receiving the request thatnoncompliance with immunization requirements may adversely affect readiness fordeployment, assignment, travel, or result in other administrative or disciplinaryconsequences. Counseling must be documented in a memorandum and included with thereligious accommodation request package.23) If I am pregnant, do I have to take the vaccine?Pregnant Service members are recommended to receive COVID-19 vaccination consistentwith guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), AmericanCollege of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and the Society for Maternal-FetalMedicine (SMFM); however, a pregnant Service member with concerns about vaccinationduring pregnancy may pursue a temporary medical exemption following vaccine counselingfrom her healthcare provider, as per paragraph 2-6.a.(1)(a) of AFI 48-110. There is no datathat COVID-19 vaccination is unsafe for members who are pregnant or breastfeeding.Pregnant and breastfeeding members are at higher risk for severe illness or hospitalizationfrom COVID-19 infection.24) If I am planning to become pregnant, do I have to take the vaccine?Yes. There is no data that COVID-19 vaccination is unsafe for members who plan to becomepregnant. Members considering pregnancy should consult with their specialty care doctor orprimary care doctor if they have concerns regarding the COVID-19 vaccination.25) If I am post-partum but breastfeeding, do I have to take the vaccine?Yes (unless under medical exemption). There is no data that COVID-19 vaccination isunsafe for members who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Pregnant and breastfeeding membersare at higher risk for severe illness or hospitalization from COVID-19 infection. Servicemembers who are breast-feeding should consult their primary care doctor if they haveconcerns regarding the COVID-19 vaccination.
26) If I’ve already had COVID-19, do I still need to take the vaccine?Yes. Vaccinated individuals have significantly lower rates of reinfection and illness thanthose who have been previously infected but remain unvaccinated. Having had COVID-19does not mean you are immune to future infections and does not meet the requirement to bevaccinated.27) If I have a history of allergic reactions to vaccinations, do I have to take the vaccine?Reactions to other vaccines do not necessarily predict a reaction to COVID-19 vaccines.Those who have had a reaction to a specific COVID-19 vaccine, or one of the ingredients inthe vaccine, should not continue receiving that particular vaccine. As medical conditionsvary for individuals, members should consult with their primary care providers for specialcondition concerns.28) What conditions will allow me to obtain a medical exemption? (also see Question 18)As medical conditions vary for individuals, members should consult with their primary careproviders for special condition concerns.29) How safe is the vaccine?COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be safe and very effective in preventing hospitalizationsand deaths. As we do with other deadly infections, we want to protect our force through thebest tool available, vaccination. Required vaccination to protect the force is routine for DoD,including annual influenza vaccination. The COMIRNATY® (Pfizer) vaccine is fullylicensed by the FDA. The two other EUA vaccines have been thoroughly tested and found tobe safe and effective in preventing severe COVID-19 symptoms. All three vaccines continueto undergo continuous and intense safety monitoring.30) Will my medical records list accurate information so that if I experience short or long-termadverse events associated with the vaccine, I will be able to receive appropriate health care inthe future? Will the government pay for this health care?Yes. All immunizations are recorded on a DD2766c and kept in the Service member’smedical record. Members experiencing adverse effects related to vaccinations or any illness,injury, disease, operative procedure, or hospitalization, are responsible for promptlyreporting information to their commander or supervisor and supporting medical facility. Iflasting adverse effects are found to be related to vaccination, your medical records will benoted and appropriate care provided. Members of the Air Reserve Component who believethey have suffered adverse effects of a military vaccination should consult their commandersfor a line of duty determination to appropriately reflect the source of any purported injury.31) I feel uncomfortable and not safe receiving the vaccine due to the limited amount ofknowledge on potential long term effects of the vaccine. Can I be given a waiver untilmore information is known on the possible future effects?No. We have a full range of resources – to include individual and professional medicaladvice – to help service members understand the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.32) Can I choose which type of vaccine to take (Pfizer, J&J, Moderna)?Service members can elect to receive any FDA licensed or authorized (EUA) vaccine to meetthe requirement. If vaccinations are being given on a mandatory basis, the only vaccine thatmay be used at this time is the COMIRNATY® (Pfizer) vaccine. (COMIRNATY® has thesame formulation and can be used interchangeably with the FDA authorized PfizerBioNTech
