Hundreds of thousands of US troops are still not fully vaccinated against Covid as the Pentagon’s deadline looms.
There are different vaccination deadlines across the different services – The Navy and Marine Corps both share a November 28 deadline.
The Air Force’s deadline for vaccination is November 2 and the Army’s deadline is December 15.
Biden informed the 2 million-plus servicemembers that they must be vaccinated against Covid, or else face severe punishment.
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Some Hundreds of thousands more US Servicemembers are yet not fully vaccinated against Covid.
Hundreds of thousands of U.S. service members remain unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated against the coronavirus as the Pentagon’s first compliance deadlines near, with lopsided rates across the individual services and a spike in deaths among military reservists illustrating how political division over the shots has seeped into a nonpartisan force with unambiguous orders.
Overall, the military’s vaccination rate has climbed since August, when Defense Department leaders, acting on a directive from President Joe Biden, informed the nation’s 2.1 million troops that immunization would become mandatory, exemptions would be rare and those who refuse would be punished. Yet troops’ response has been scattershot, according to data assessed by The Washington Post.
The data shows that 90 percent of active-duty Navy personnel are fully vaccinated while only 72 percent of Marine Corps personnel is. This despite the fact that both services have a Nov. 28, 28 deadline. In the Air Force, more than 60,000 personnel have just three weeks to meet the Defense Department’s most ambitious deadline.
Others services may not be on the same steady track. Critics claim that large gaps between vaccine deadlines make it difficult for the military to be ready in an emergency. They point specifically to the reserves and National Guard, which over the last two years have been called upon in numerous emergencies – at home and overseas – and yet large numbers of their personnel have so far refused to get vaccinated.