Skip to Content

Many U.S. Troops Refusing COVID-19 Vaccination

THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2021 -- Thousands of U.S. military personnel are refusing or delaying COVID-19 vaccination, even as service members are being deployed to help give shots at vaccination centers nationwide.

Up to two-thirds of troops who were offered the vaccine have accepted the shots, "very early data" show, Air Force Maj. Gen. Jeff Taliaferro told Congress on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported. He is vice director of operations for the Joint Staff.

Commanders are trying to dispel online rumors about vaccines and to determine how they can convince troops to get vaccinated. "We cannot make it mandatory yet," Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, commander of the Navy's 2nd Fleet, told the AP. "I can tell you we're probably going to make it mandatory as soon as we can, just like we do with the flu vaccine."

One way to increase vaccine acceptance appears to be imminent deployment. For example, 80 to 90 percent of sailors on Navy ships heading out to sea last week got vaccinated, the AP reported.

The military's vaccination acceptance rate is actually higher than in the general population, which is about 50 percent, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey. However, troops may be at higher risk for infection because they are often close together in settings where preventive measures such as social distancing and wearing masks can be difficult, the AP reported.

Associated Press Article

© 2021 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: February 2021

Read this next

Dysnatremia Tied to Poorer Prognosis in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

WEDNESDAY, March 3, 2021 -- For patients presenting with COVID-19, abnormal sodium levels are associated with mortality and needing ventilatory support, according to a study...

Preliminary Data in Israel Show COVID-19 Vaccines Effectively Prevent Severe Disease

TUESDAY, March 2, 2021 -- COVID-19 vaccines seem to have been effective for preventing severe COVID-19 cases in Israel, according to research published in the Feb. 26...

Dramatic Decline Seen in COVID-19 Cases, Deaths at U.S. Nursing Homes

TUESDAY, March 2, 2021 -- New COVID-19 cases in U.S. nursing homes have fallen to their lowest number since the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) started keeping...

More News Resources

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Whatever your topic of interest, subscribe to our newsletters to get the best of in your inbox.