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Marine Soldiers on Track to Lowest Vaccine Compliance

Despite having over 94 percent of its Soldiers at least partially inoculated against the coronavirus, the Marine Corps is on course to have the lowest COVID-19 immunization rate among all US military branches. According to The Washington Post, nearly 10,000 active-duty Marines will not be adequately vaccinated against COVID-19 when the deadline passes in the coming days. However, according to the Post, 94 percent of Marines have fulfilled or are projected to meet the immunization requirement.

In a message sent out in August, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin instructed all service members to get vaccinated, enabling the military branches to set their timetables. COVID-19 vaccinations must be completed by November 28 for Marine Corps service members. Because patients are deemed fully vaccinated two weeks after their final dose, those who did not obtain their last shot by November 14 are now too late.

Marines currently have one week to demonstrate proof of complete immunization or face being discharged from the service. However, former Marine Corps commander and Pentagon spokesperson David Lapan told the Washington Post that vaccine hesitation had tainted the force’s commitment to always obeying orders and being prepared. According to the Post, the Marine Corps, with around 183,000 Soldiers, is the minor branch of the US military.

It is still unknown how many members have claimed religious or medical exemptions from the immunization requirement. According to a statement sent to The Hill, the Marine Corps “recognises COVID-19 as a readiness concern,” according to a statement sent to The Hill. The rapid transmission of the highly transmissible Delta variant among individuals has raised the risk to our Marines and the mission of the Marine Corps. We are confident that the vaccine will keep our Marines, communities, and country safe.

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