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Kaiser Permanente suspends 2,200 unvaccinated employees

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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

The employees have until Dec. 1 to get vaccinated to be able to return to work and those who choose not to will be terminated, the company said. Kaiser’s overall vaccination rate stands at 92%.

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The Oakland-based company employs about 216,000 nationwide. Since its vaccination requirement was announced, the inoculation rate among employees has gone from 78% to 92% as of Tuesday, the company said.

A month later, President Joe Biden ordered a sweeping federal vaccine mandate ordering companies with more than 100 workers to require vaccinations or weekly testing for the virus, though the details on it have still not been announced.

The vaccine mandates have proven successful with many companies and other employers are seeing high compliance rates.

At United Airlines, about 96% of employees have been vaccinated under a mandate. About 3% sought an exemption and fewer than 1% will be fired, the company has said.

In Denver, at least 92% of municipal employees and medical facilities are vaccinated against COVID-19 following its vaccine mandate that took effect last Thursday.

California’s order allows exceptions for people who decline the vaccine because of a religious belief or who cannot be inoculated because of a qualifying medical reason, backed up by a note signed by a licensed medical professional. Kaiser did not say how many exemptions it has approved for its California employees.

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