Navy says 2,600 active duty sailors are unvaccinated for COVID-19

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Mark Forrey, of Boise, Idaho, administers a Covid-19 vaccine to Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Airman Micah Dayoub, of Lancaster, Calif., aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN- 76) Sept. 9, 2022. U.S. Navy Photo

Around 2,600 active-duty sailors are still unvaccinated against COVID-19 a year past the mandatory vaccination deadline.

The Navy has separated 177 active duty sailors over the past month, according to the Monthly COVID-19 Update. The Sea Service also separated two members of the reserve for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

With the most recent separations, the Navy laid off 1,712 Navy sailors, all of whom received honorable discharges, according to the update.

There are still 3,040 members of the reserve who are not yet vaccinated. The approximately 5,700 reserve and active sailors who are unvaccinated may include those who have received administrative or medical exemptions.

This total includes anyone who has filed for religious exemption, as the Navy cannot separate sailors who have applied for religious exemption as part of an ongoing class action lawsuit against the maritime service.

The Navy granted 21 permanent and 189 temporary medical waivers to active duty sailors and three permanent and 55 temporary medical waivers to reservists.

The Marine Service granted 14 religious waivers to members of the individual ready reserve and one to a sailor from the selected reserve on the condition that mandatory vaccination applies if called to active duty or reserve.

The Navy has also granted 50 religious dispensations to active duty sailors, but those religious dispensations are likely for service members who have chosen to leave or retire, USNI News previously reported.