Here’s what happened after Biden tried mandating vaccines for the military

Despite a Biden administration mandate, hundreds of thousands of American servicemen and women have yet to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, a new report says.

About 90 percent of active-duty members of the Navy have been fully vaccinated, compared to 81 percent for the Army, 80.9 percent for the Air Force, and 76.5 percent for the Marine Corps, according to The Washington Post. The vaccination rates are lower for members of the National Guard and Reserves.

Deadlines to be fully vaccinated are approaching quickly for active-duty service members: Nov. 28 for the Navy, Dec. 15 for the Army, Nov. 2 for the Air Force and Nov. 28 for the Marine Corps.

Members of the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard have until June to be fully vaccinated. Currently, the vaccination rates for those groups are 40 percent and 38.5 percent, respectively, according to the Post.

“We expect all unvaccinated soldiers to receive the vaccine as soon as possible. Individual soldiers are required to receive the vaccine when available,” Army spokesman Lt. Col. Terence M. Kelley told the outlet, adding that the June deadlines “allow reserve component units necessary time to update records and process exemption requests.”

Meanwhile, the Navy released a memo Thursday detailing how it will deal with service members who are not fully vaccinated by the relevant deadlines.

“Sailors must be prepared to execute their mission at all times, in places through out the world, including where vaccination rates are low and disease transmission is high,” the memo read. “Immunizations are of paramount  importance to protecting the health of the force and the warfighting readiness of the Fleet.”

As The Hill noted, sailors who do not get vaccinated will be discharged, though personnel can request medical or religious exemptions.

Many have expressed outrage over the concept of forcing members of the military to get vaccinated.

“Question for the SECDEF: are you really willing to allow a huge exodus of experienced service members just because they won’t take the vaccine?” Texas GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a Navy SEAL veteran, tweeted last month. “Honestly, Americans deserve to know how you plan on dealing with this blow to force readiness – it’s already causing serious problems.”

According to the Catholic archbishop of the U.S. military, servicemen and women can cite religious reasons in refusing to get vaccinated.

“No one should be forced to receive a COVID-19 vaccine if it would violate the sanctity of his or her conscience,” Timothy Broglio said in a statement this week.