Navy Separates More Than a 1,000 Sailors for COVID-19 Vaccine Refusal

May 26, 2022 2:51 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 exceeded 1,000 separations due to sailors’ continued refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The service has now approved 1,074 separations for sailors who will not get vaccinated against COVID-19 and do not have a waiver, according to the sea service’s weekly update. The Navy cannot currently separate anyone who applied for a religious exemption due to a ruling in a federal lawsuit.

The Navy separated 98 sailors over the past week. Of the sailors who have been separated, 954 were active-duty, 98 were reservists and 22 were sailors in their first 180 days of service.

The Navy has approved 14 permanent and 213 temporary medical exemptions for active-duty sailors and one permanent and 78 temporary medical waivers for reservists.

The service has also approved 13 religious exemptions for members of the Individual Ready Reserve on the condition that they get vaccinated if called to reserve or active-duty status.

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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