Jan 27, 2022 - Health

Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing COVID vaccine

A Navy Petty Officerreceives a COVID-19 vaccination, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., Dec. 14, 2020.

A Navy petty officer gets a COVID-19 vaccination at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., in December 2020. Photo: HUM Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The U.S. Navy announced Wednesday it has discharged 45 service members for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine, including 23 active-duty sailors.

Why it matters: This is the first time the Navy has announced that it's kicked out sailors for not getting inoculated against the coronavirus since the military's Nov. 28 vaccine mandate expired, per the Navy Times.

  • The Army is the only remaining service yet to have discharged any active-duty personnel for refusing to have a mandatory shot, the outlet notes.

By the numbers: "As of Jan. 26, 2022, 5,035 active component and 2,960 Ready Reserve service members remain unvaccinated," per a Navy statement published Wednesday.

  • "There have been 3,258 active duty requests for a religious accommodation from immunization for the COVID-19 vaccine," but none have been granted so far, according to the Navy.

Yes, but: 95% of active-duty Navy personnel are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 99% have had at least one shot.

Go deeper