CNN: Marines say no to COVID-19 vaccine. Would the offer of a beer make a difference?

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The first service branch has released its service-wide numbers on acceptance and declination of COVID-19 vaccinations. According to a report by CNN, almost 40% of Marines are taking a pass on getting vaccinated against COVID-19. The main reason cited is a distrust of the vaccine due to how quickly it was brought to market. U.S. Marines think the process was too rushed.

Not all Marines have been offered a vaccination yet. One base stands out for its high number of declinations – Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. According to the CNN report, Camp Lejeune’s rate is 57%. So far, 26,400 Marines have been offered vaccinations and 15,100 have chosen not to receive them. This number includes both II Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Installation East at Camp Lejeune. There are an additional 11,500 active-duty Marines scheduled to be offered the vaccines.

As of Thursday, approximately 75,500 Marines have received vaccines, including fully vaccinated and partially vaccinated service men and women. About 48,000 Marines have chosen not to receive vaccines, for a declination rate of 38.9%.

The corresponding acceptance rate for vaccinations among Marines — 61.1% — is not far off the military estimate of two-thirds, or about 66%.

Another 102,000 Marines have not yet been offered the vaccines. The total number of Marines includes active-duty, reserves and Individual Mobilization Augmentee Marines.

I would think that our members of the military would be among the first to be vaccinated – like other first responders and essential personnel. Apparently not. The large number of Marines refusing the vaccinations may be repeated in other branches of the military, but the other branches have not released their numbers yet. Marine Corps spokeswoman Col. Kelly Frushour says they realize the importance of building confidence in the vaccines. She said some are waiting and allowing others to receive a vaccination first, or waiting to see if it becomes mandatory. Some may be getting it through other channels. Also, some may be allergic to the vaccine. She said the Marines can always change their mind and go back the next day for a vaccination.

Some Democrat lawmakers are pushing Joe Biden to make vaccinations mandatory for service members. That’s not shocking given how Democrats have exposed their inner authoritarian tendencies during the pandemic.

Last month, a group of Democratic lawmakers called on President Joe Biden to issue a “waiver of informed consent” to make getting vaccinated against Covid-19 mandatory for all US military service members, writing in a letter that “disinformation and vaccine skepticism” are influencing service members to opt out of being vaccinated.

Their concern about disinformation and skepticism is rich, isn’t it? Both Biden and Harris voiced negative opinions of the COVID-19 vaccines as their development was announced while Trump was still in office. Without the bad Orange Man and Operation Warp Speed, there would be no vaccines right now. They both made statements that the process may have been rushed in order to appease Trump. So, spare us the reasons that some people may be suspicious of the vaccines now. We remember where it comes from.

Maybe beer-drinking Marines will be feeling better about the COVID-19 vaccinations if they watch a PSA made by Budweiser. It is a touchy-feely attempt to soften hardliners, to warm them up to getting vaccinated so they can once again get together with friends and family over a beer or two.

How about a free beer? Sam Adams is offering a free beer, beginning April 12, if the vaccinated person posts a picture of a vaccination sticker or bandage on social media. The amount of $7 will be credited through Cash App for a beer at their favorite bar. There are rules, though. There is a new ad, too.

Participants must use the hashtag #shotforsam and tag the company on Twitter or Instagram, and Samuel Adams also discouraged fans from sharing vaccination cards or other personal information, among other rules.

The beer brand will send customers $7 through May 15 or until it receives up to 10,000 entries.

Samuel Adams also released a new ad on Wednesday showing “your cousin from Boston” receiving a vaccine and being urged by a medical worker to continue wearing a mask or face covering.

“Cause hey, we all wanna get back together at the bars we love,” the company tweeted.