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97% of USAF at least partially vaccinated; feds won’t release data for Holloman AFB

ALAMOGORDO, New Mexico - Ahead of Tuesday's deadline to have all airmen vaccinated, 97% of active duty U.S. Air Force personnel had received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to the Department of Defense.

However, the federal government will not release data specific to any one military base, including Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo.

"We are not able to release Covid-19 vaccination rates here at Holloman," a spokeswoman for the base told ABC-7. "We are also not authorized to conduct an interview about vaccinations at Holloman."

"Leaders have a range of tools available to them to help troops make the right decisions," said Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby at a briefing in Washington. He said the secretary of the Air Force encourages leaders to execute the mandate with "compassion and understanding."

RELATED STORY: Military weighs penalties for those who refuse Covid vaccine

According to the Department of Defense, there were 330,678 active duty Air Force personnel as of Sept. 30. With 3% having not had their first dose as of Monday, that would mean at least 9,920 service members in the Air Force are in danger of facing unknown consequences.

"What happens tomorrow morning when those 10,000 show up at work?" a reporter asked Kirby during the briefing.

"That's really a question better put to the Air Force," said Kirby. "The secretary (of defense) trusts the military departments to deal with this mandatory vaccine in the way they deem best fit."

Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.

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