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Marine Corps Continues to Lead COVID-19 Vaccine Separations

A U.S. Marine holds out a sticker given to Marines after receiving the COVID-19 vaccination at the U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, on Camp Foster, Feb. 18, 2020. US Marine Corps Photo

The Marine Corps separated nearly 200 Marines in a week due to refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Marine Corps, which leads the branches in the number of separations over COVID-19 vaccine refusal, is now at 873 separated Marines, according to the service’s weekly update, which published on Thursday.

Still, the percentage of separated Marines makes up less than 1 percent of the Marine Corps’ total force.

The Navy has the second highest number of separations due to refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19, with 419 separations, an increase of 99 in a week, USNI News previously reported.

Of the new Navy separations, 73 had less than six years of service, while 26 had more than six years of service, Chief of Naval Personnel spokesman Lt. Travis Callaghan said in an email. The highest rank separated was a petty officer first class.

The Air Force has separated 188 airmen as of Feb. 28, according to its weekly COVID-19 update. The Army did not release a COVID-19 update for this week.

The Marine Corps has granted six religious exemptions to the vaccine and has received a total of 3,633 waiver requests. It’s unclear how many have been adjudicated.

The Air Force has approved the most religious exemptions at 17.

The Marine Corps has also approved 1,067 medical or administrative exemptions. As of Thursday, the active-duty force is 96 percent fully vaccinated, with another 1 percent partially vaccinated, which has not changed since the previous week.

The reserve force is 89 percent fully vaccinated, with another 1 percent partially vaccinated.