Military resisting COVID vaccines: Nearly 40% of US Marines have rejected shots

Credit: U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr./Department of Defense/AP
Credit: U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr./Department of Defense/AP

As of [April 9], approximately 75,500 Marines have received vaccines, including fully vaccinated and partially vaccinated service men and women. About 48,000 Marines have chosen not to receive vaccines, for a declination rate of 38.9%.

“We fully understand that widespread acceptance of the Covid-19 vaccine provides us with the best means to defeat the pandemic. The key to addressing the pandemic is building vaccine confidence,” Marine Corps spokeswoman Col. Kelly Frushour told CNN in a statement.

Frushour said there are a number of potential reasons a Marine may choose not to receive a vaccine, including allowing others to receive it first, waiting until it becomes mandatory, getting it through other channels or being allergic to the vaccine.

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“Service members who decline one day can change their mind and become vaccinated when next the opportunity presents itself,” she said.

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The military cannot make the vaccines mandatory now because they have only emergency use authorizations from the Food and Drug Administration.

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[A] group of Democratic lawmakers called on President Joe Biden to issue a “waiver of informed consent” to make getting vaccinated against Covid-19 mandatory for all US military service members, writing in a letter that “disinformation and vaccine skepticism” are influencing service members to opt out of being vaccinated.

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