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US troops still unvaccinated or partially vaccinated as deadlines near

Oct 11, 2021, 1:59 PM IST

As the Pentagon’s first compliance deadlines near for vaccination against the coronavirus, hundreds of thousands of US service members remain unvaccinated or only partially.

Active-duty members of the Navy and Marine Corps have time till November 28 to show proof of full vaccination against Covid-19. These deadlines differ between military branches, and, as The Washington Post reported, vaccination rates also differ.

About 60,000 personnel in the Air Force alone are yet to be fully vaccinated with three weeks until the branch's November 2 deadline.

Currently, 90% of active-duty Navy personnel are fully vaccinated, while only 76.5% of active-duty Marine Corps personnel can say the same — and only 38% Marine Corps Reserve personnel, though the latter has an additional month to get fully immunized. Members of the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard have until June 30, 2022, to get fully vaccinated.

Overall, the military’s vaccination rate has climbed since August, when Defense Department leaders, acting on a directive from President Biden, informed the nation’s 2.1 million troops that immunization would become mandatory, exemptions would be rare and those who refuse would be punished. Yet troops’ response has been scattershot, according to data assessed by The Washington Post.

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