The U.S. Navy is preparing to put national security and military readiness in jeopardy by gearing up to discharge thousands of sailors who have thus far refused to take the coronavirus vaccine.
On Thursday, the Navy announced the creation of the COVID Consolidated Disposition Authority to oversee the discharge of all sailors who meet the definition of “refusing the vaccine.”
The Pentagon refused to divulge how many sailors will be thrown out of the service because they don’t want to take a possibly dangerous vaccine. But some news outlets have claimed up to 200,000 sailors have refused to show proof of being vaccinated.
The Pentagon, though, has insisted that 98 percent of active-duty sailors have been vaccinated.
According to the Washington Times:
“There have been 164 deaths within the Navy family due to COVID-19, far exceeding the combined total of all other health or mishap related injuries or deaths over the same time period,” Vice Adm. John B. Nowell Jr., chief of naval personnel, said in a statement. He said 144 of the deaths were of individuals who had not been immunized, while the vaccination status of the remaining 20 personnel remains undetermined.
The Navy has ordered all active-duty sailors to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 28, 2021. That means they have until Nov. 14 to have received the second of two required shots for the two-dose vaccine or the single dose of a one-dose vaccine, and complete the 14-day waiting period required to achieve full vaccination.
“Sailors must be prepared to execute their missions at all times, in places throughout the world, including where vaccination rates are low and disease transmission is high,” Navy officials said in a statement. “Immunizations are of paramount importance to protecting the health of the force and the warfighting readiness of the fleet.”
The Pentagon added that sailors who are not yet vaccinated will have five days to begin the process once notified that they are on the discharge list. If they have not done so in that period, they will be separated from the service.
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