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103 Marines discharged over COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Posted at 6:44 PM, Dec 16, 2021

The U.S. Marines discharged 103 Marines over their refusal to comply with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, multiple news outlets reported Thursday.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced a vaccine mandate for the U.S. military in August. However, he let each branch decide on its vaccine deadline.

The Marines had until Nov. 28 to get vaccinated against the virus.

It's not uncommon for the military to require vaccinations. The military requires service members to get vaccinated against the flu, hepatitis and other viruses and diseases.

The military said the requirement is out of concern of readiness.

"As the secretary said, the readiness of the force is made stronger by getting everybody vaccinated," said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby. "That's, that's our concern right now."

The Marines report that 95% of active-duty service members have received at least one dose of the vaccine. That is the lowest percentage of all branches in the military.