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(LifeSiteNews) — The Pentagon has officially rescinded its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for American servicemen and servicewomen.  

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin sent out a memo on January 10, confirming the withdrawal of the controversial jab mandate. It had been in place since August 2021. 

The memo has been highly anticipated since the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill early last December that included a provision for repealing the vaccine mandate. President Joe Biden signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law on December 23, 2022, giving Austin 30 days to revoke the vaccine mandate. 

RELATED: House rescinds military jab mandate without reinstatement or back pay for ousted service members 

Despite the revocation of the mandate, Austin still pushed the COVID injection in his memo, writing that “[t]he Department will continue to promote and encourage COVID-19 vaccination for all service members.” 

He furthermore stated that “[v]accination enhances operational readiness and protects the force,” and claimed that the COVID shots saved many lives. 

Contrary to earlier claims by American health authorities, COVID jabs do not prevent the contraction or spread of the virus. They have been implicated in thousands of vaccine injuries, including death.

The end to the mandate may be cold comfort for those personnel who were ousted for refusing to submit to the jab. According to the memo, members of the U.S. military who were “administratively discharged on the sole basis” of refusing the COVID-19 injection are “precluded by law from” to be awarded “any characterization less than a general (under honorable conditions) discharge.” 

It remains unclear if those discharged for refusing to comply with the vaccine mandate will be allowed to return to active service. 

READ: Former Army lieutenant colonel speaks out after losing career for refusing COVID jab 

According to Reuters, over 8,400 members of the military have been discharged for refusing the COVID injection. This includes 3,717 Marines, 2,041 from the Navy, 1,841 from the Army, and 834 from the Air Force. 

Many Americans in and out of the military harbor moral and practical reservations about the COVID-19 vaccines, given the use of aborted fetal cells in their development, the superiority of natural immunity, COVID’s low risk to most otherwise-healthy individuals, the vaccines’ failure to prevent infection, their accelerated development under former President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed initiative giving them only a fraction of the evaluation and development time vaccines normally take, the lack of transparency from their manufacturers, and mounting evidence of serious adverse effects. 

READ: Major autopsy report finds COVID jabs responsible for sudden cardiovascular deaths