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Vaccine holdouts in Navy, Marines hit 19,000 as deadline passes to comply with mandate

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Tony

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As many as 19,000 active-duty Marines and Navy sailors chose not to get vaccinated against the coronavirus by their shared Nov. 28 deadline, a dilemma for military leaders who have threatened to expel personnel refusing to comply with the Biden administration’s mandate.

In both services, the number of holdouts is around 9,500, according to official counts. And while the Marines’ margin of 5 percent unvaccinated had been anticipated, it was an unexpected outcome for the Navy, which in announcing its final tally this week acknowledged that officials had uncovered last-minute “discrepancies” with its data-tracking system that revealed a larger pool of unvaccinated sailors than had been projected. As recently as last week, official data showed that 99.8 percent of sailors had at least one shot by last Sunday’s deadline. The true number is just over 97 percent.

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