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Marines on track for worst vaccination record in U.S. military

Sports & GeneralNov 21, 2021 04:15PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden looks on as he hands challenge coins to the members of the U.S. Marine Corps Honor Guard before boarding Air Force One at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware, U.S., August 29, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner 2/2

By Ahmed Aboulenein

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Marine Corps is set to have the worst vaccination record among military branches, with thousands of active-duty personnel set to miss the service's Nov. 28 deadline to be fully inoculated.

About 91% of active personnel are fully vaccinated and 94% partially vaccinated as of Wednesday, according to a Marine Corps statement on Sunday.

Service members are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after getting a single Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) shot or 14 days after their second dose of Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) or Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) vaccine -- meaning it is too late for many to complete the vaccination process by the deadline.

The Navy has the highest vaccination rate at 96.7% of active-duty personnel fully vaccinated, followed by the Air Force at 96.4%. An Army spokesperson said 92% of active-duty soldiers were fully vaccinated. The Army deadline is Dec. 15 for active duty and June 30 for the National Guard.

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth warned on Tuesday that soldiers, including National Guard members, who refuse to get vaccinated would not have their service renewed unless they have an approved exemption, according to a memo seen by Reuters.

Her warnings come as Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, a Republican, defied the federal mandate and said he would not require National Guard members in his state to get vaccinated.

Other Republicans opposing vaccine mandates include Senator Ted Cruz who on Saturday responded to Wormuth's memo by tweeting: "Biden admin persecuting our soldiers. This is not good for America."

In addition to the military, the Biden administration mandated vaccination for most federal employees, contractors, and health workers. More recently the White House said it would require private employers with at least 100 workers to mandate vaccination or weekly testing, a rule being challenged in court.

Nearly 60% of Americans are fully vaccinated.

Marines on track for worst vaccination record in U.S. military
 

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Comments (3)
Cory Smith
Cory Smith Nov 21, 2021 7:05PM ET
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It's not a matter of personal health risk. It's a matter of passing infection on to less healthy. Everyone wants herd immunity. This helps build that firewall. I really don't know why it's so hard to understand.
Andrew Allen
Andrew Allen Nov 21, 2021 7:05PM ET
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vaccinated don't spread the virus any less than unvaccinated, especially if they've previously been infected. Vaccine only helps protect not yet infected against severe reaction for a limited period of time. Is sacrificing their lives not enough for you Cory?
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Nov 21, 2021 5:40PM ET
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Let's be honest, considering that these marines are some of the healthiest people in society, requiring them to get the vaccine is for the benefit of others, not themselves.  It appears their sacrifice on the battlefield is not enough.
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Nov 21, 2021 3:15PM ET
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Why force Marines whom are very fit to accept medical experiment they have less than 0.01% risk?
 
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