Any active-duty Navy service members who do not get fully vaccinated or do not have an approved or pending exemption will be processed for an honorable separation without involuntary separation, according to NAVADMIN 225/21, released by Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William Lescher and Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. John Nowell.
Service members in the Ready Reserve Navy will need to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 28.
In order to meet the deadline, active duty members must receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, if receiving the two-shot Pfizer or Moderna version, by Nov. 14, according to a Thursday Navy news release. A person is not fully vaccinated until 14 days after receiving the second shot.
For members in the reserve, the deadline to receive the second shot is Dec. 14.
Those who are separated for refusing the vaccine will be discharged with no lower than a general discharge under honorable conditions, according to the Navy release.
Those refusing the vaccine cannot be promoted, advance, reenlist or execute orders outside of ones involving separation. Any officer who refuses to be vaccinated will have any promotions delayed.
Since the vaccination is mandatory, service members who refuse the vaccine can be temporarily reassigned depending on operational readiness or requirements of the mission, according to NAVADMIN 225/21.
Navy personnel can request an exemption for medical or religious reasons. Having COVID-19 in the past or having a positive serology test for the disease will not exempt a service member, the Navy said in an August administrative message.