COVID-19 Vaccine. Providers can use doses distributed under the EUA toadminister the vaccination series as if the doses were the licensed vaccine according to theFDA. Other vaccines may be added to this list in the future.)33) If I’ve had a monoclonal antibody preparation or Convalescent Plasma, do I still need to bevaccinated?Yes. Currently, there is no data on safety or efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination in personswho received monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma as part of COVID-19treatment. The CDC recommends that COVID-19 vaccination be deferred for 90 days afterreceipt to avoid a possible impact on COVID-19 vaccination by prior antibody treatment.However, providers and patients can consider COVID-19 vaccination in such treatedindividuals within this 90-day window on a case-by-case basis with shared clinicaldecision-making for Force Health Protection and other important vaccination needs. (alsosee Question 22)34) If I was part of the trial vaccination group, do I still need to take the FDA mandatedvaccination?Service members that were part of a vaccine trial, should now be aware of whether they werein the treatment or placebo group. Service members that were in the actual vaccine treatmentgroup will be required to provide proof of vaccination and have that recorded in their militaryhealth records. Service members that were part of the placebo group are required to bevaccinated.35) I am currently awaiting a second dose of the Moderna vaccine. I do not want to take anothershot. Will I be required to take the second shot even though it is not currently a mandatoryvaccine?No, but refusing to be fully vaccinated, without a medical exemption or religiousaccommodation, will be handled the same as if you are unvaccinated. (also see Question 1)
36) What if I lost my CDC vaccination card? Am I required to get the vaccine again?If a service member was vaccinated outside of the military health system, and/or their healthrecords do not indicate that they’ve been vaccinated, they will need to provide proof ofvaccination. If they cannot show proof of vaccination either with a CDC card or othervaccination records, they may be required to be vaccinated. It is suggested that memberskeep a copy of their vaccination documentation in an electronic form such as a picture ontheir phone or in their email. Service members should get this documentation added to theirmilitary health records as soon as possible.37) Can I get titers drawn and be considered current with the vaccine?No. Titers are considered unreliable and not an FDA approved method to prove immunity toCOVID-19. There is NO titer level that is considered to represent immunity from COVID19.38) Will vaccination be required for TDY or Deployment to other countries?DoD policy currently restricts domestic and international official travel for unvaccinatedpersonnel to “mission-critical” as defined by the SecAF. DAF personnel who are notvaccinated may be non-deployable based on specific mission circumstances. Pursuant to AirForce and DoD policy, approved exemptions may be modified or rescinded to enable memberTDY or deployment if mission needs dictate.39) Will I require a booster if I have already received the vaccine?The DoD will follow CDC guidance for booster shots.40) Can I request a different type of vaccine based on what I feel will be good for me?If the medical treatment facility has more than one type of vaccine you may request thatvaccine based on availability. If a service member decides to use a vaccine outside of themilitary health system, they will need to provide proof of vaccination. Service membersshould get this documentation added to their military health records as soon as possible.
LOGISTICS41) Do I have to be vaccinated to fly on the Patriot Express? How about other carriers?All service members are required to be vaccinated. Other travelers aboard the PatriotExpress, other government-contracted carriers, or commercial airlines, are not required to bevaccinated at this time. However, passengers must meet point-of-entry vaccination/testingrequirements outlined in the Foreign Clearance Guide (e.g. negative PCR test within 72hours).
42) Do I have to be vaccinated to sign up for Space-A travel?All service members are required to be vaccinated. Due to COVID-19 associatedrestrictions, only certain categories remain eligible to seek Space-A travel unless anexception is provided. See Table 3 of DoDI 4515.13 Air Transportation Eligibility for moreinformation.43) What if the COMIRNATY® (Pfizer) vaccine can’t be shipped to my base? Can I be asked totake the vaccine while TDY or at Formal School?Yes. You may be ordered to take the vaccine while on TDY or at a Formal School. In thissituation, your Commander would coordinate with the TDY location or school.44) Now that the vaccine is mandatory, will the movers that pack my household goods berequired to be vaccinated?US Transportation Command, the DoD Personal Property Program Manager, is reviewingthe mandatory vaccine requirements and its application to personnel that provide services tothe Government, and will publish guidance upon completion of their review.
