The U.S. Air Force (USAF) discharged 27 troops for failure to comply with the Pentagon’s vaccine requirement for military members, spokesperson Ann Stefanek announced Monday.

Data from the Air Force in October revealed that 96.4% of troops were at least partially vaccinated. At that point, up to 12,000 Air Force members had refused to get fully vaccinated under a mandate put in place in August.

According to the Air Force, as of Tuesday 95.1% of the total force is fully vaccinated, with 97.2% of active-duty members fully vaccinated. The total number of unvaccinated sits at 17,755 with 7,139 active-duty members unvaccinated.

Of those unvaccinated, 3,300 have refused to get inoculated, including 1,039 active-duty members. Others have not started the process, around 3,689, or provided religious exceptions that are still being processed, around 10,766. Approved administrative and medical exceptions sit at 4,310 Air Force members.

Those discharged on Monday did not ask for any exceptions, religious or otherwise. They were the first military members to be discharged because of the mandate, and it is unclear how many more discharges are expected as more deadlines from other branches of the military approach. The Air Force mandated members to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 2.

Vaccine and testing mandates like the one for members of the military face pushback on the federal and state level. However, military vaccine mandates are harder to overturn because service members are often living in close quarters where disease tends to spread rapidly.

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