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Kaiser Permanente suspends 2,200 unvaccinated employees

The company says the employees have until Dec. 1 to get vaccinated and those who choose not to will be terminated.
Credit: Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters
Patients and hospital staff wear masks outside of Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center on Feb. 12, 2021. Photo by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters

OAKLAND, Calif. — Health care giant Kaiser Permanente has put more than 2,200 employees nationwide on unpaid leave for choosing not to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. That's a little over 1% of its workforce. 

The company says the employees have until Dec. 1 to get vaccinated and those who choose not to will be terminated. 

The Oakland-based company has about 216,000 employees. It says that since announcing the requirement on Aug 2, the vaccination rate among employees has gone from 78% to 92%. 

The vaccine mandates have proven successful, with many companies and employers seeing high compliance rates. Kaiser did not disclose how many exemptions it has approved for religious and medical reasons.

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