The U.S. Marine Corps announced Thursday that its 103 members had been separated over their refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Active-duty Marines had until Nov. 28 to receive their vaccine or otherwise risked being discharged. The deadline for reserve Marines was set for a month later, Dec. 28, according to The Hill.
The Marine Corps issued a guidance late October, warning that anyone who “received and willfully disobeyed a lawful order” would be processed for separation.
103 Marines have been discharged for refusing the COVID vaccine, the Marine Corps says, as the military services have begun to discharge a pool of possibly as many as 30,000 active duty service members who still refuse to be vaccinated. https://t.co/65UC1EGGY9
— ABC News (@ABC) December 16, 2021
Stenger reported a 95% vaccination rate among active-duty Marines, which still puts the Marine Corps at the bottom of the list of military branches ranked on vaccination rate, according to Axios. (RELATED: LA County Sheriff Reaffirms He Won’t Enforce Vaccine Mandate)
The Marine Corps has approved 1,007 vaccine exemptions, all of which were either medical or administrative, Stenger said in the email to The Marine Corps Times.
As of Thursday, 2,863 out of 3,144 Marines who had applied for a religious exemption had their requests denied. The Marine Corps doesn’t have a single known case of approving a religious exemption to vaccination in the past decade, The Marine Corps Times reported.
The Air Force has previously announced relieving 27 members for failing to comply with the military branch’s Nov. 2 vaccination deadline.