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15 Oct, 2021 09:02

US Navy to discharge sailors for refusing to be vaccinated for Covid-19 by November 28 deadline

US Navy to discharge sailors for refusing to be vaccinated for Covid-19 by November 28 deadline

The US Navy is going to sink the careers of active-duty sailors who refuse coronavirus shots, as its new guidance warns that those not fully vaccinated by November 28 will be discharged.

Vaccination is of “paramount importance” to maintaining the health of personnel and the battle readiness of the force, the guidance released on Thursday says.

“Sailors must be prepared to execute their mission at all times, in places throughout the world, including where vaccination rates are low and disease transmission is high,” it states.

As people are usually considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after both doses are administered, the sailors should receive their second shot by November 14 in order to meet the deadline.

Navy Reserve sailors have also been told to be fully vaccinated, but they were given more time – until December 28.

Those who refuse could receive a general discharge under honorable conditions, the guidance warned, which could result in the loss of some veterans’ benefits.

Also on rt.com Unvaccinated US troops still number in ‘hundreds of thousands’ despite looming deadlines – reports

The Navy has set up a special COVID Consolidated Disposition Authority (CCDA) to deal with unvaccinated personnel and “ensure a fair and consistent process” in handling potential discharge.

Sailors won’t be allowed to be promoted, to advance, reenlist, or execute orders, with the exception of separation orders, as long as their vaccine refusal cases are being considered by the CCDA.

However, the guidance leaves personnel the right to request an exemption for medical or religious reasons.

It also tasks commanding officers with tracking down sailors who refuse the vaccine, but only if they are fully vaccinated themselves.

According to the new rules, senior officers have just five days to comply with their superior’s order to be vaccinated or face detachment for cause proceedings.

“An unvaccinated senior leader without a pending or approved exemption calls into question the Navy’s trust and confidence regarding their ability to ensure unit readiness or to maintain good order and discipline,” according to the guidelines.

Navy figures indicate that there are around 7,000 unvaccinated sailors in its ranks whose careers in the force are now at risk. About 98% of Navy personnel have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Also on rt.com More US soldiers killed themselves in a few months than died from Covid-19 since start of pandemic, Pentagon reveals

Since the start of the pandemic, 67 servicemen across all branches of the US military have died of Covid-19, according to the Pentagon. At least 14 were active-duty sailors, but the death toll in the Navy rises to 160+ if civilian personnel, dependents, and contractors are included. The vast majority of the victims were unvaccinated, according to the Navy.

The Navy isn’t the only military branch to have introduced a vaccine mandate, with the US Army telling troops to be fully immunized by December 15, and the Air Force setting a deadline of November 2.

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