All Mercy services are open. See safe options for care and the latest COVID-19 vaccine information.
Following are answers from Mercy experts to some of the most common questions about COVID-19 virus, vaccine, vaccination appointments and caring for kids. We’ll continue to update these as new information becomes available.
Mercy continues to work with state leadership and other health systems to vaccinate all those who are eligible under state guidelines. As eligibility continues to open across the states we serve and vaccine supply has become more available, we are able to offer vaccine appointments on a regular basis in most of the communities we serve*. If you meet your state’s current eligibility requirements, we encourage you to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at the location nearest you. Most Mercy vaccine clinics are currently scheduling first dose appointments only; second dose appointments at most vaccine clinics will be made during first dose appointments. Patients under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian present to be vaccinated.
*St. Louis area residents can register to receive updates about vaccine eligibility and availability
As eligibility continues to open across the states we serve and vaccine supply has become more available, we are able to offer vaccine appointments on a regular basis in most of the communities we serve*. If you meet your state’s current eligibility requirements, we encourage you to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at the location nearest you. Most Mercy vaccine clinics are currently scheduling first dose appointments only; second dose appointments at most vaccine clinics will be made during first dose appointments. Patients under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian present to be vaccinated.
*As vaccine supply remains limited in the St. Louis area, residents can register to receive updates about vaccine eligibility and availability.
We recommend you receive your vaccination wherever you can when you are eligible. The vaccine will be a major factor in reducing the public health threat posed by the pandemic and will ultimately save lives and reduce hospitalizations.
If you submit your information on mercy.net, you will receive an email letting you know when appointments are available in your community and you are eligible to schedule a vaccine appointment. Submitting a form on mercy.net puts you on our wait list to receive vaccination updates.
When you are eligible and vaccine supply allows, you will receive a one time use link from Mercy to schedule your appointment. Once this link is used to schedule a vaccine appointment at a Mercy location, it will be disabled. Please use the link you have been sent to schedule your appointment only.
If you schedule your appointment through mercy.net, your appointment information will be available on the final screen where you confirm your appointment. If you are a MyMercy user, your appointment will be accessible in MyMercy and you will receive appointment reminders through MyMercy.
If you received an error message when submitting your form for notification of available appointments, please resubmit your information to ensure you are placed on our notification list.
If you completed the form for multiple family members using the same email address or phone number, you may not receive multiple confirmations or text messages; but each individual will receive a notification as appointments become available.
I received an email/text message with a link to schedule, but it’s not working.
Each scheduling link allows only a single appointment to be scheduled. If you or someone you’ve shared this link with has used it to schedule an appointment for anyone other than you, the link will no longer work.
I’ve registered multiple people but they haven’t all received appointment invitations.
If you registered multiple people using the same email address and/or mobile number, you’ll receive a separate invitation with a link to schedule each individual an appointment.
Appointment invitations are not sent by household and may arrive at different times.
Please look for the name of the individual that the invitation was intended for. If you’ve requested the vaccine for multiple members of your household, but have only received a single appointment invitation, you can expect us to reach out again as vaccine supply, eligibility and available appointments allow.
If you have only registered a single individual for the COVID-19 vaccine, but others in your household wish to be vaccinated, please be sure each individual is registered.
If you no longer want the COVID-19 vaccine, have already been vaccinated or wish to stop receiving ongoing updates about eligibility or appointments, you can remove yourself from our contact list.
Please follow these steps:
This is the fastest, easiest way to opt out of updates. We may not be able to respond to phone calls, emails or requests made through social media.
If you’re still receiving our biweekly update emails, then you’re still on our waitlist. We currently have hundreds of thousands of individuals on our waitlist, but due to the limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines, we’ve only been able to offer a fraction of those requesting the vaccine an appointment at this time.
As our vaccine supply is replenished, we’ll continue scheduling appointments by email, text or phone with those who are eligible and have requested the vaccine. It may take many months to provide a first dose to everyone who’s signed up.
Yes, to be eligible for vaccination, you must be a resident of the state in which you are requesting the vaccination and meet the state and federal eligibility guidelines.
Please bring a valid ID and insurance card. Patients under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian present to be vaccinated.
If you are eligible due to your job (essential worker, health care worker, teacher, etc.), bring proof of your employment or work license. Please visit your state or local health department website for more details on necessary proof of eligibility.
