The British Army will punish military personnel who decline to be vaccinated against Covid-19, the Daily Mail has reported, as the media and government pile pressure on Britons to get the jab.
Orders reportedly issued to the Royal Artillery and Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers state that soldiers who refuse to have the coronavirus vaccine will be “educated” by their commanders.
“If they still refuse they may be deemed as unfit to soldier and dealt with accordingly as the CV-19 jab may be a requirement to deploy on operations/exercises, much like yellow fever,” according to official documents obtained by the outlet.
The directive was issued over the past week, the Daily Mail said.
The military cannot force soldiers to receive the vaccine, but under the Armed Forces Act, service members can be deemed “unfit to soldier.”
In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said that it was committed to keeping all personnel and their families safe, both at home and overseas, and that members of the military were being vaccinated “in line with national priority guidelines.”
It is similarly unlawful for private companies to make the vaccine mandatory for their current employees. However, some have argued that it may be legal to require new hires to get the jab.
Read more: ‘British soldiers who refuse Covid jab will be ‘educated’ & could face disciplinary action’ – Hey, troops, you need to join us and protect the people from tyranny. Isn’t that what you signed up for?