The threat of another COVID-19 surge and subsequent shutdown poses great economic and employment consequences — so there’s a legitimate business case for having a vaccine policy in place. Vaccination is our most powerful tool in the fight to end this pandemic. It saves lives, prevents more dangerous strains from developing, and protects the health of our communities. Therefore, the best and most cost-effective way to protect your employees from COVID-19 is, in fact, requiring masks and vaccinations.
If your business has a testing requirement, we recommend you have a process in place and share it with employees, letting them know where they should be tested as well as the frequency and timing of testing. For more insights and tools on how to implement a vaccine policy, download and share the workforce vaccine policy toolkit. (Please note that Kaiser Permanente does not provide or cover COVID-19 testing required by employers, except as required by applicable law. This includes testing for return to work or for unvaccinated employees.)
On September 9, the White House announced a new COVID-19 action plan focused on getting more Americans vaccinated and increasing COVID-19 testing for those who remain unvaccinated. We are waiting for final rules from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to determine if there will be any changes to Kaiser Permanente health care coverage.
Booster shots update:
At this time, boosters are only approved for individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine boosters have not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.)
On September 24, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that a Pfizer booster dose should be administered at least 6 months after completion of the Pfizer primary series for:
- People 65 or older
- Long-term care facility residents
- People 50 through 64 with underlying medical conditions
The CDC also advised that the Pfizer booster may be administered at least 6 months after completion of the primary Pfizer series for:
- People 18 through 49 with underlying medical conditions based on individual benefit and risk
- People 18 through 64 who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting
Kaiser Permanente Washington will provide appointment information for booster shots as it becomes available. You can also visit the FDA or CDC websites for more booster shot news and updates. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit kp.org/covidvaccine. You can also call our 24/7 KP COVID Vaccine InfoLine at 1‑855‑550‑0951 (available in English and Spanish) for regular recorded updates.