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Navy Stops COVID-19 Vaccine Separations for 4,095 Sailors Who Requested Religious Exemptions

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The Navy has stopped separating sailors for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine on religious grounds after a federal judge granted class-action certification in the case of Navy SEALs suing Department of Defense officials over the vaccine mandate, defense officials told USNI News on Wednesday.

Judge Reed O’Connor Monday granted the class action in the case of 26 Navy SEALs and other members of the special warfare community who are suing Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and other Department of Defense officials to prevent being separated over the refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19 due to their religious beliefs. O’Connor also granted the preliminary injunction for the class action, extending the Navy’s inability to separate any sailors who were denied religious exemptions to the vaccine mandate.

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