Nov 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Up to 10,000 to miss Marine Corps vaccine deadline

 A U.S. Army soldier from the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate people at the Miami Dade College North Campus
Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Up to 10,000 active-duty Marines will not be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the deadline next week for members to get the shot, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The Marine Corps, which brands itself as the nation's "force of readiness," is on trajectory to have the worst immunization rate in the U.S. Military, according to data obtained by the Post.

By the numbers: About 94% of Marine Corps personnel are fully immunized or are on a path to do so, according to the Post. But it's too late for remaining unvaccinated people to complete the regimen ahead of the upcoming deadline.

Flashback: The U.S. Marine Corps imposed a Nov. 28 deadline for active-duty service members to be fully vaccinated after the Pentagon announced in August that it would require all service members to get inoculated. Reserve members have until Dec. 28.

Last month, the service announced that it would kick out Marines who refused to comply with the vaccination requirement, adding that it will "retain authority" to take additional disciplinary action deemed fit.

  • Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro told Task & Purpose last week the department "will be addressing each case on a case-by-case basis.”
  • “We’re just not going to all kick them out on the day of the deadline itself,” Del Toro said.

Go deeper: Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops remain unvaccinated as deadlines near

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