The United States Navy reported this Thursday that personnel who refuse to be vaccinated against covid-19 will be expelled and the measure will take effect from November 28.
“Now that vaccination against Covid-19 is mandatory for all military personnel, the Navy announced plans to begin terminating those who refuse to be vaccinated without a pending or approved exemption,” the institution said in a statement.
Those who are expelled for refusing the vaccine will be discharged with honor, but they could lose some benefits or have to pay for the education and training received.
The Navy is particularly sensitive to the pandemic, because a single case can infect an entire ship or submarine, rendering it useless.
The force indicated that 98% of its 350,000 active members began or completed the vaccination process.
The figure drops to 96.7% of those who received at least one dose in the military in general, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday.
If included in the reserve, the estimate is 80% with at least one injection.
Should the other forces take such drastic measures as those of the Navy, some 46,000 men and women may have to separate from them, although the number of vaccinated is likely to rise before the deadline.
Vice Admiral John Nowell, the Navy’s chief of staff, said that force has suffered 164 deaths from coronavirus since the pandemic began.
The United States is the country hardest hit by the pandemic, with 44.7 million infections and 721,000 deaths, according to the latest health report.