Marine Corps Nears 400 Separations Over COVID-19 Vaccine Refusal

January 27, 2022 4:34 PM
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Erika Mendoza an administrative specialist assigned to Installation Personnel Administration Center, Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, receives the COVID-19 vaccine at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, on Feb. 17, 2021. US Marine Corps Photo

Nearly 400 Marines have been separated due to continued refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the service announced Thursday.

The Marine Corps separated 65 Marines in the past week, bringing the total number of separations to 399. The service’s weekly update does not clarify if the Marines are active-duty or in the reserves.

As of Jan. 26, 95 percent of the active-duty force is fully vaccinated, which did not change from the previous week, according to Thursday’s update. However, the percentage of Marines who are at least partially vaccinated — which includes those who are both partially and fully vaccinated — increased from 96 percent to 97 percent.

There were no changes for the reserve Marines, which remains 87 percent fully vaccinated and 88 percent at least partially vaccinated. The percentage of partially vaccinated reservists also includes those who are fully vaccinated.

The Marine Corps has approved 627 medical or administrative exemptions, as well as three religious exemptions. The Marine Corps is the only branch to approve religious exemptions so far.

The service received 3,428 requests for religious exemptions, with 3,377 adjudicated. All but the three were denied.

The Marine Corps is also the branch that has separated the most of its personnel. The Army has not involuntarily separated any soldiers, according to its COVID-19 update released Thursday.

The Air Force has, so far, separated 111 active-duty airmen, as of Jan. 21. The Navy has separated 45 sailors, USNI News previously reported.

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

Get USNI News updates delivered to your inbox