Dec 30, 2021 - Health

More than 200 Marines removed for defying COVID vaccine mandate

Members of the U.S. Marines wearing protective equipment stand guard as the USNS Comfort hospital ship arrives at Pier 90 in New York, U.S., on Monday, March 30, 2020

Members of the U.S. Marines stand guard as the USNS Comfort hospital ship arrives at Pier 90 in New York on March 30, 2020. Photo: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. Marine Corps said Thursday that it has now removed 206 service members for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

Why it matters: The updated numbers come as the Department of Defense has ramped up repercussions for service members who defy the vaccine order amid surging coronavirus cases.

  • The branch said this month that it had already discharged 103 Marines.

The big picture: Approximately 94% of active members of the Marine Corps are fully vaccinated, according to the Department of Defense.

  • As of last week, roughly 98% of all active duty forces, including reserve members, had received the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in August directed all military troops to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and encouraged service leaders to set their own timelines for implementation.
  • To date, approximately 3,247 requests for religious accommodations concerning the vaccine have been made by Marine Corps members. Zero requests have been approved, according to a Marine Corps communications officer.

Go deeper: More than 100 Marines booted for refusing the COVID vaccine

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