Navy Exceeds 650 COVID-19 Vaccine Separations

March 23, 2022 4:39 PM
Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Mary Ashcraft, from Honolulu, assigned to the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Tulsa (LCS 16), administers the COVID-19 vaccine booster for Aviation Machinist Mate 1st Class Anthony Johnson, from San Diego, assigned to the “Blackjacks” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21, aboard the submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) in Apra Harbor, Guam, on Jan. 10, 2022. US Navy Photo

The Navy separated an additional 108 sailors in the past week, bringing the total COVID-19 vaccine refusal separations to 652.

The majority of separations are among active-duty sailors, according to the Navy’s weekly update. The Navy separated 101 active-duty sailors since March 16.

Of the 620 active-duty separations of sailors, 522 had fewer than six years of service, while 98 had more than six years, Lt. Travis Callaghan told USNI News in an email. This does not include 22 separations of sailors who were in their first 180 days.

The highest rank separated was chief petty officer, Callaghan said. No active-duty officers have been separated.

The Navy also separated seven reservists.

The Navy continues to have the second-highest number of COVID-19 vaccine-related separations among the services, behind the Marine Corps.

The Air Force, which has the third most, has separated a total of 222 airmen due to refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the air service’s most recent update.

The Navy continues to get closer to its 100 percent vaccination goal, with 4,462 active-duty sailors – a decrease of 121 in a week – still not fully vaccinated, although the number includes those who are awaiting exemption adjudications, are in the process of getting vaccinated or are waived from vaccination.

There are 3,265 reservists who are not fully vaccinated, which did not change since last week.

The Navy has now granted nine religious exemptions for members of the Individual Ready Reserve, although they were granted on the conditional basis that each person would need to be vaccinated if they were called to active duty or the reserves.

The sea service granted 12 permanent medical, 210 temporary medical and 30 administrative waivers for active-duty sailors. It gave one permanent, 10 temporary and 23 administrative exemptions for reservists.

There have been no religious exemptions granted for active-duty sailors or reservists, despite 3,320 requests from active-duty sailors and 864 from reservists.

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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