The 40,000 members of the Army National Guard who are not fully vaccinated against the coronavirus after the deadline will not be allowed to participate in federal training, forfeiting future paychecks.
Thursday was the Army National Guard’s deadline to receive the vaccine. Of the more than 40,000 members of the Guard who are unvaccinated against COVID-19, 14,000 have said they do not intend to ever receive the vaccine, Guard officials told CBS News.
The Army announced Friday that members of the Guard who continue to refuse vaccines will not be allowed to attend federally funded drill weekends and won’t be paid. However, they can still receive paychecks from their state when serving on a mission assigned by state governors.
Guard officials told CBS News they hope that missing a paycheck for drill weekends will change the minds of the vaccine holdouts. Over time, those who remain unvaccinated will not only forfeit paychecks by missing weekend drilling, but they could also lose their proficiency, no longer be able to perform their mission, and face a discharge.
The Army National Guard had the latest deadline of all of the service components to receive the vaccine.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin requiring the vaccine for all service members last year but let each service branch decide on its own timeline. The Army set a deadline for active duty personnel of December 15, 2021 and June 30 for Army Reserve and National Guard.
As of June 30, 89% of the Army National Guard has received one dose and 87% are fully vaccinated, according to figures released by the Army.