(Meredith) – The US Navy has released new details about its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
All active-duty sailors are required to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 28. Sailors in the selected reserve are required to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 28.
The Navy first introduced the mandate at the end of August following federal government guidance for all military, giving sailors 90 days to comply before the Nov. 28 deadline.
Adm. William Lescher, vice chief of naval operations, said in a statement that more than 98 percent of active-duty Navy service members have met the vaccination requirement.
Those who refuse the vaccine by the deadline – with the exception of those with approved medical and religious exemptions – will be relieved from duty with no lower than a general discharge under honorable conditions. This type of discharge could result in the loss of some veterans’ benefits.
Vice Adm. John B. Nowell, Jr., the chief of naval personnel, said in a statement that there have been 164 COVID-19 deaths in the Navy. Of those, 144 were not vaccinated, and the vaccination status of the remaining 20 deaths is undetermined.
For more information about the Navy’s vaccine mandate, click here.