Data suggests hundreds of thousands of US service members have yet to follow the mandate to be vaccinated from Covid. A report from the Washington Post detailed numbers from the Department of Defense shows that over 213,000 skilled members are still not vaccinated between the active-duty branches of the military.
To defend this Nation, we need a healthy and ready Force. All FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines are safe and highly effective. They will protect us, and they will ensure we remain the most lethal and ready force in the world. (2/2) pic.twitter.com/R7q8bshAs5
— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) August 9, 2021
Unvaccinated by Branch:
- Navy: 7,000
- Marine Corps: 51,000
- Army: 95,000
- Air Force: 60,000
The report indicated that the Army Guard and Reserve numbers, which is made up of close to 522,000 members, have over 208,000 soldiers still unvaccinated. There was no mention of the Coast Gaurd.
Conservatives say this points to a force readiness issue if these many members choose to quit or be discharged over a vaccine. Instead of easing the mandate for the emergency vaccine, the Army has promised to get its troops vaccinated.
Army Spokesman Lt. Col. Terrence Kelley said, “We expect all unvaccinated soldiers to receive the vaccine as soon as possible. Individual soldiers are required to receive the vaccine when available.”
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