U.S. Navy Revokes COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement for Deployments
The U.S. Navy has reversed its policy of considering COVID-19 vaccination status when making decisions about sailor deployments, according to new guidance released this week. The NAVADMIN, or standardized guidance on COVID-19, was released in response to a Congressional action that removed the requirement as part of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.
In a press conference Thursday, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday said that “COVID-19 vaccination status shall not be a consideration in assessing individual service member suitability for deployment or other operational missions.”
Commanders are still expected to seek advice from medical providers regarding medical readiness of personnel to inform deployment and other operational mission decisions. However, the NAVADMIN does not include any policy changes on readmitting sailors discharged over a refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Gilday said the Navy will continue to monitor fleet concentration areas with respect to COVID levels, and will have enough supplies on board such as masks in case the service needs to revert back to pre-vaccine protocols.
0. “Navy ends COVID-19 vaccine deployment restrictions” Washington Examiner, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/united-states-navy-restrictions-sailors-vaccinated
1. “Navy lifts deployment restrictions on sailors not vaccinated against COVID-19” Yahoo! Voices, 17 Feb. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/now/navy-lifts-deployment-restrictions-sailors-004531836.html