The University of Pennsylvania Health System has given its employees an ultimatum: get the COVID vaccine before Sept. 1 or get fired.

All employees and clinical staff must be vaccinated against the vaccine no later than Sept. 1, 2021, a Penn Medicine spokesperson told FOX Business.

An exterior photo of the Drexel University College of Medicine. During a tour of the Drexel University College of Medicine at Tower Health under construction in Wyomissing Tuesday afternoon May 4, 2021.  (Getty Images)

Effective July 1, 2021, all new hires will either have to provide proof of vaccinations or have had completed their vaccinations at least two weeks before beginning work.

Staff who choose not to get vaccinated for medical or religious reasons will have to apply for an exemption. Non-exempted workers who choose not to get vaccinated will be subject to disciplinary actions – including firing, according to the memo.

"As an institution grounded in the science and art of healthcare, we believe it is imperative for the University of Pennsylvania Health System to take the lead in requiring employee vaccinations to protect our patients and staff and to set an example to the broader community as we work together to end the COVID-19 pandemic," the Penn Medicine spokesperson said.

All UPHS employees and clinical staff have been offered the vaccine and nearly 70% – more than 33,000 people – are fully vaccinated, the spokesperson said.

The legality of UPHS’s policy remains unclear. No other local health systems have implemented mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policies, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.

As of Wednesday, May 19, 2021, about 124 million Americans, or about 38%, have been fully vaccinated.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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