• Steve Burton claimed he applied for medical and religious exemptions but was denied
  • Burton said he remains thankful for his time on "General Hospital" and hopes to return if the vaccine mandate is lifted
  • Burton's "General Hospital" co-stars and fans showed their support to him

Steve Burton has confirmed on social media that he was fired from "General Hospital," following weeks of speculations that he would be the next to exit the show after Ingo Rademacher.

Burton took to Instagram Tuesday to announce that he was axed from the show because he didn't comply with the production’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

"I wanted you to hear it from me personally," he said in a video. "Unfortunately, 'General Hospital' has let me go because of the vaccine mandate."

According to Burton, he applied for medical and religious exemptions but was denied. "Which, you know, hurts. But this is also about personal freedom to me," he continued.

Burton said he remains grateful to ABC and the show, where he's played Jason Morgan on and off since 1991. He vacated the role in 2012 and reprised it in 2017. He won a Daytime Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for Morgan in 1998.

Burton had a five-year stint on CBS' "The Young and the Restless" from 2013 to 2017. In 2007, he also played Morgan in the "General Hospital" spin-off "Night Shift," which lasted two seasons.

Following his exit, the 51-year-old said he was optimistic about his future, sharing that he was "excited" to see what it brings.

Burton was also hopeful for a potential return to the series in the future. "Maybe one day if these mandates are lifted, I can return and finish my career as Jason Morgan. That would be an honor," he added.

Burton's last "General Hospital" episode was filmed on Oct. 27, and he said it will air this week.

Rademacher, who also left the show earlier this month after refusing to comply with the vaccine mandate, commented under Burton's post, writing, "Well said, my friend."

"It takes [a lot of] guts. I will miss you," "General Hospital" co-star Maurice Benard commented.

Burton also received messages of support from fans.

"Very well said, brother. Do what’s best for you and your family always. LEGEND," one fan wrote. "Gonna miss you, Steve. Thanks for all the great memories and performances," another supporter wrote.

"General Hospital" fans had been speculating about Burton's exit for weeks. He had tested positive for COVID-19 back in August, saying he'd been "exposed at work."

During that time, the clash among the show's stars regarding COVID-19 protocols and vaccination surfaced after cast member Nancy Lee Grahn called on the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) to address the issue of working "on a set with unmasked, unvaccinated actors."

Steve Burton
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 18: Steve Burton in a scene that airs the week of September 20, 2010 on ABC's GENERAL HOSPITAL (3PM ET/2PM CT and PT). Christopher Polk/Getty Images for DATG