Why is Kaiser Permanente requiring proof of vaccination from vendors coming on to KP facilities?
COVID-19 vaccines are the most-effective way to prevent infection. As a leader in preventative health care and to do the most we can to bring an end to this pandemic, we are requiring all Kaiser Permanente employees and on-site workers, including employees of our vendors and suppliers who are physically in KP facilities, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. We are also joining national efforts to encourage more companies to follow our lead, to keep our employees, communities, and all those who reside in them, safe and healthy. [link to Wall Street Journal article]
When does this requirement take effect?
This goes into effect in our California markets on August 23, 2021 and in all other Kaiser Permanente markets by September 30, 2021. Please note that in California, between August 23, 2021 and September 30, 2021, for those who may be in process of receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations, we will also accept proof of a negative COVID-19 test within the previous 48 hrs. of their visit.
What facility types are included in this vaccination requirement? Does it apply to employees who work on KP property, but outside of the facility?
This applies to all indoor locations where care is provided to patients, including all general acute care hospitals, skilled and intermediate care facilities, ambulatory surgery centers (ASC), clinics and doctors’ offices including behavioral health, dental offices, dialysis centers, home care/home health/hospice, substance abuse and mental health facilities. Vendors and contractors who do not physically enter a KP facility or work remote/offsite are not included in these requirements, unless required by additional state or local ordinances.
Will our employees have to show proof of verification every time they come from a KP facility?
Providing your employees with a “vaccination confirmation sticker,” per the requirements on the KP Supplier website, will allow your vendor representatives to enter a KP facility without showing proof of vaccination. If they do not have a “vaccination confirmation sticker,” they must show proof of vaccination (paper or digital) each time they enter a KP facility and complete the attestation questions at the front desk.
Note: This FAQ was updated on 8/31 as it previously stated that vendor credentialing systems would provide entry to a KP facility, however due to inconsistency with vendor credentialing systems across all KP facilities, the “vaccination confirmation sticker” is the recommended entrance documentation.
What happens if my employee is turned away from the facility and is unable to complete their task or delivery? What if it is an emergency?
If you do not comply with KP vaccination policies your vendor representatives will be unable to enter KP facility. Please work with local Kaiser Permanente leadership or your supply chain contacts to help support completion of your service or delivery. Emergencies will be addressed on a case-by-case basis by local KP facility leadership.
What documentation does a vendor need to maintain?
Vendors are required to maintain documentation of the vaccination status of its employees who enter KP premises and any authorized declination of vaccination documentation. Vendors are also responsible for ensuring their contractors who enter KP premises are compliant with these requirements. Upon request by KP, vendors and their subcontractors must provide documentation of compliance with these requirements.
Should we prepare for changes to the stickers? Will we be asked to make 2022 stickers in January?
The current 2021 vaccination confirmation stickers signify employees are vaccinated per the 2021 CDC guidelines. These stickers may be need to be updated in the future, based on new vaccination guidance from the CDC. For instance, if the CDC requires a booster shot, we may ask vendor representatives to provide new stickers to confirm that their employees are in line with current health guidance. We will inform our vendors and suppliers if and when an updated is required for these stickers.
What forms of proof of COVID-19 vaccination will Kaiser Permanente accept for building entry?
Any valid physical or digital COVID-19 vaccination record may be shown upon entry to a KP facility, along with a valid photo ID. This includes, but may not be limited to, a physical or digital (e.g. photo) copy of a CDC vaccination card, immunization record from a health care provider, or digital record approved through a state agency (e.g. California Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record; Colorado myVaccineRecord, etc.).
VACCINATION & TESTING QUESTIONS
What if a vendor representative recently had COVID-19 and has recovered, as they may continue to test positive?
CDC studies have found that adults who previously tested positive for COVID-19 but are no longer infectious may continue to shed detectable SARS-CoV-1 RNA up to 90 days post infection, which may lead to “false” positive test results. Vendor representatives who recently recovered from COVID-19 must work with their employer to ensure they have been cleared by a physician to discontinue isolation and return to work. As an alternative to testing, vendor companies may provide these vendor representatives with documentation that states the individual is temporarily waived from the testing requirement for up to 90 days, noting the start and end date of the 90-day period. Vendor representatives must also follow PPE guidelines and other daily symptom self-check process, affirming they are symptom free each time they enter a KP facility. KP employees must note this in the COVID Vax Facility Access form before vendor representative entry to the KP facility.
These vendor representative employees should also be encouraged to receive their COVID-19 vaccination once they have recovered from acute illness and meet the criteria for discontinuing isolation, as they will not be able to enter a KP facility after October 1st unless they qualify for a medical or religious exemption.
Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe? Do they really work?
The COVID-19 vaccines are both safe and effective. They meet the Food and Drug Administration’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed for emergency use authorization and are expected to gain full FDA approval soon. Ultimately, vaccines give us the opportunity to move beyond the pandemic and begin rebuilding daily life — just as vaccination has brought an end to the epidemics of smallpox, polio, and other deadly diseases
What do we tell our employees who are unvaccinated?
Request that they make plans to get vaccinated as soon as possible, as full vaccination means at least 2 weeks after the final dose in either a 2 dose vaccine series (Pfizer or Moderna) or a single dose series (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen). In California, if you are not fully vaccinated by August 23, 2021 or if you qualify for a religious or medical exemption you will be required to show a negative COVID-19 test result within the previous 48 hrs. of your visit. On October 1, a negative COVID-19 test result will only be available for those who qualify for a religious or medical exemption, across all Kaiser Permanente markets.
What happens if my employee lost their vaccination card?
Your employee can retrieve a copy of your immunization from your health provider immunization record or your state immunization registry. Please note, this may take some time. If you are unable to submit proof of full vaccination you will be considered “unvaccinated” and will need to follow COVID-19 testing procedures.
What do I do for employees who qualify for a valid medical or religious exemption?
Employees who qualify for a religious or medical exemption should sign a legal declination and show supporting documentation, as defined by their employer. It is the responsibility of the vendor or supplier company to manage internal processes and documentation requirements for the verification of these exemptions and to make a determination as to whether the exemption is granted. After October 1, showing negative COVID-19 tests to enter a KP facility will only be available for those who have obtained a medical or religious exemption from his/her employer. Please provide employees with vendor documentation to show at KP facility entrances that prove the validity of their medical or religious exemption.
What types of COVID test are accepted? Can I take a rapid test?
COVID-19 tests must be FDA approved and date/time stamped to show that it was taken within the previous 48 hours upon entry to a KP facility.
Fully vaccinated vendor representatives should be provided ONE “vendor confirmation sticker,” click to view requirements, which will provide them entry into a KP facility.