Less than 10% of active-duty Marines and Navy sailors did not receive the coronavirus vaccine in time for the service branches' vaccination deadlines.
Ninety-two percent of active-duty Marines and 96.3% of active-duty sailors were fully vaccinated in the days after their Nov. 28 deadline, according to data released by both branches. There was an additional small number of active-duty members who were partially vaccinated at the time of the deadline, bringing both of those percentages up to 97.2% of sailors and 95% of Marines.
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Roughly 1,700 active-duty sailors and 9,100 Marines remain unvaccinated, according to both branches.
The Navy's vaccination percentages were slightly lower than its previous updates on vaccination rates as a result of a discrepancy that was recently discovered.
“A recent review of the vaccination reporting and tracking system revealed discrepancies in the data, which were appropriately corrected. Discrepancies included total force numbers and redundant entries," Lt. Devin Arneson, a spokeswoman for the Navy, told the Washington Examiner. "We strive to provide the most accurate and timely information to maintain transparency regarding the Navy’s effort to fight COVID-19.”
A couple thousand sailors and Marines have been granted permanent or temporary medical exemptions, though neither service has granted any religious exemptions to date.
The Navy has issued seven permanent medical exemptions, 400 temporary medical exemptions, and 134 administrative exemptions, while the Marines have approved 15, 362, and 476, respectively. There have been 2,531 requests for a religious exemption from the Navy, and six are still pending review. The Marines received 2,470 such requests, while 461 remain unprocessed.
Marines or sailors who are unvaccinated and without an approved exemption will be discharged.
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Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin ordered all military personnel to get vaccinated in August, and each branch implemented its own deadline for active and reserve forces, as well as policies on how to punish those who refuse the order.
The Air Force's vaccination deadline was at the beginning of November, leaving the Army as the only military branch with a deadline for active-duty forces yet to come up. Active-duty Army members must be vaccinated by Dec. 15.