Washington (AP) —The US Marine Corps has approved the exemption of the first two COVID-19 vaccines for religious reasons. This has never been done in other military services.
The Marines said on Friday that the two exemptions were approved by the corps for the first time in 10 years.
So far, as of Thursday, the Marines have received 3,350 requests for religious exemptions from mandatory vaccines and rejected 3,212 requests. For privacy reasons, no information was provided regarding the two specific approvals.
These services have been criticized for not granting religious exemptions, and members of parliament, the military, and the general public question whether the review process was fair. Overall, service leaders state that religious exemptions for any of the many vaccines that the military has needed over the years are extremely rare. The army needs to get as many as 17 different vaccines.
In a statement, the Marine Corps said, “All current exemption requests are being considered on a case-by-case basis. Each request will be fully considered with respect to the facts and circumstances submitted in the request.”
According to the Marine Corps, the exemption request is first reviewed by the commander and then sent to a three-member committee of Manpower and Reserve Affairs. The Board makes recommendations and the Deputy Commander of Human Resources makes the decision. The Marine Corps may appeal to the Marine Corps Deputy Commander for refusal.
All military services state that decisions are based not only on individual demands, but also on the impact on the unit, its mission and readiness, and the health and security of other troops. The Navy and Marine Corps have stated that unvaccinated military personnel are not allowed to deploy in the sea on ships where the infection may spread more easily.
However, the Marines far outperform other military services in dismissing troops that refuse to be vaccinated. As of Thursday, the corps fired 351 Marines for refusing to shoot.
The Air Force said it had fired 87 Air Force soldiers earlier this week, but the Marines fired 20 beginner-level sailors and the Army did not fire soldiers because they refused the vaccine.
All services allow for much more common other medical and administrative exemptions.
As of this week, all military services say that at least 97% of their troops have been shot at least once.
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Marines OK First Religious Exemption for COVID-19 Vaccine | WGN Radio 720
Source link Marines OK First Religious Exemption for COVID-19 Vaccine | WGN Radio 720