OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Employees at an Oklahoma hospital will soon be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
On Wednesday, Mercy announced that employees will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, effective Sept. 30.
Officials say the move comes as the delta variant spreads rapidly in Missouri, where Mercy has hospitals and clinics.
Authorities say the majority of Mercy patients who were recently hospitalized with COVID-19 have not been vaccinated.
“What we are seeing aligns with the Associated Press analysis of CDC data,” said Dr. John Mohart, Mercy’s senior vice president of clinical services. “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.”
Mercy joins more than 20 other health care organizations across the United States in requiring vaccines for employees.
“It is essential that we take these steps in order to protect the health of our co-workers and our patients at Mercy,” said Dr. William Sistrunk, Mercy infectious disease specialist. “As health care leaders in our communities, it is important we set the standard to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Vaccination is our best defense against the virus and already has provided many of our co-workers with the protection they need to care for our patients. Our goal is to ensure the safest possible work environment for our co-workers and patients while also being a part of the effort to stop the spread of the virus in the communities we serve.”
Mercy will work with co-workers to develop a plan for compliance ahead of the scheduled deadline.