If you are eligible due to a medical condition, medical records are not necessary to verify your eligibility as a high-risk patient. Just bring your valid ID and insurance card.
If you are able to do so, please print and complete your consent form and bring to your appointment:
The COVID-19 vaccination is administered as a shot in the arm. Of the three vaccines that are currently available for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), two require a second dose to be fully effective. Current guidance recommends 21-28 days between the first and second vaccinations.
Unless you’re getting the single dose vaccine, you’ll need get a second dose for the vaccine to be fully effective. You’ll be scheduled for your second dose at the time of the first to ensure appropriate timing.
You’ll be monitored for a reaction for 15 to 30 minutes at the vaccine clinic. Information will be provided on how to report side effects after you leave. In the rare event you develop a severe allergic reaction after leaving, go to your nearest emergency room or call 911.
To cancel or reschedule your vaccine appointment with Mercy, please call 833-364-6777 and follow the prompts to cancel or reschedule your appointment. If you request to reschedule, a Mercy team member will call you to schedule your new appointment time.
If you provided a cell phone number when you registered for your vaccine appointment, you’ll receive a text message within 24 hours of your appointment giving you the option to confirm, reschedule or cancel your appointment via text message. If you request to reschedule, a Mercy team member will call you to schedule your new appointment time.
If you provided a land line number when you registered for your vaccine appointment, you’ll receive a phone call within 24 hours of your appointment giving you the option to confirm, reschedule or cancel your appointment. If you request to reschedule, a Mercy team member will call you to schedule your new appointment time.
You cannot use a scheduled appointment for someone else, even if they’re eligible for vaccination. Only the patient associated with the appointment can receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
If you need to cancel your vaccine appointment with Mercy, please call 833-364-6777 and follow the prompts to cancel your appointment.
Please do not schedule more than one vaccine appointment. You cannot use a scheduled appointment for someone else, even if they’re eligible for vaccinations. Only the patient associated with the appointment can receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
If you need to cancel your vaccine appointment with Mercy, please call 833-364-6777 and follow the prompts to cancel your appointment.
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Healthcare workers will be prioritized to get the vaccine for the protection of our patients, Mercy co-workers, physicians and the community. Residents of long-term care facilities have also been prioritzed by the CDC.
Yes. You won’t be charged for the vaccine, but state guidelines allow Mercy to charge health plans a small fee to cover the costs of providing staff and space for vaccination clinics.
While the first COVID-19 vaccines are new to people, they are based on science that is more than 30 years old. These vaccines provide our bodies with only part of the genetic code of COVID (not a full weakened or dead virus like some vaccines). From that code, our bodies produce proteins that are harmless on their own, but they allow our immune systems to produce antibodies in response. Those antibodies will then be able to recognize and attack COVID-19 if we're exposed and it’s introduced into our body.
Everyone should get vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccine will be a major factor in reducing the public health threat posed by the pandemic and will ultimately save lives and reduce hospitalizations. We will follow CDC guidelines to distribute the vaccine in a fair, ethical and transparent way.
Yes. Due to serious health risks with the virus and the possibility of reinfection, the CDC says you should get vaccinated. Ask your Mercy provider about timing based on how long you’ve been symptom-free.
Any vaccine or medication can cause side effects. You may experience common side effects such as swelling and sore arm where you got the shot along with an overall low-grade fever, chills, tiredness or headache that goes away within a few days. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity. Safety is the top priority of any vaccine. Early results from the first COVID-19 vaccines tested in people show they worked as intended with no serious side effects. Talk with your Mercy provider about any specific concerns you may have.
Until we have more data on how well the COVID-19 vaccines work, we won’t know how long immunity lasts after vaccination. Experts are working to learn more about both vaccine-induced immunity and natural immunity. The CDC will provide updates as new information becomes available.
We won’t know how long immunity lasts until we have more data on how well it works over a longer period of time. The protection someone gains from having an infection (called natural immunity) varies depending on the disease, and it varies from person to person. Since this virus is new, we don’t know how long natural immunity might last.
Pregnant women were not part of clinical trials, but experts cited real-world examples to explain their confidence in vaccine safety. In accordance with the FDA and CDC guidance, healthcare workers who are pregnant or breastfeeding may receive the vaccine at their own discretion. Talk with your Mercy provider about any specific concerns you may have.
Those with certain underlying medical conditions are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19 illness and, regardless of age, are a high priority group for receiving the vaccine. Mercy providers will work to get you the best information so you can make an informed decision about the vaccine for yourself and your family.
