Navy sets guidelines for sailors who refuse COVID-19 vaccine
The U.S. Navy has announced how it plans to discipline sailors who refuse to comply with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Sailors who don’t get vaccinated and aren’t approved for an exemption have until Nov. 28 to get fully vaccinated, while those in the selected reserve have another month. The deadline is technically two weeks prior to that because sailors are not considered fully inoculated until 14 days after the completion of the dosage.
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The Navy established the COVID Consolidated Disposition Authority (CCDA) to oversee the administrative discharge process for the sailors who refuse the vaccine, according to a statement.
The guidelines state that “administrative action may begin as soon as a Navy service member meets the definition of ‘refusing the vaccine,’” describing such a service member as one “who received a lawful order to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, is not or will not be fully vaccinated on the date required by the order, and does not have a pending or approved exemption request.”
Moving forward, sailors who refuse the vaccine are not allowed to be promoted, “reenlist, or execute orders, with the exception of separation orders, until the CCDA has completed disposition of their case.”
Any sailor who is forced out of the Navy will not receive anything lower than a general discharge under honorable conditions, which could result in the loss of some veterans’ benefits.
Nearly all active-duty sailors have already been vaccinated, and they have the highest vaccination rate among the military branches.
“To date, over 98 percent of active-duty U.S. Navy service members have met our readiness responsibility by completing or initiating a COVID-19 vaccination series, ensuring the continued readiness of our worldwide deployable Navy,” Adm. William Lescher, vice chief of naval operations, said.
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There have been 164 deaths within the Navy from COVID-19, and all but 20 of the deceased sailors were not vaccinated, while the vaccination status of those remaining is unknown.
"The CCDA may also seek recoupment of applicable bonuses, special and incentive pays, and the cost of training and education for service members refusing the vaccine," the statement added.
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Tags: News, Vaccination, Lloyd Austin, Navy, Coronavirus, Military, Mandate
Original Author: Mike Brest
Original Location: Navy sets guidelines for sailors who refuse COVID-19 vaccine