By CBSLA Staff

PASADENA (CBSLA) — Kaiser Permanente announced Monday it will require COVID-19 vaccines for all its employees and physicians.

“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 A. Adams, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan, Inc.

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“Large groups of unvaccinated people are fueling the current increase in cases and 97-99% of COVID-19 hospital admissions are unvaccinated patients. Making vaccination mandatory is the most effective way we can protect our people, our patients and the communities we serve. We encourage all health systems and business and industry leaders across the country to play a role in ending the pandemic by doing the same.”

As of July 31, 77.8% of Kaiser Permanente employees and more than 95% of Permanente Medical Group physicians have been fully vaccinated.

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The organization has set a target date of September 30, 2021, to achieve a fully vaccinated workforce.

Unvaccinated employees and physicians will be required to become fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or apply for medical or religious exemption.

The Kaiser Permanente organization includes more than 216,000 employees and more than 23,000 Permanente Medical Group physicians.

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As of July 30, Kaiser Permanente has cared for more than 907,418 patients with COVID-19 and has safely administered over 6.8 million vaccine doses with over 68% of Kaiser Permanente members receiving at least one dose.