Around 40 percent of U.S. Marines have declined to take the COVID-19 vaccine, reports CNN.
"Service members who decline one day can change their mind and become vaccinated when next the opportunity presents itself," Col. Kelly Frushour said in a statement.
So far, 75,000 Marines have received vaccines. Nearly 48,000 have declined to take any form of the vaccine. Approximately 102,000 have not been offered a vaccine of any type.
"We fully understand that widespread acceptance of the Covid-19 vaccine provides us with the best means to defeat the pandemic. The key to addressing the pandemic is building vaccine confidence," Frushour said.
The colonel mentioned how some Marines who refused to receive the vaccine might be doing so in order to allow others who need it more to receive it first. Some refused to take it over concerns of the speed at which the vaccines were developed, according to officials within the branch.
It is not mandatory for service members to receive a vaccination, but last month a group of lawmakers pressured President Joe Biden to make vaccinations mandatory.
The lawmakers wrote a letter stating, "disinformation and vaccine skepticism," are causing service members to decline vaccinations.
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