The United States Army announced on Thursday that 468,459 active-duty soldiers had been vaccinated against COVID-19, fewer than 120 days after a vaccination mandate went into effect for all U.S. service members.
That number represents 98 percent of the active-duty force who have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 96 percent – a total of 461,209 soldiers – are fully vaccinated.
The Army is still processing thousands of exemption requests for those seeking medical or administrative exemptions, including religious exemptions.
The service established Dec. 15 as the goal for all Soldiers in active-duty Army units to be vaccinated.
“Vaccinating our Soldiers against COVID-19 is first and foremost about Army readiness,” said Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth. “Thank you to the medical staff who have been supporting the pandemic response at home and to the vaccinated Soldiers who put the health and welfare of their fellow Soldiers and families first.”
“To those who continue to refuse the vaccine and are not pending a final decision on a medical or administrative exemption, I strongly encourage you to get the vaccine,” added Secretary Wormuth. “If not, we will begin involuntary separation proceedings.”
Currently, soldiers who refuse the order to be vaccinated without an approved or pending exemption request may be subject to adverse administrative action. Beginning in January, Army commanders will initiate involuntary separation for the less than one percent of active-duty soldiers who continue to refuse the vaccination order without an approved or pending exemption.
To date, Army commanders have relieved a total of six active-duty leaders, including two battalion commanders, and issued 2,767 general officer written reprimands to Soldiers for refusing the vaccination order.
Commanders reported that 3,864 active-duty Soldiers, less than one percent of the active force, have refused the vaccination order without a pending or approved exemption.