July 7, 2021


JOPLIN, Mo. (July 7, 2021) – Mercy co-workers will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, effective Sept. 30, 2021.

The new requirement comes as the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly in Missouri. Mercy also serves communities in Arkansas and Oklahoma, where COVID numbers are also increasing due to the Delta variant.

Mercy is experiencing the real-world impact of the protection vaccines provide. The majority of Mercy patients recently hospitalized with COVID have not been vaccinated. In mandating the vaccine for co-workers and others who serve in Mercy facilities, Mercy joins over 20 other health care organizations in recognizing that vaccination serves the common good, protects patients who come to us for care, and is crucial to safeguarding public health and ultimately bringing an end to the pandemic.

“This decision is about doing protecting our patients,” said Jeremy Drinkwitz, president of Mercy Hospital Joplin. “We’re responsible for keeping our patients safe. It’s the right thing for our co-workers to protect each other. It’s what the Sisters of Mercy, who have served Joplin for almost 125 years, would expect us to do.”

Both Pfizer and Moderna have applied to the Food and Drug Administration for full approval of their COVID-19 vaccines, which is expected soon. COVID vaccines have been deemed safe and have proven effective with over 171 million Americans already vaccinated.

“We need to stop the transmission of this virus in our community. We need to protect the people we serve and the co-workers who help us do that,” said Dr. Tracy Godfrey, president, Mercy Clinic Joplin. “Our goal is to make sure that everyone who serves across Mercy has the life-saving protection the COVID-19 vaccines offer.”   

Mercy will work with co-workers to develop a plan for compliance ahead of the scheduled deadline. Mercy continues to strongly encourage vaccination for everyone. More information about the vaccine is available and appointments can be scheduled online.