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Replacing Soldiers Discharged for Vaccine Refusal Could Cost Army $200 Million

The paper, which cited the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, said another $36,000 was spent training the soldier until their first operational assignment.
Replacing Soldiers Discharged for Vaccine Refusal Could Cost Army $200 Million
Sergeant First Class Demetrius Roberson prepares to administer a COVID-19 vaccine to a soldier on September 9, 2021, in Fort Knox, Kentucky. JON CHERRY/GETTY IMAGES

The U.S. Army has announced that it will soon begin discharging soldiers who have refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 3,300 service personnel could be affected—and Newsweek has calculated that the cost of replacing them could reach $200 million.

Roughly 97 percent of active-duty soldiers have received at least one shot of a coronavirus vaccine, according to Army figures released last week. However, 3,350 soldiers had refused to get the vaccine as of January 26. Some 3,073 have been issued official reprimands, suggesting they could be among the first to be discharged.

It’s not clear whether the Army will recruit one soldier to replace each service member discharged for refusing the vaccine, but the effort would be a costly one.

It costs an estimated $22,000 to recruit and screen an applicant to the Army, according to a 2013 paper published in the journal Military Medicine.

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