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Kaiser Health Suspends 2,200 Workers Over Vaccine Status

About 1 percent of Kaiser Permanente employees have been placed on unpaid administrative leave for not getting vaccinated against COVID-19 by the Sept. 30 deadline. To return to work, they must be vaccinated by Dec. 1.

(TNS) — Kaiser Permanente announced Tuesday that it had put a little more than 2,200 employees on unpaid leave nationwide because they had failed to either get the COVID-19 vaccine or to provide a religious or medical exemption.

"This number is declining daily, and as employees respond, they may return to work," Kaiser leaders said in a written statement. "Those not responding have until Dec. 1, 2021, to do so, to be able to return to work."

Kaiser employed roughly 216,700 people in 2020. Company leaders said they would continue educating unvaccinated employees about the COVID-19 vaccines, their benefits and risks as part of an effort to ensure no one loses their job as a result of the mandate.

When Kaiser announced the vaccination requirement on Aug. 2, it reported that 78 percent of workers were already vaccinated. As of Wednesday, company leaders said, more than 92 percent of employees are vaccinated.

Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom set a Sept. 30 deadline for all the state's health care workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

(c)2021 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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