A large number of US Marines are choosing not to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, CNN reported.
About 40% of Marines who have been offered a shot, or 48,000, have so far declined a vaccine to protect against the coronavirus. Of the 123,500 Marines who have been offered a vaccine, about 75,500 agreed to get one, according to data obtained by CNN.
Over 100,000 Marines have yet to be offered a vaccine, the network said.
“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 spokesperson Col. Kelly Frushour said in a statement to CNN.
Marines might decline COVID-19 vaccines for several reasons, Frushour said. They might prefer others to receive priority for it or are choosing to wait until it’s institutionally mandated. They could also be allergic or have already secured a vaccine through other channels, CNN reported.
“Service members who decline one day can change their mind and become vaccinated when next the opportunity presents itself,” Frushour added.
The Marine Corps did not immediately return a request for comment from Insider.