- By DeeDee Stiepan
From vaccine hesitant to vaccine proponent
Like many front-line health care workers, Dr. Casey Clements, a Mayo Clinic emergency medicine physician, has seen and learned a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Clements diagnosed the first patient in Rochester, Minnesota, who tested positive for COVID-19.
Naturally, one may think he was completely on board to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but that wasn't the case at first. Initially, he had some hesitations.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality soundbites are in the downloads at the end of the post. Please courtesy: "Casey Clements, M.D., Ph. D. / Emergency Medicine / Mayo Clinic"
"If you would have asked me two months ago, 'Are you going to get that vaccine?' I'd say, 'I don't know, I really want to see the safety data,'" explains Dr. Clements.
"I'm a microbiology and immunology researcher, as well, and the technology used for these vaccines was only used in research labs before this. There's never been a vaccine like this before. I'm skeptical by nature, so I was pretty worried about it initially."
After reviewing the safety and efficacy data, Dr. Clements has not only changed his mind, he wants to reassure other skeptics about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine.
"The results of the large vaccine trials are remarkable, and the vaccine works better than I imagined it would. When you consider that any problems related to previous vaccines occurred within days to a few weeks, then over two months of data showing that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe, is very reassuring. This is a great advancement," says Dr. Clements.
On Dec. 18, Dr. Clements was among the first Mayo Clinic staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Rochester.
"Now that I am two weeks out from my first shot, I feel so much safer and more comfortable caring for my patients with COVID-19," says Dr. Clements.
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Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding, along with guidelines and recommendations, may have changed since the original publication date.
For everyone's safety, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in an area not designated for patient care, where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.
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