Editor’s Note: Following the publication, the Navy contacted Military.com to say the change in immunization numbers was due to “discrepancies in the data” within the Navy’s immunization reporting and tracking system. Navy rather than “changes in military strength” as the service had done. said initially. In a statement, the Navy said those “discrepancies included the total number of forces and redundant entries.”
Once the vaccination deadline passed, the Navy announced that 96.3% of all sailors are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 – a slight drop from last week it blamed on personnel changes.
The service announced on November 24 in its regular update that 97% of active-duty sailors had been fully immunized amid the pandemic and an order from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that all troops get vaccinated.
Navy spokesperson Lt. Devin Arneson told Military.com in a phone call that “changes in military personnel have resulted in this slight decrease in percentage, which represents personnel who have been separated, to retirement or no longer in active service “.
Arneson said the latest figures contain a caveat that “previous versions reflected a snapshot of data available at that time.” The update also states that the data “reflects validated and most up-to-date information.”
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However, none of the previous updates released by the Navy mentioned that the data was an estimate.
The Navy’s adjusted vaccination numbers still place it on par with the Air Force, which had a deadline of November 2 and reported that 96.6% of Airmen and Space Force Guardians had received both hits.
The reported percentages of Navy vaccinations rise to 97.2% when you add Sailors who have received an injection but are not considered fully vaccinated. Last week, the service reported that 99.8% of seafarers had received at least one dose of the vaccine, but that figure was also reduced in the latest update.
The Navy is ahead of the Marine Corps, which released data earlier this week showing 95% of Marines got at least one shot. The Corps did not specify how many Marines were fully immunized.
Data on the number of sailors who refused the shot have not yet been released, but the service said it had received 2,531 requests for exemption from the vaccination warrant on religious grounds, which represents around 340,000 sailors in the country. total. The Navy’s deputy chief of naval operations for manpower, personnel, training and education, a three-star admiral, decides who gets an exemption and who does not.
So far, no religious exemption has been granted.
By comparison, the nearly 180,000-strong Marine Corps has received 2,441 requests for very similar religious accommodation and has also not approved any, although hundreds remain under review.
The Navy granted seven permanent medical exemptions and 400 temporary exemptions as well as 134 administrative exemptions. These are generally granted to service members who plan to leave the military within the next 180 days.
The service declined to say how many sailors now face the discharge under its policies, citing still pending exemption requests. However, Arneson noted that the Navy’s latest official message on discards indicated that more guidance would be released this week.
Meanwhile, the sailors in the reserve have until December 28 to get all their pictures. The latest figures show that 85.6% of the Navy’s reserve force is fully vaccinated.
Related: Navy tells people refusing vaccines they have less than a week to get vaccinated, or have their faces cleared
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