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.
“Service members who decline one day can change their mind and become vaccinated when next the opportunity presents itself,” she said.
The military cannot make the vaccines mandatory now because they have only emergency use authorizations from the Food and Drug Administration.
[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.