As many as 19,000 active-duty Marines and Navy sailors reportedly remain unvaccinated after the Biden administration’s Nov. 28 deadline.
Military leaders have vowed to expel personnel declining to comply with the mandate, according to The Washington Post.
In each service branch, the number of holdouts is roughly 9,500, according to official counts by the newspaper.
That 5% of Marines are unvaccinated had been anticipated. But the Navy had a larger pool of unvaccinated sailors than had been projected. The Navy, in announcing its final tally this week, said officials had uncovered last-minute “discrepancies” with a data-tracking system.
As recently as last week, official data showed 99.8% of sailors had at least one shot by Sunday’s deadline. The accurate number is just over 97%, The Post also reports.
More than 8,800 members of the U.S. Air Force also have declined to get vaccinated.
In all three services, many are awaiting decisions on exemption requests. However, the number of permanent waivers granted is expected to be nominal.
Army data shows 4% of its active force, about 19,000 soldiers, have not received any vaccine dose, with a compliance deadline of Dec. 15.
The vast majority of service members have complied with the Pentagon’s vaccination mandate, but even a small percentage of the military’s 2.1 million troops begin unvaccinated, and perhaps expelled, translates to tens of thousands of people, also according to The Post.