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Minnesota National Guard could lose 600 soldiers, after vaccine deadline

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FILE - Minnesota National Guard (PHOTO: @MinnesotaNationalGuard on Facebook)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota National Guard could lose hundreds of soldiers if they don’t get vaccinated against COVID-19 immediately.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that the U.S. Department of Defense’s deadline for getting shots is Thursday. More than 95% of the Minnesota National Guard’s 13,000 members have been vaccinated but according to the percentages military officials provided that leaves more than 600 members who could face dismissal.

Across the country more than 40,000 Army National Guard soldiers making up about 13% of its total troops haven’t been vaccinated.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered vaccinations for all members of the military in 2021. Deadlines varied by branch.

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