Kaiser Permanente suspends 2,200 unvaccinated employees


In this Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021 file photo, a nurse loads a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Jackson, Miss. Millions of Americans are now eligible to receive a Pfizer booster shot to help increase their protection against the worst effects of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — 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 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 vaccination 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 other employers seeing high compliance rates. Kaiser did not disclose how many exemptions it has approved for religious and medical reasons.

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