Veterans benefits

No Veteran Benefits Guarantee for Military Vaccines

The Pentagon leaves the decision to local commanders on less than honorable discharges for troops discharged for covid vaccines, The Military Times reports. As Air Force and Space Force deadlines pass, the vast majority are now vaccinated – although more than 7,500 service members are applying for exemptions.

The Military Times: Troops who refuse COVID vaccines will not be guaranteed veterans’ benefits, officials warn

Troops who refuse the coronavirus vaccine will see no additional protections or leniency in the way their layoffs are handled, Defense and Veterans Affairs officials confirmed Wednesday. Instead, decisions on whether or not to grant these people anything other than honorable discharge — potentially blocking them from a host of veterans’ benefits — will be left to local commanders, and their cases will receive no assessment. preferential for eligibility for veterans benefits, despite recent lobbying by Republican lawmakers for a less punitive approach. (Shane III, 3/11)

The Wall Street Journal: Thousands in the Air Force and Space Army call for exemption from Covid-19 vaccines

At least 7,599 Airmen and Space Force members have not received a Covid-19 vaccine, refusing to do so or seeking exemptions from military requirements, the Air Force said Wednesday, in an initial round of challenges to a departmental mandate that troops be vaccinated to serve. Of these, the Air Force has approved medical or administrative exemptions for 1,866 Air Force and Space Force personnel, which means they do not have to receive a vaccine. , the Air Force said. (Youssef, 3/11)

The Military Times: Nearly 8,500 active-duty airmen and guards missed vaccination deadline

Almost all active duty members of the Air Force and Space Force complied with the mandate to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by November 2, but nearly 8,500 soldiers did not. – and now face expulsion from the military. Some 1,800 other people have been granted exemptions from the requirement, a spokesperson said on Wednesday. A total of 10,352 active duty airmen and guards remain unprotected. (Cohen, 3/11)

The Norman Transcript: Oklahoma Governor wants Defense Department to suspend vaccine requirement for National Guard troops

The Governor of Oklahoma has asked the US Secretary of Defense to suspend COVID-19 vaccination mandates for Oklahoma National Guard troops after 10% of state personnel said that he did not have or was not planning to get vaccinated. In his letter to Lloyd Austin, Gov. Kevin Stitt wrote that approximately 800 Oklahoma National Guard personnel have not or will not be vaccinated despite a Department of Defense requirement that all troops members must be vaccinated or risk being fired. (Stecklein, 3/11)

And in more covid mandates news —

The Washington Post: New York Mayor-elect Eric Adams to ‘revisit’ vaccine mandate

Eric Adams, who was just elected mayor of New York, jumps directly to the hot topic of coronavirus vaccine mandates – saying he plans to review the requirements currently in place for city workers, which have been unpopular among certain unions representing the city’s firefighters and police officers. Adams, a Democrat and former police captain, said, “The mask mandates that we should keep in place… We need to review how we’re going to deal with vaccine mandates.” (Jeong and Suliman, 4/11)

Los Angeles Times: Sheriff Villanueva denounces vaccination mandate; LAPD’s Moore prepares for impact

For weeks, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva lambasted the county’s vaccination mandate for employees, saying he wouldn’t force his deputies to get vaccinated. This is a decidedly different stance from that taken by Los Angeles Police Department chief Michel Moore, who agreed to enforce vaccination rules put in place by city officials. And it shows in their vaccination numbers. About 53% of the Sheriff’s Department’s 16,070 employees, sworn and civilian, have received at least one dose of the vaccine, compared to 74% of the LAPD’s 12,143 employees, according to figures released by each agency. (Chekmedyian, rector and Winton, 3/11)

Des Moines Registry: Polk County administrator scolds sheriff for employee COVID testing

Polk County Administrator John Norris acknowledges erupting this week to Sheriff Kevin Schneider about the sheriff’s refusal to begin testing unvaccinated employees in his office for COVID-19. The county’s top public safety official resisted, Norris said, even though other county department heads have been doing so for more than a month, as required by a policy approved by county supervisors on September 14. . Norris said he confronted Schneider about it after a meeting of supervisors on Tuesday. He said he told the sheriff it could become a budget issue if he was unwilling to enforce a public safety policy aimed at protecting county employees, inmates and the general public. (Rood, 3/11)

Oklahoman: Oklahoma City schools fire 6 teachers who refused to wear masks

Six teachers who refused to wear masks have been fired from Oklahoma City public schools. The district school board voted to terminate their employment after hearing testimony and asking questions at a hearing Wednesday night. The council voted unanimously after hearing hours of testimony. The six directors present deliberated for almost two hours in an executive session. (Martinez-Keel, 3/11)

Detroit Free Press: Ford will comply with federal mandate for COVID-19 vaccines – for salaried workers

Ford Motor Co. became the first of Detroit’s three automakers to comply with a federal COVID-19 vaccine order, announcing that it will require salaried workers to get vaccinated in early December. The company told employees on Tuesday that most of the 32,000 white-collar workers in the United States would be affected. (Wall Howard, 3/11)

As well –

Politico: 5-year-olds will soon have to show their vaccination cards in San Francisco

San Francisco will soon require children as young as 5 to show proof of a Covid-19 vaccination to enter certain indoor public spaces like restaurants, entertainment venues and sporting events, health officials said this week. public. The local mandate already requires children and adults over the age of 12 to present proof that they are vaccinated before entering these places. Now, city health officials plan to expand the health order to children ages 5 to 11, the group newly eligible for the vaccine. (Colliver, 3/11)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news outlets. Sign up for an email subscription.