Nearly 70 Percent Of The Army Is Fully Vaccinated, Pentagon Says

Nearly 70 percent of the U.S. Army is fully vaccinated, according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.

Kirby shared Army vaccination statistics with Navy Times. As of Friday, 97 percent of the active-duty force has received one of the two-dose vaccine, while 87 percent is fully vaccinated. Also, including the Reserve and National Guard, 82 percent of military personnel are at least partially vaccinated, while 68 percent are fully vaccinated.

"We're going to make sure that every individual who has reservations about taking the vaccine, for whatever reason, is properly counseled about the safety and the efficacy of the vaccines, and the health risks for not taking it," Kirby told the Army Times in August. "As well as counseling the readiness impact of not taking it ― the impact that an individual would be having on his or her teammates."

U.S. Military Patches
Nearly 70 percent of the U.S. Army is fully vaccinated, according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby. Above, patches of four U.S. military branches are displayed. Getty Images

During an annual Military Reporters and Editors Conference on Friday, Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Richard D. Clarke told attendees that "roughly 98 percent of U.S. Special Operations Command troops have received the COVID vaccine." Clarke stated that the accounted percentage includes special operators such as the SEALS, Green Berets and other troops, which make up the joint force of roughly 70,000 military personnel.

Clarke then advised that even though vaccine deadlines are forthcoming, he isn't worried about those who still need to get vaccinated.

"I don't see it as a SOCOM readiness issue," said Clarke. "People are changing their mind every day, and they still have more time to make up their mind."

Currently, the Air Force's active-duty deadline for vaccination is Nov. 2. Sailors and Marines have until Nov. 28 to get vaccinated and active-duty soldiers have until Dec. 15.

The topic of vaccinations within the Army has been a hot-button issue for months. In September, staff sergeants from the Army and Marines sued numerous federal government agencies due to the call for mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for all military troops.

Army Staff Sergeant Dan Robert, a drill sergeant at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Marine Staff Sergeant Hollie Mulvihill, an air traffic controller at Marine Corps Air Station in New River, North Carolina, finalized their lawsuit on September 3 after filing August 17.

Their filing came as Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced that he planned to get permission from the federal government to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for all military troops, starting September 15.

Newsweek has reached out to Kirby for further comment.