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Coronavirus

US 7th Fleet: 96% of Personnel Fully Vaccinated

PHILIPPINE SEA — The U.S. 7th Fleet that operates throughout the Indo-Pacific says 96% of its personnel have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The fleet said more than 14,000 service members had received their full doses of the vaccine, which it began administering in January to those who volunteered.

“We owe it to ourselves, our family and country to make every effort to stop the pandemic," vaccine coordinator Capt. Joseph F. Penta was quoted as saying in the statement.

The 7th Fleet operates 50-70 ships and submarines and regularly interacts with forces from 35 other countries.

Last April, more than 500 crew members aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt tested positive for the virus and one died after the ship docked in Guam. That came amid a crisis during which the Navy’s civilian leader fired the ship’s captain after accusing him of too widely distributing a letter calling for more urgent action to deal with the outbreak. The administration official resigned shortly after coming under criticism for the firing.

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