Navy Set to Discharge Sailors Who Refuse COVID Vaccine

Retro television test pattern with vaccine mandatory emergency message

All active-duty sailors must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 28 or face discharge, the U.S. Navy stated in an Oct. 14 press release. Sailors in the Navy’s selected reserve have until Dec. 28 to become fully vaccinated.

It’s important to emphasize that these deadlines reflect the vaccination status of sailors, not when they receive their shots. Because a sailor isn’t considered to be fully vaccinated until two weeks after their last shot, they must get their second shot of a two-dose vaccine or single shot of one-dose vaccine two weeks before Nov. 28 or Dec. 28.

Although the Navy’s mandate to vaccinate all its service members was set at the end of August, a clear deadline wasn’t established until mid-October. Now, sailors who fail to get fully vaccinated before the deadline are barred from promotion, advancement, and reenlistment.

Sailors who are not fully vaccinated by the time the deadline passes will receive a general discharge under honorable conditions – provided they are not subject to a pending or approved exemption request.

According to the Navy, the vast majority of active-duty sailors (94%) are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while around 99% have received at least one dose. This still means that there are thousands of sailors who are at risk of losing their careers with the Navy for not being fully vaccinated by the deadline or refusing the vaccine altogether.

At Owens & Kurz, LLC, we understand that losing your career isn’t an option for you or your family. If you are refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine and facing consequences up to and including discharge from the Navy, our attorneys may be able to help.

Learn more about how Owens & Kurz, LLC’s legal team can protect what’s most important to you during this difficult time. For more information, schedule a consultation with us today.

Contact Owens & Kurz, LLC online or call (888) 570-4612 to arrange your consultation.