Kaiser Permanente now says it's requiring all employees and physicians to be vaccinated against COVID-19, making it the latest employer to require that its workforce be protected against the virus.
The organization said on Monday it's working with labor unions on implementing the mandate in an attempt to get a fully vaccinated workforce by Sept. 30. Employees can "apply for medical or religious exemption," but added that 77.8% of Kaiser Permanente employees and more than 95% of Permanente Medical Group physicians have been fully vaccinated.
"As the country’s largest integrated care delivery system, we feel it is our responsibility to do everything we can to help bring an end to the pandemic, especially in light of the dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases from the highly infectious delta variant," said Greg Adams, chair and chief executive officer, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan, Inc.
Beginning Aug. 23, Kaiser will require unvaccinated workers to undergo COVID-19 testing twice weekly.
The Kaiser Permanente organization includes more than 216,000 employees and more than 23,000 Permanente Medical Group physicians.
Last week, tech giants Google and Facebook were among several companies to announce COVID-19 vaccination requirements for their employees.