LEGAL45) Can my chain-of-command require proof of vaccination?For service members, vaccination status is captured in DoD medical health records, whichcommanders, first sergeants, or a commander’s designee can utilize to verify vaccinationstatus. The member’s commander, first sergeant, or commander’s designee may also askthe member to provide proof of vaccination status in order to effectively accomplish theirforce health protection mission and implement force health protection policies.46) What administrative actions (LOR, Article 15, referral evaluation, etc.) can my chain-of-command
take if I refuse vaccine? How will this be enforced uniformly among units?Commanders have wide latitude to use the full range of quality force management tools toenforce good order and discipline. Any refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, absent anapproved exemption, may be punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. (alsocovered under questions 1, 11, and 12)47) What will happen to my career if I refuse to take the vaccine when it’s mandatory?Absent an approved medical or administrative exemption (e.g., religious accommodation),any refusal by a service member to receive the COVID-19 vaccine may be punishable underthe Uniform Code of Military Justice.
48) I work in very close quarters with others. Will civilians in my organization also be requiredto take the vaccine?Yes, the Secretary of the Air Force’s 8 October 2021 memo references EO 14043 and theDepSecDef 1 October 2021 memo, and mandates all DAF civilian employees to be fullyvaccinated, unless exempted. Currently, DAF civilians will not have the option to test asan alternative to the vaccine. DoD and DAF are updating guidance and policy toimplement measures for mandatory vaccinations for civilian employees.49) Who is allowed to ask me if I’m vaccinated?Commanders, first sergeants, and commander’s designees have a need to know if theirmilitary members are vaccinated. They may ask their military members and expect a truthfulresponse. If a military member is suspected of misconduct (e.g., being not fully vaccinatedand not wearing a mask), he or she must be advised of their rights under Article 31, UCMJ.50) If discharged, will it be characterized as Honorable if I refuse the vaccine?Characterization of service upon discharge is based on the quality of the member's serviceas reflected in the military record of the current enlistment or period of service includingpersonal conduct, performance of duty, and the reason for separation.51) How long will I have to decide if I’ll get the vaccine before disciplinary action will happen?Uniformed members are required to obey all lawful orders issued to them, and their actionsshould be informed by the SecAF’s vaccination timeline.
PUBLIC AFFAIRS52) What mental health, chaplain, first sergeant resources are available to members who findthemselves in hardship after vaccine refusal?Commanders should proactively make available chaplains and first sergeants and theopportunity to consult with an Area Defense Counsel for members who initially refuse to bevaccinated. Additionally, during any period that mandatory vaccinations are taking place,commanders will ensure that mental health professionals are on-call and available to support.53) FDA licensed COVID-19 vaccines have become mandatory. They’re labeled a“commander’s program” and affect unit readiness. Is the acceptance rate a reflection ofleadership ability? Will military providers be as likely to report adverse reactions ordeclinations?As vaccination is now mandatory, commanders are tasked with maintaining themedical readiness of their unit. Adverse reactions are reported directly by the memberin VAERS. They will also be entered into military health records.
54) How long will unvaccinated members be required to wear a mask?Personnel who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19, and others as determined by theAssistant Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, will be required to wear a maskin accordance with DoD Force Health Protection Guidance (FHPG). As conditions change,DoD FHPG will be updated.55) Will there be a grace period from FDA approval and when the vaccine is mandatory?No, the requirement is effective upon SecAF implementation of DoD memo, dated 24August 2021, that mandates COVID-19 vaccination for service members. For those who donot voluntarily comply, unit commanders will issue lawful orders to be vaccinated as soon asfeasible. Commanders will weigh risk to mission against individual Airmen and Guardianslocation and ability to be vaccinated. The Defense Health Agency and Air Force MedicalService will move COMIRNATY® (Pfizer) vaccine as required to quickly and effectivelyvaccinate the remaining force.56) Will all new recruits be given the vaccine upon entry into the service?Yes. All new recruits will be vaccinated through entry-level in-processing (BMT, OTS, etc.).57) Will Cadets at USAFA be required to take the vaccine? What about AFROTC cadets?Yes. For the purpose of medical readiness, USAFA cadets are considered regular [activecomponent] service members. AFROTC cadets on scholarship who have signed servicecontracts are members of the Air Force Reserve are subject to the same requirements formandatory vaccinations as all Airmen and Guardians.
TOTAL FORCE (Specific)58) If I refuse the vaccine on a UTA or in other inactive duty status, can I be ordered to AnnualTour or other active duty and compelled to be vaccinated?Yes, you may be ordered to Annual Tour with the appropriate notice. You will be expectedto comply with the requirement to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. You may also do so at acivilian provider of your choice. If you elect to receive the vaccine at a civilian provider, anFDA approved or authorized (EUA) vaccine will satisfy the mandate. You will need toprovide appropriate paperwork to your Unit Health Monitor to be entered in AHLTA andASIMS for tracking purposes.59) Is there a difference if I refuse the vaccine on inactive or active duty status?No. Members of the reserve components, in either status, are required to comply with thismandate.
