Army announces separations over COVID-19 vaccine refusals

The Army has disapproved 98.8% of all medical exemptions so far

Updated: March 20, 2022 - 7:25pm

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The U.S. Army announced that three soldiers have been separated as of last week for refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, noting that the Army has disapproved about 99% of permanent medical and religious exemptions to the vaccine so far.

"To date, Army commanders have relieved a total of six Regular Army leaders, including two battalion commanders, and issued 3,251 general officer written reprimands to Regular Army Soldiers," the Army stated in a press release.

Most active soldiers (97%) have received the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as 88% of reserve soldiers, according to Army statistics.

The Army has denied 658 permanent medical exemptions and approved only seven. This means that the Army has disapproved 98.8% of all medical exemptions so far while 27 requests remain to be determined.

The Army has approved even fewer permanent religious exemptions. Of the 3,943 total religious requests, 702 have been denied and two have been approved so far, meaning the disapproval rate at this point is at 99.7%. 

As more soldiers are discharged, the rate of vaccination will change slightly, the Army stated.

The Navy has discharged far more soldiers and approved fewer exemptions from the vaccine.

As of last week, 544 Navy service members had been separated for refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a press release.

The Navy has yet to fully approve a single one of the more than 4,000 religious exemption requests it has received for the COVID vaccine. The Navy did not state in the press release how many permanent medical requests it has received, but 13 have been approved so far. 

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