Reservists must be fully COVID-19 vaccinated this year

The Air Force has directed that all Reserve Citizen Airmen in part-time statuses be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 2, 2021, and all Reservists on active duty or in Active Guard and Reserve status be fully vaccinated by Nov. 2, 2021.

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall directed the COVID-19 vaccine implementation guidelines in accordance with the Secretary of Defense mandate announced in August.

“As a key factor in our readiness and war fighting mission, the health and wellbeing of our Reserve Citizen Airmen is of the utmost importance to me, my staff and our nation’s defense,” Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, Air Force Reserve Command commander and chief of the Air Force Reserve, said in his commander’s intent shortly after the order was issued.

“In accordance with Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall’s guidelines for the COVID-19 vaccine, I now intend for all our military Reserve Citizen Airmen to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 2, 2021. Our medical personnel are equipped with the approved Pfizer vaccine to administer to our Airmen during the next unit training assembly weekend.”

Scobee said he expects all Reserve Citizen Airmen to fall into one of four categories to ensure the command meets the Dec. 2 deadline: fully vaccinated; actively getting fully vaccinated; in receipt of an approved exemption or have an eligible exemption in progress; or declining the vaccination, which is incompatible with continued military service.

“I believe most of you will be in the first two categories, and we will continue to fly, fight and win whenever our nation needs us,” he said.

Many Air Force Reserve members across the command received their vaccine during September's UTA, and many units will continue to vaccinate in the coming weeks.

As of publication, the current COVID-19 vaccine mandate only applies to active duty, Guard and Reserve Airmen, and does not apply to federal civil service employees. Federal civil service employee requirements will be addressed at a later date in a separate communication.

AFRC medical officials and senior leaders highly encourage everyone to help protect themselves and others by being vaccinated.

Service members are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completing the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, or two weeks after receiving a single dose of a one-dose vaccine. For more information, Airmen are encouraged to work with their chains of command and local military treatment facilities. #ReserveReady 

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