On Thursday the United States Navy announced it will begin discharging sailors who have thus far refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine despite the mandate handed down by the Pentagon. Servicemen and women who get discharged for noncompliance could also lose veteran benefits.
The Navy issued a press release defining a November 14 deadline for active-duty sailors to have completed either their second shot of a two-dose vaccine or the single jab of the one-dose vaccine. The reservists have until December 14.
The Navy’s statement reads “those separated only for vaccine refusal will receive no lower than a general discharge under honorable conditions.” Additionally, “this type of discharge could result in the loss of some veterans’ benefits.”
The Navy’s release added it “may also seek recoupment of applicable bonuses, special and incentive pays, and the cost of training and education for service members refusing the vaccine.”
Though the Navy says approximately 98% of its active members are already vaccinated, “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.”
“Immunizations are of paramount importance to protecting the health of the force and the warfighting readiness of the Fleet” the Navy stated. Fox News reports:
President Joe Biden has mandated that all federal employees be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22, and that all federal contractors have a fully vaccinated workforce by Dec. 8. He has also directed OSHA to issue a forthcoming regulation ordering all U.S. businesses with more than 100 employees to require their workers to either get vaccinated or submit to weekly coronavirus tests.