Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
AP

Marines OK first religious exemptions for COVID-19 vaccine

  • Updated
  • 0

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Marine Corps has approved its first two COVID-19 vaccine exemptions based on religious reasons, something no other military service has done so far.

The two exemptions are the first to be approved by the Corps in 10 years, the Marines said Friday.

So far, the Marine Corps has received 3,350 requests for religious exemptions to the mandatory vaccine as of Thursday, and denied 3,212. No information about the two specific approvals was provided, due to privacy reasons.

The services have come under criticism for their failure to grant religious exemptions, with members of Congress, the military and the public questioning if the review processes have been fair. Overall, service leaders have said that religious exemptions to any of the many vaccines required by the military over the years have been very rare. Troops are required to get as many as 17 different vaccines.

In a statement, the Marines said “all current exemption requests are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Each request will be given full consideration with respect to the facts and circumstances submitted in the request. ”

According to the Marines, exemption requests are reviewed first by commanders and then sent to a three-person board at Manpower and Reserve Affairs. The board makes a recommendation and the deputy commandant for manpower makes the decision. Marines can appeal any denials to the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps.

All the military services have said the decisions are based not only on the individual request, but also on its impact on the unit, its mission and readiness, and the health and safety of other troops. The Navy and the Marine Corps have said that unvaccinated service members are not allowed to deploy out to sea on ships, where infections can more easily spread.

The Marines, however, have also vastly outpaced the other military services in discharging troops who refuse to get the vaccine. As of Thursday, the Corps had discharged 351 Marines for refusing the shots.

The Air Force said earlier this week that it had discharged 87 airmen, while the Navy has discharged 20 entry-level sailors and the Army has not removed any soldiers from service for refusing the vaccine.

All of the services have granted other medical and administrative exemptions, which are far more common.

As of this week, all of the military services say that at least 97% of their forces have gotten at least one shot.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

0 Comments

Concerned about COVID-19?

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

LONDON (AP) — Boris Johnson's office apologized to the royal family on Friday for holding staff parties in Downing Street on the eve of Prince Philip's funeral last year — the latest in a catalogue of allegedly lockdown-breaching gatherings that are threatening to topple the British prime minister.

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Tennis star Novak Djokovic held a practice session at Melbourne Park on Tuesday, his second day out of detention, focusing on his Australian Open title defense while still facing the prospect of deportation because he’s not vaccinated for COVID-19.

NEW YORK (AP) — The Oscar race may be missing in-person glitz this year, but it doesn't lack for star power. Will Smith, Lady Gaga and Ben Affleck landed individual nominations for the 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards on Wednesday, while the casts of “Belfast” and “CODA” were among those nominated for the guild's top award, best ensemble.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, angrily accused a senator Tuesday of making false accusations that are leading to threats against him -- all to raise political cash.

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the facts:

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alert

Breaking News