REPORT: Nearly 40% Of Marines Opted Out Of The COVID-19 Vaccine

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Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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Almost 40% of eligible U.S. Marines have declined COVID-19 vaccinations, according to data the service provided to CNN on Friday.

About 75,000 marines received vaccines compared to 48,000 who have opted out, according to CNN, which is a 38.9% declination rate. About 102,000 Marines have not been offered the vaccine, CNN reported.

“We fully understand that widespread acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine provides us with the best means to defeat the pandemic,” Marine Corps spokeswoman Col. Kelly Frushour said to CNN. “The key to addressing the pandemic is building vaccine confidence.”

Frushour said those who have opted out may want others to receive it first, wait until it becomes mandatory, go through other channels, or have an allergy to the vaccine. (RELATED: US Reports 29 Cases Of Confirmed Severe Allergic Reaction To Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccine Among Nearly 5 Million Vaccinated)

According to CNN, officials say vaccine hesitancy comes from worries about how quickly they were developed and the unknown consequences of their long-term effects.

“Service members who decline one day can change their minds and become vaccinated when next the opportunity presents itself,” Frushour said.