Pentagon officials said one-third of the US military is declining to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, despite significant coronavirus infection levels among service members.
The official revealed the high refusal rate in a Congressional hearing, as the US Defense Department continues to classify COVID-19 vaccine as optional as it has yet to receive full approval from the Federal Drug Administration.
He said, “Acceptance rates are somewhere in the two-thirds territory,” stressing the figure is based on “very early data.”
A Pentagon Spokesperson said there was no detailed military-wide data on vaccinations, but said over 910,000 had been administered so far.
He said the level of refusal is on par with the general population, where the vaccine has not been offered nearly as widely.
According to the latest Gallup online tracking survey, 71 percent of Americans are now willing to be vaccinated, up from 65 percent, the highest since the vaccine was introduced.