DOD Issues Guidance for Implementing Rescission of August 24, 2021 and November 30, 2021 Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination Requirements for Service Members

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The Deputy Secretary of Defense released guidance via memorandum to ensure the uniform implementation of the January 10, 2023 Covid Rescission memorandum, which rescinded the August 24, 2021 and November 30, 2021 Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination Requirements for Service Members.

This guidance, required by section 525 of the James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023, directs all DoD Component heads to formally rescind any policies, directives, and guidance implementing those vaccination mandates as soon as possible, if they have not already done so. DoD Component policies, directives, and guidance have not been operative since the January 10, 2023 memorandum was issued, regardless of the status of the confirming guidance.

The DoD Component heads must certify to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness in writing that these actions have been completed by March 17, 2023.

Department leadership remains committed to ensuring the safety of our Service members and will continue to promote and encourage vaccinations for all Service members along with continued use of other effective mitigation measures.  This includes monitoring changing public health conditions, relevant data, and geographic risks; and updating policies and processes as required to maintain the strategic readiness of our forces and our ability to defend national security interests around the globe.

The full memorandum can be read here.

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