Navy Exceeds 500 COVID-19 Vaccine-Related Separations

March 21, 2022 1:41 PM
Hospitalman Joseph Sanchez, assigned to U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka Branch Health Clinic Sasebo, administers a COVID-19 vaccine booster during a shot exercise for Japanese Master Labor Contract (MLC), Indirect Hire Agreement (IHA), and MarinerÕs Contract (MC) employees employed at Commander, Fleet Activities Sasebo (CFAS) on Feb. 9, 2022. US Navy Photo

The Navy separated 75 sailors last week, bringing the total number of separations over refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to 544.

Of the separations, 519 were active-duty sailors who have served more than 180 days, 22 were sailors in their first 180 days and three are reservists, according to the Navy’s weekly COVID-19 update, which publishes Wednesdays.

Of the branches, the Navy has the second-most separations behind the Marine Corps. As of March 16, 1,174 Marines were separated due to refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19, an increase of 136 since March 9.

The Air Force has separated 212 airmen, the service announced last week. The Army made its first separations this past week, with three soldiers separated for continued refusal to get vaccinated against the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2.

The Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force have now all approved at least one religious exemption, although the Navy’s one approval is on a conditional basis, with the sailor required to get vaccinated if they return to active or reserve status.

The Air Force has approved a total of 23 religious exemptions, with the Army approving two. The Marine Corps has approved six religious exemptions.

The Navy approved 12 permanent medical, 212 temporary medical and 26 administrative vaccine waivers for active-duty sailors. It approved one permanent medical, 10 temporary medical and 24 administrative exemptions for reservists.

As of March 16, 4,583 active-duty sailors were not yet fully vaccinated, which includes those with granted exemptions and those in the process of getting vaccinated. It is a decrease of 10 sailors over the previous week.

The number of reservists not fully vaccinated climbed by 25 to 3,265 between March 9 and March 16.

Active-duty Marines are currently 97 percent fully vaccinated, with another 1 percent partially vaccinated. Reservists are 90 percent fully vaccinated.

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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