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More Than 200 Marines Have Been Removed for Refusing to Get Vaccinated

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

A total of 206 Marines have been removed for refusing to comply with the Pentagon’s mandate that all troops get vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus, a Marine Corps spokesperson announced Thursday.

In an emailed statement, Capt. Andrew Wood, who is a Marine Corps spokesperson, said that 95 percent of the more than 182,000 active-duty Marines have at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. The vaccination rate for reservists increased from 86 percent partially-vaccinated to 83 percent fully vaccinated.

Two weeks ago, on Dec. 16, a spokesperson for the Marine Corps said that 103 members had been kicked out for refusing to get vaccinated. The announcement, from Maj. Jim Stenger, a Marine Corps spokesperson, said that the service members were separated with a “vaccine refusal” discharge code. Last week, Politico reported that the number had risen to 169.

The deadline for active-duty Marines to be vaccinated was Nov. 28. Reservists were given until Dec. 28 to comply with the mandate. The Marine Corps is still processing over 1,000 administrative and medical exemptions. They have not approved any processed religious exemptions, which exceeds 3,000.

In August, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin mandated that all members of the military get vaccinated. Each branch enforced its own vaccination deadlines. 

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Army announced that 98 percent of active-duty soldiers had gotten vaccinated against COVID-19. In January, the announcement noted, the Army will begin separating soldiers who did not get vaccinated who are not waiting for a medical or religious exemption to be processed. At the time of the announcement, the Army had made four permanent medical exemptions and no religious exemptions.

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