ST. LOUIS – Mercy co-workers will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine effective Sept. 30. The new requirement comes as the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly in Missouri.
Mercy has hospitals in several Missouri cities including St. Louis, Springfield, Joplin, and other locations. Mercy also serves Arkansas and Oklahoma where COVID numbers are on the rise due to the Delta variant.
“Mandating this vaccine is the right thing to do; it’s to protect our communities to protect our patients to protect our coworkers,” said Dr. William Sistrunk, Mercy infectious disease specialist.
Mercy says it is joining more than 20 other health care organizations in the U.S. that have required vaccines for employees.
“The vaccine has prevented illness in our community and will continue to be a very important and the most important factor in us getting over this epidemic,” Sistrunk said.
“This delta variant is acting different; it’s more aggressive and that’s why we’re seeing such an outbreak here in southwest Missouri.”
BJC and SSM announced in June they would require COVID vaccinations for employees.
Mercy says it will work with co-workers to develop a plan for compliance ahead of the scheduled deadline.
Mercy says there are some exceptions like for pregnancy.
Gov. Mike Parson recently addressed the accusation about the shortage of ventilators.
“The shortage of ventilators is wrong,” he said. “The state has a stockpile of them sitting over there, so when someone says that we’re out of ventilators, I would say that’s more of a management problem than anything.”
“Plus, it’s not just the ventilators for COVID-19 patients; that’s for all patients. It’s important to know the difference in those two.”