Yes, the seasonal flu vaccine is unable to provide immunity against the COVID-19 virus.
These vaccines have been proven effective and are available for use with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA. When the FDA grants EUA, it’s in the absence of adequate, approved, or available alternatives to prevent serious or life-threatening diseases, including public health emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CDC still recommends wearing a mask, proper handwashing and social distancing after vaccination. The annual flu vaccination is still recommended. This guidance may change with more data about how effective the vaccine is over the long-term.
Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person, mainly when they are in close contact with one another (less than six feet). When an infected person coughs or sneezes, this spreads respiratory droplets that can then infect another person nearby. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Some recent studies also have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
90% of patients will have fever and 70% will have a dry cough. Some will have diarrhea although by itself this is not usually a sign of COVID-19. Those who become acutely ill will experience shortness of breath.
Most patients who have the virus will have symptoms but in most cases (about 80%) the symptoms will be mild. People who are older, have chronic diseases, or have a weakened immune system are at higher risk of complications if infected.
If you have difficulty breathing - call ahead to your nearest emergency room and let them know your symptoms and that you’re on your way. That will help them prepare for your arrival.
Not everyone should be tested. If you are symptomatic, you should also stay home and away from others and take care of yourself as you would with other viruses. If you are experiencing worsening of symptoms, please contact your primary physician’s office.
People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness like COVID-19 with everyday preventive actions.
If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:
This information changes daily, so please visit the Centers for Disease Control website for the most up-to-date information.
According to the World Health Organization, people with mild forms of the disease, recover in about two weeks, while people with severe or critical disease recover within three to six weeks.
No. This is a pandemic that will continue until a large percentage of the population is inoculated. The best ways to keep yourself safe are:
All Mercy locations and services are now open, with strict standards to keep patients and caregivers safe. Please bring a cloth mask with you and wear it from the time you enter the facility until you leave. This is not only for your protection, but for that of the other patients and caregivers around you.
For your convenience and comfort, we also offer video visits. Meet with a primary care provider or specialist on your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. Existing patients can schedule a video visit through MyMercy. If you don’t currently have a MyMercy account, you can quickly create one.
The seasonal flu affects tens of thousands of Americans each year. This year, it's possible to get the flu at the same time as COVID-19. Protecting yourself and others is more important than ever. Please do your part by getting a flu shot and following other CDC guidelines. Learn more about the flu and schedule an appointment for your flu shot.
COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that usually causes mild symptoms in kids. However, emergencies can occur. Seek care immediately if your child develops the following symptoms:
For most kids, the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses. Here are the common signs and ways parents can help:
Asthma and COVID-19 both affect the lungs, so it’s important to keep your child’s asthma well-controlled. Continue following your child’s asthma action plan and contact their Mercy provider with any concerns. Make sure you have enough asthma medication and supplies, and work with your child’s doctor if you need refills. Experts say using a nebulizer may increase the amount of virus in the air if your child has COVID-19, potentially spreading the virus to others more easily. Talk with your Mercy provider about whether an inhaler is appropriate for your child.
If your child has a fever or other COVID-19 symptoms, you can schedule a video visit or in-person visit with your Mercy provider for evaluation and testing based on their recommendation. Your child may need a follow-up visit if symptoms persist. Viral infections can sometimes progress to infections that need treatment with antibiotics, such as a sinus infection, ear infection or pneumonia.
While most kids with COVID-19 have mild symptoms that get better on their own, a very small percentage can develop a condition known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). The syndrome causes inflammation that can lead to lasting organ damage, especially to the heart. Symptoms can develop within four weeks of exposure to the new COVID-19. MIS-C seems to affect children ages 2 to 15 and hasn’t been reported in babies. Fortunately, MIS-C is treatable with medications.
Kids with potential MIS-C symptoms should be seen by a Mercy provider. Symptoms include a fever higher than 100.4⁰ plus any of the following:
Here are some ways others in the household can protect themselves when kids have COVID-19:
Many schools and daycare facilities require release-from-quarantine letters from a physician or public health department before kids can return. Children who become severely ill from COVID-19 or who have weakened immune systems may need to quarantine differently. Contact your child’s Mercy provider for more information.
Changes have been made at Mercy Birthplace locations to protect our patients, the community and our co-workers. Read our COVID-19 Birthplace FAQs.