Large portions of the military remain unvaccinated despite looming deadlines and COVID-19 deaths

·2 min read
A soldier watches another soldier receive his COVID-19 vaccination.
Portions of the military remain unvaccinated as the varying deadlines for each branch approach. Jon Cherry/Stringer
  • Large swaths of the military remain unvaccinated as the varying deadlines for each branch approach, per the Washington Post.

  • Some branches have the same vaccination deadline but significant disparities in vaccination progress.

  • A group of service members represented by former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell are suing the Pentagon over the mandate.

Despite looming vaccination deadlines, large swaths of the military remain unvaccinated in the face of the Pentagon's vaccination mandate, according to data from the Washington Post.

The Pentagon's vaccination mandate was announced in August, on the heels of President Joe Biden's announcement that federal employees must be fully vaccinated. Different branches of the military have varying deadlines to reach full vaccination.

While both the active-duty Navy and active-duty Marine Corps must be fully vaccinated by November 28, the Navy stands at 90% fully vaccinated while the Marine Corps is 76.5%, according to the Post.

Active-duty Air Force members are 80.9% fully vaccinated ahead of the November 2 deadline. Active-duty army, with approximately 481,600 members, stands at 81% fully vaccinated ahead of a December 15 deadline.

At least 62 service members have died from COVID, according to data from the Department of Defense.

Sidney Powell - known for being on former President Donald Trump's legal team as he attempted to overturn the 2020 presidential election results - is representing over a dozen active duty service members who are suing the Pentagon over the mandate, Bloomberg reported. The Department of Defense told Insider it does "not comment on pending litigation."

Meanwhile, rumors and misinformation have spread regarding the vaccination mandates. Earlier this month, a viral Instagram post suggested that Biden ordered dishonorable discharges for service members who did not get vaccinated, despite the fact that he does not have the authority to make such orders.

Active duty military already has vaccination requirements, such as those for chickenpox, MMR, and Tdap. The coronavirus vaccines are the 18th to be mandated by the defense department, Insider's Jake Lahut reported.

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