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Vaccine Standoff Continues as First Deadline Passes

December 8, 2021

From the National Guard Association of the United States website

National Guard photograph

The battle between Oklahoma and the Defense Department over COVID-19 vaccine mandates is heading to the courts.

The state filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration to halt enforcement of a mandate, Gov. Kevin Stitt announced last week. The move came after Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said in a memo that pay could be withheld for unvaccinated troops without an approved exemption from the vaccine requirements.

December 2 was the deadline for members of the Air National Guard to be vaccinated, under rules announced by the Air Force. Members of the Army National Guard have until June 30, 2022.

According to Air Force Magazine, more than 23,000 airmen and Space Force Guardians from across the Total Force were unvaccinated as the deadline passed.

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