Nearly 40% of U.S. Marines refuse Covid-19 vaccinations, according to data provided to CNN on Friday by the service, the first branch to release service-wide figures on acceptance and rejection.
About 75,500 Marines received vaccines as of Thursday, including fully vaccinated and partially vaccinated service men and women. About 48,000 Marines chose not to receive vaccines, for a decline rate of 38.9%.
CNN has contacted other services to find out the pass and fail rates.
The corresponding acceptance rate for vaccinations among Marines – 61.1% – is not far from the military estimate of two-thirds, or about 66%.
An additional 102,000 Marines have yet to receive the vaccines. The total number of Marines includes active duty, reserves and the Marines augmented by individual mobilization.
The declination rate at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, one of the main Marine Corps bases, was much higher, at 57%, according to another dataset provided to CNN. Of the 26,400 Marines who were vaccinated, 15,100 chose not to receive them, a number that includes both the II Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Installation East – Camp Lejeune. An additional 11,500 active-duty Marines are expected to be offered the vaccines.
“We fully understand that the widespread acceptance of the Covid-19 vaccine provides us with the best means to beat the pandemic. The key to tackling the pandemic is to build confidence in vaccines,” the spokesperson for the Marine Corps, Col. Kelly Frushour.
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