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Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. Marine Corps announced Thursday it has discharged 103 individuals from its ranks for refusing to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Other military branches have begun addressing service members who defy the vaccination order amidst growing concern over another wave of infections fueled by the Omicron variant.

  • In August, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin directed all military troops to get vaccinated against COVID and directed each branch to set its own deadline.
  • The Marine Corps indicated about 95% of its personnel had received at least one dose of the vaccine, the lowest percentage among the military branches.
  • The service branch has received 3,144 requests for religious accommodation concerning the vaccination order, Maj. Jim Stenger, a Marine Corps spokesperson, told Axios. As of Thursday, none have been approved.

Zoom out: The Army announced earlier Thursday it had relieved six active-duty leaders, including two battalion commanders. The service branch also said it issued 2,767 reprimands to members who refused the vaccination order.

What they're saying: "The Marine Corps recognizes COVID-19 as a readiness issue," Stenger said in an emailed statement.

  • "The speed with which the disease transmits among individuals has increased risk to our Marines and the Marine Corps’ mission," he added. "We are confident the vaccine protects our Marines, our communities, and the Nation."

Go deeper: Up to 10,000 to miss Marine Corps vaccine deadline

Go deeper

Jan 15, 2022 - Health

Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron

Three COVID-19 testing companies place testing locations outside Grand Central Terminal on Jan. 14 in New York City. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Experts are warning that subsequent COVID-19 variants are likely to come after Omicron, AP reports.

Why it matters: The warnings come as there's no guarantee that subsequent variants "will cause milder illness or that existing vaccines will work against them," underscoring the need for widespread vaccination, AP writes.

Hope King, author of Closer
59 mins ago - Economy & Business

Peloton pumps its brakes

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Peloton’s popularity is falling as swiftly as it shot up.

Why it matters: Not all pandemic habits stick around. Peloton's trajectory over the past two years exemplifies how challenging it's been for companies to gauge shifts in consumer demand — particularly in sectors heavily altered by the pandemic.

First look: Senators propose bill to ban corporate PACs

Sens. Jon Ossoff and Mark Kelly. Photos: Chip Somodevilla (left), Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) will soon propose a bill prohibiting for-profit corporations from establishing and managing political action committees, according to a copy of the legislation obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The introduction of "The Ban Corporate PACs Act" comes amid heightened scrutiny on Capitol Hill regarding money in politics, including efforts to bar companies from influencing political campaigns and federal elections. It would likely face a court challenge and First Amendment concerns.