As of Thursday, about 75,500 Marines have got vaccines, including fully vaccinated and partially vaccinated service men and women. Roughly 48,000 Marines have decided not to get vaccines, for a declination rate of 38.9%.
The corresponding acceptance rate for vaccinations among Marines -- 61.1% -- is not distant from the military estimate of two-thirds, or approximately 66%.
Another 102,000 Marines have not yet been suggested the vaccines. The whole number of Marines includes active-duty, reserves and Individual Mobilization Augmentee Marines.
The declination rate at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, one of the notable Marine Corps bases, was far higher, at 57%, according to another collection of data presented to CNN. Of 26,400 Marines who have been offered vaccinations, 15,100 have decided not to take them, a number that adds both II Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Installation East -- Camp Lejeune. Another 11,500 active-duty Marines are listed to be given the vaccines.
"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," Marine Corps spokeswoman Col. Kelly Frushour said in a statement.
Frushour stated there are a number of possible reasons a Marine may prefer not to receive a vaccine, including letting others take it first, waiting until it becomes obligatory, getting it through other channels or being allergic to the vaccine.
"Service members who decline one day can change their mind and become vaccinated when next the opportunity presents itself," she stated.
CNN reported last month that the refusal rate for vaccination among service members may be near to 50%, a number prominently higher than the 33% total defense officials have used publicly.
The military cannot make the vaccines mandatory now because they have only emergency use permissions from the Food and Drug Administration, meaning service members who are obliged to take a series of other vaccinations have the choice of refusing shots to protect against Covid-19.
Officials say most of the vaccine hesitancy stems from concerns regarding the rate at which the vaccines were produced and fears over long-term effects.
The Defense Department has roughly 2.2 million service members operating around the globe. For every 10 percentage point drop in the acceptance rate, that's 220,000 individuals opting not to get vaccines, a number potentially large enough to affect force readiness. Last year, the military experienced a handful of high-profile Covid outbreaks, including one aboard an aircraft carrier deployed in the Pacific.