More than 100 Marine Corps members have been discharged for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine, the Marine Corps announced Thursday.
ABC News reported that the 103 discharges in the Marine Corps have come as the other service branches are starting to discharge as many as 30,000 active-duty service members who have turned down the COVID-19 vaccine, even after multiple opportunities to get vaccinated past multiple vaccination deadlines.
The active-duty Marines had until Nov. 28 to get vaccinated or apply for an exemption, and those who failed to meet the deadline will face administrative separation from the Marine Corps, according to The Military Times.
The vaccines had been voluntary until late August, when Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for all members of the military.
The military branches set their own deadlines to get vaccinated, warning service members that they could be discharged if they refused the vaccine.
The Military Times reported that those members of the military who are discharged for refusing the vaccine will receive an honorable or general discharge.
Although the percentage of vaccinated active-duty military is 95% or higher, there are still about 30,000 unvaccinated active-duty military members, according to ABC News.
If the vaccination numbers do not increase in the Marines, the Marine Corps may wind up giving more than 8,000 Marines the boot for refusing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Marines have the lowest vaccination rate at 95%, while the Army and Navy’s vaccination rates hover around 98% and the Air Force’s vaccination rate is around 97.5%, according to Politico.
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