A sailor assigned to Navy Reserve Center Fort Worth, Texas, has become at least the 16th sailor to die from COVID-19 complications, according to the US Navy.
Electronics technician 1st class William E. Matthews, 47, died Nov. 24 after battling COVID-19 at Lewisville Medical Hospital in Texas since Nov. 6.
“Our thoughts and prayers remain with Petty Officer Matthews’ family, shipmates and friends at this extremely difficult time,” the Navy said in a press release. “Anyone experiencing COVID-related symptoms is encouraged to seek immediate medical attention.”
A total of 75 servicemen have died as a result of complications from COVID-19, according to Pentagon figures updated Nov. 24.
The Navy said 97 percent of active-duty sailors and 93.9 percent of the total force are fully vaccinated, and 99.8 percent of active-duty sailors and 96.9 percent of the total force have at least one COVID -19 injection, according to figures released on November. 24.
Active duty sailors had to receive their last dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Nov. 14 to meet the Nov. 28 deadline to be fully vaccinated. There’s a little more time for those in the Navy Reserve, who have until December 14 to meet the December 28 deadline for fully vaccinated status.
The Navy’s Covid Consolidated Disposition Authority will segregate seamen who refuse to comply with mandatory vaccination policies and are not granted a medical or administrative exemption, such as a religious waiver.
The Navy has approved six medical waivers and zero religious waivers for the COVID-19 vaccine.