The Navy has kicked out 23 active-duty sailors who refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine, it announced Wednesday.
The 23 separated sailors were all discharged with “an honorable characterization of service” following the military branch’s Nov. 28 deadline for its personnel to get the shots, according to its weekly coronavirus update.
The Navy did not identify the 23 sailors or their ranks.
The action brings the total number of vaccine-related removals to 45 after the Navy kicked out 22 sailors earlier this month.
Those service members had recently enlisted and were booted as part of “Entry Level Separations,” removals that take place during initial training periods within their first 180 days of active duty.
The Pentagon in late August announced that the COVID-19 vaccine would be mandatory for all service members, with the individual branches to set their own deadlines.
Despite the mandate and the Navy’s long-passed deadline, there are 5,035 active-duty sailors who remain unvaccinated — down 78 since last week — 3,258 of whom have put in a request for religious accommodation.
Another 2,960 reserve sailors have not fully gotten their shots, 776 of whom are seeking a religious accommodation.
Of all the military branches, only the Marine Corps has granted religious exemptions for the vaccine, making it unlikely that any sailor seeking that accommodation will receive it.
The Navy has, however, given 10 permanent medical exemptions, 259 temporary medical exemptions and 59 administrative exemptions to active-duty sailors.
Another seven reserve sailors have received temporary medical exemptions, and 24 have gotten administrative exemptions.