This August photo shows the cutter Midgett moored in Juneau. The U.S. Coast Guard, including the Midgett, is as of early November edging toward total vaccination.

This August photo shows the cutter Midgett moored in Juneau. The U.S. Coast Guard, including the Midgett, is as of early November edging toward total vaccination.

Coast Guard edges toward full active-duty vaccination nationwide

Along with the other armed services, more than 90% of active duty members are fully vaccinated.

While numbers for District 17 are not individually available due to service policy, the Coast Guard nationwide has more than 90% of its active duty servicemembers vaccinated, according to a Coast Guard spokesperson.

The Coast Guard, which falls under the Department of Homeland Security, is very close to vaccination rates of the other armed services, according to data reported by the Associated Press.

“To date, 91.6% of the service’s active duty workforce has been fully vaccinated, and 93.5% of the active duty workforce has been vaccinated with at least one dose,” said an email from Headquarters Coast Guard on Nov. 5. “To date, 81.6% of the service’s reserve workforce has been fully vaccinated, and 85.7% of the reserve workforce has been vaccinated with at least one dose.”

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The Navy had the highest vaccination rate in late October, with only about 1% of active duty servicemembers unvaccinated, according to the Associated Press. The Marine Corps trailed the group with about 7% of its active duty servicemembers unvaccinated, with the other services falling in the mid-90% range.

While all Coast Guard members have been ordered to fully vaccinated immediately, headquarters said, the service hasn’t made any decisions on what to do with the noncompliant.

“The Coast Guard is still considering a number of administrative and disciplinary options,” said Headquarters Coast Guard. “No formal policy decisions have been made regarding the characterization or type of potential discharge for members who refuse to be vaccinated.”

Military personnel in the other services face separation from the military and other stiff penalties for noncompliance with the mandate. Each service is handling their noncompliant servicemembers in their own fashion, a policy the overall Coast Guard is in process of formulating.

“The Coast Guard is evaluating how to adjudicate administrative separations for those members who refuse to be vaccinated,” Headquarters Coast Guard said.

The service is also processing a number of exemption requests for the vaccine, said Headquarters Coast Guard, but as that number of exemptions is a moving target, the service declined to provide specific numbers of requests.

Due to Coast Guard policy, Coast Guard District 17 is unable to provide more specific numbers about vaccination rates for servicemembers specifically in Alaska.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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