Last Thursday, a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction that would prevent the US Air Force from enacting penalties, disciplinary action, and dismissals against 12 Air Force officers who had previously filed religious exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine. The disapproved religious exemptions would later evolve into a lawsuit over the vaccine objections filed last February. The vaccine was deemed mandatory by the Pentagon and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III last year to prevent the spread of the deadly virus among the various US military branches.

These 12 US Air Force officers, and several airmen and reservists, mostly from the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base based in Fairborn, Ohio, filed their lawsuit against the federal government last February as their religious exemptions were denied by their superiors.

According to them, the Air Force had a double standard in approving the requests as 3,000 medical and administrative exemptions were allowed, and just nine religious exemptions from the vaccine were approved as of the date of their filling. They also claimed that those who had been infected with COVID-19 in the past and had survived were naturally immune to the disease, along with their religious concerns over the vaccines.

Three of the plaintiffs claimed that they did not want to be vaccinated as it violates the Christian doctrines regarding abortion. It would violate the holy rules as they claimed that some COVID-19 vaccines were developed using laboratory-grown aborted fetal tissue. Lt. Col. Edward Joseph Stapanon III, one of the plaintiffs, claimed that this would violate his Catholic faith in the process. However, the Vatican itself said that it was morally acceptable to take vaccines that had used cells from aborted fetuses.