About Five Percent of Active-duty Coast Guard Personnel Remain Unvaccinated; 206 Marines Separated for Vaccine Refusal

January 3, 2022 5:41 PM
U.S. Marines stationed on Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma, receive their COVID-19 vaccination on MCAS Yuma, Ariz., Feb. 16, 2021. U.S. Marine Corps Photo

Nearly 5 percent of the Coast Guard’s active-duty personnel was unvaccinated as the service closed out the year.

Approximately 94.4 percent of the active-duty workforce was fully vaccinated, while 95.3 percent had received the first shot of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, as of Dec. 27, Lt. Sondra-Kay Kneen, a spokesperson for the Coast Guard, told USNI News in an email.

The Coast Guard was not able to say how many exemptions have been granted, Kneed said.
The service has not yet separated anyone due to vaccine refusal, despite the Nov. 22 deadline.

The Navy has not officially separated anyone from the service either, although the executive officer of USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81) was relieved due to failure to obey a lawful order. A Navy official told USNI News this was due to failure to be vaccinated against or tested for COVID-19.

Navy ROTC has not separated anyone due to vaccine refusal, said Lt. Cmdr. Paul Chitty, a spokesperson for Naval Service Training Command.

The Coast Guard’s numbers are similar to that of the Marine Corps, which had 94 percent of its active-duty personnel fully vaccinated, as of Dec. 28, despite the deadline passing a month ago, according to the Marines’ COVID-19 update.

Like the Coast Guard, 95 percent of active-duty Marines are partially vaccinated. The percentage also includes those who are fully vaccinated.

The Marines fare worse with its reserve members. The deadline to be fully vaccinated for reservists was Dec. 28, when 83 percent of Marine reservists were considered fully vaccinated and 86 percent partially vaccinated.

The service approved 1,007 medical or administrative exemptions, with religious exemptions forwarded to the Manpower and Reserve Affairs Department for adjudication.

As of Dec. 28, 206 Marines had been separated due to refusal to take the vaccine, according to the update.

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio is a reporter with USNI News. She has a master’s degree in science journalism and has covered local courts, crime, health, military affairs and the Naval Academy.
Follow @hmongilio

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