Navy: More than 8000 Active and Reserve Sailors Are Unvaccinated Against COVID-19

January 13, 2022 11:53 AM
Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Mary Ashcraft, from Honolulu, assigned to the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Tulsa (LCS-16) on Jan. 10, 2022. US Navy Photo

While the total force of the Navy continues to see more than 8,000 unvaccinated members, the number has continued to decrease, according to the latest COVID-19 update from the sea service.

As of Jan. 12, there are 5,209 active-duty sailors who are not vaccinated — although this number includes those who are partially vaccinated, have an exemption or waiting for an exemption request to be adjudicated — a decrease of 59 since last week and decrease of 119 over the past two weeks.

There are 2,968 Ready Reserve members who are not vaccinated, as of Jan. 12, which is a decrease of 12 over the past week.

There have not been any additional separations in the past week. Last week, the Navy announced 20 entry level separations of sailors who were all within their first 180 days of service.

The Navy has, so far, received 3,038 religious exemption requests from active-duty sailors and 702 from reservists. The Navy has yet to grant a religious exemption to the COVID-19 vaccine, consistent with its history.

The Navy has granted eight permanent medical exemptions for active-duty sailors, as well as 244 temporary medical and 68 administrative ones. For Ready Reserve, the sea service granted nine temporary medical exemptions and 37 administrative ones.

A federal judge granted an injunction against the Navy over the vaccine mandate last week. The lawsuit, brought by members of the special warfare community, raised concerns about what the plaintiffs said was a blanket denial of religious exemptions by the sea service.

The Department of Defense is consulting with the Department of Justice to determine how the injunction will affect the vaccine mandate, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby previously said.

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.
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