Springfield's Mercy Hospital to require vaccines for employees

Kansas City-area hospitals not requiring vaccines
Posted at 1:24 PM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 14:24:30-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Springfield's Mercy Hospital announced Wednesday that it will require its employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The decision came as the hospital experienced ventilator shortages over the Fourth of July holiday weekend as COVID-19 cases surged in the area.

Mercy Hospital's Chief Administrative Officer Erick Frederick tweeted Wednesday the hospital currently has 120 COVID-19 patients, with 88% of its intensive care unit patients on ventilators.

Employees at Mercy Springfield will be required to get the vaccine by Sept. 30.

“What we are seeing aligns with the Associated Press analysis of CDC data,” Dr. John Mohart, Mercy’s senior vice president of clinical services said in a press release. “More than 95% of recent hospitalizations across the U.S. are people who aren’t vaccinated. The data is clear. Vaccination is key to saving lives.”

41 Action News reached out to hospitals in Kansas City area to see if they would follow Mercy Springfield's lead.

Both Saint Luke's and Children's Mercy said vaccines are optional but highly encouraged for their employees.

The University of Kansas Health System also said vaccines are currently optional. However, a spokesperson said the hospital would evaluate making the vaccine a requirement once the Food and Drug Administration fully approves the COVID-19 vaccines.

The vaccine requirement applies to Mercy hospitals in Joplin and St. Louis.