A former National Guardsman who sought a religious exemption to the military COVID-19 vaccine mandate was given the mRNA shot instead of an inoculation for the flu “accidentally,” according to the service.
After refusing the COVID vaccine multiple times and requesting a religious exemption to the mandate, former Maine National Guard Specialist Mathew Bouchard was given the mRNA shot instead of the flu vaccine months before he was to leave the service, he told Just the News on Thursday.
West Point Military Academy cadets were denied their Religious Accommodation Request appeals to the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate en masse on Wednesday but were not informed until Friday afternoon, when they were given 24 hours to respond, according to attorney R. Davis Younts.
A Developmental Counseling Form that was given to a cadet notes that the religious objector’s RAR appeal was denied on Wednesday and the date that cadet received counseling regarding the vaccine mandate was Friday. The form says that the objector has until 4 p.m. on Saturday to make a plan to receive the vaccine.
While federal courts have ordered the Navy and Air Force not to take any adverse actions against military members seeking religious exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, the Coast Guard is seeking to discharge service members refusing the vaccine without allowing them to appear before administrative separation boards to defend their cases.
Federal courts in Texas and Ohio have granted injunctions against the Navy and Air Force vaccine mandates, respectively, for members seeking religious exemptions. Those injunctions, however, do not apply to any other military branches, including the Coast Guard.