Kaiser Permanente places nearly 2,200 employees on unpaid leave for not getting vaccinated

COVID-19 Vaccine

FILE – In this March 16, 2020, file photo, Neal Browning receives a shot in the first-stage safety study of a potential vaccine for COVID-19 at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. Moderna Inc., said Monday, Nov. 16, its COVID-19 vaccine is proving to be highly effective in a major trial. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

DENVER (KDVR) — Following a deadline for its employees to get vaccinated by the end of September, Kaiser Permanente has placed nearly 2,200 employees nationwide on unpaid administrative leave as of Oct. 4, according to a statement from the company.

Kaiser Permanente employs 216,000 people across the country and 23,000 physicians. The company said more than 92% of its employees have been vaccinated.

When Kaiser announced its requirement on Aug. 2, 78% of employees were vaccinated, and now that number has shot up to more than 92%.

“We know that vaccination is the most powerful tool we have to stop this pandemic, to prevent more dangerous strains from developing, and to restore the freedom of safety and normalcy,” the company said in a statement. “That’s why we launched a national campaign last June aimed at increasing confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine and providing easy access to receive it.”

Kaiser Permanente employees who did not comply have until Dec. 1 to get vaccinated and return to work.

“We hope none of our employees will choose to leave their jobs rather than be vaccinated, but we won’t know with certainty until then,” the statement said. “We will continue to work with this group of employees to allay concerns and educate them about the vaccines, their benefits, and risks.”

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