60) If I refuse the vaccine, will I be paid? Can I be “red-lined” and given an unexcused drillperiod? Will I be put in “no pay, no points” status?You will be paid for any duty completed but could be then excused and sent home pendingfurther action. Any subsequent drill periods could be marked as unexcused if the memberdoes not have prior approval from the commander. Your commander could also place you ina “No Pay No Points” duty status for failing to meet medical readiness requirements.61) What happens if I stop attending drill because I do not want to be vaccinated?Drill periods missed without prior approval of the commander will be marked unexcused.Refusing to be vaccinated is not an acceptable excuse for not attending drill.62) Do I have to fill out a form declining the vaccine? If so, will that also be in my VA healthrecords?Yes. Completing DHA Form 207 is required for all members, even those who decline thevaccination. The form will be retained in your permanent health records.63) I’m an IMA. Can my active component unit stop my participation if I refuse the vaccine?Yes. The COVID-19 vaccine is a mandatory requirement. If a member does not meetmedical readiness standards participation could be curtailed.64) If I refuse the vaccine, will I be allowed to participate in order to get a ‘good year’ forretirement?It depends. The COVID-19 vaccine is a mandatory requirement. If a member does not meetmedical readiness standards participation could be curtailed.65) I’m at a unit that only has FDA authorized (EUA) vaccines. If the active componentMilitary Treatment Facility (MTF) gets an FDA licensed vaccine will reserve componentmembers have to take it as well?Yes. On an installation, the active component MTF and reserve Medical Unit willcoordinate to ensure that there is enough COMIRNATY (Pfizer) vaccine on hand for allunvaccinated members. The Secretary of Defense’s direction establishes a requirement forservice members to be fully vaccinated. Service members can elect to receive any FDAlicensed or authorized (EUA) vaccine to meet that requirement. If vaccinations are beinggiven on a mandatory basis, the only vaccine that may be used at this time is theCOMIRNATY® (Pfizer) vaccine. If you do not now have the COMIRNATY® (Pfizer)vaccine at your installation or location, your servicing Military Treatment Facility canadvise if or when it will be available. (COMIRNATY® has the same formulation and can beused interchangeably with the FDA authorized Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.Providers can use doses distributed under the EUA to administer the vaccination series as ifthe doses were the licensed vaccine according the FDA guidance. Other vaccines may beadded to this list in the future.) Members can always choose to get vaccinated on their ownor wait for adequate supply at a DoD facility. MTFs will have adequate vaccine supplies tomeet the SecAF’s vaccination timeline.
66) I’m an Air Reserve Technician (ART). In civilian status can I be asked to take the vaccine?Yes, the Secretary of the Air Force’s 8 October 2021 memo references EO 14043 and theDepSecDef 1 October 2021 memo, and mandates all DAF civilian employees, includingARTs, to be fully vaccinated, unless exempted. Currently, you will not have the option totest as an alternative to the vaccine. DoD and DAF are currently updating guidance andpolicy to implement measures for mandatory vaccinations for civilian employees. As anART, if you ultimately refuse the vaccine, you will not meet your conditions of employmentand will not remain qualified for your position.67) Can a member of the reserve component use an active component MTF to receive theCOVID-19 vaccination while not in a paid duty status?Yes.68) If a member of the reserve component receives a COVID-19 vaccination off-base while notin paid duty status, are they responsible for the cost? Can they seek treatment throughTRICARE or the military medical system if they suffer complications? What about throughthe Veterans Health Administration (VHA)?Service members, regardless of status, who require medical attention as a result of COVID-19
vaccination may utilize the military medical system. Determinations on benefits fromthe VHA or TRICARE will be made by each respectively.Most civilian vaccination programs are offering the COVID-19 vaccination free of charge.Members of the SELRES may utilize vaccination programs outside of MTFs and DoDvaccination sites, such as county and state programs.69) Do ANG members need to comply with the SecAF vaccine mandate if the Governor oftheir State has issued a prohibition on vaccine mandates? (alternate question: Do ANGmembers need to comply with the SecAF vaccine mandate when in Title 32 status?Yes. The Secretary of the Air Force, pursuant to his statutory authority under Title 10,United States Code, and Department of Defense policy, establishes readiness requirementsfor the DAF. ANG members are required to maintain readiness while in a Title 32 status,and in order to be eligible to deploy