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Humana to require COVID vaccines for some employees

Like local health care systems, Humana said medical and religious exemptions will be available and considered on a case-by-case basis.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Humana announced it will require full vaccination for associates and select contractors who work outside of their home.

In an e-mail to employees, officials said they are updating health and safety policies for employees who work within their facilities, interact directly with members and patients or attend in-person meetings and trainings.

"As infection rates of COVID-19 and its variants rise, we have a responsibility once again to be part of the solution — and we must take it," the letter says.

The requirement will take effect when the first COVID vaccine receives FDA approval. Employees who are impacted must provide full proof of full vaccination within 60 days of the FDA approval date.

Like local health care systems, Humana said medical and religious exemptions will be available and considered on a case-by-case basis.

Starting Sept. 7, Humana said anyone who works outside their home must follow updated protocols that include regular COVID testing for unvaccinated employees.

"We're not the first to require vaccination and expect others to follow in reducing the devastating impacts of this pandemic," the letter says.

The health care giant, which employees nearly 13,000 people, planned for its buildings to be fully operational after Labor Day. As the delta variant spreads, Humana said it has moved its return date to Oct. 18

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday his administration will require nursing home staff be vaccinated against COVID as a condition for facilities to continue receiving federal Medicare and Medicaid funding.

The Department of Veterans Affairs became the first major federal agency to require health care workers to get vaccines. UofL Health, Norton Healthcare and Baptist Health all announced vaccine requirements, as did Seven County Services.

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