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From COVID Vaccine Skeptic to Supporter

From COVID Vaccine Skeptic to Supporter

As a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Altru Health System has access to Mayo Clinic knowledge, resources, and expertise. This includes collaborating with Mayo Clinic specialists on the COVID-19 pandemic. As we come upon a year of dealing with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and vaccine doses become more widely available to communities, many of us need to answer the question, “Are you getting the vaccine?”

Dr. Casey Clements, a Mayo Clinic emergency medicine physician, was one of the many-faced with this question. “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,'” explained Dr. Clements.

It was Dr. Clements who diagnosed the first patient in Rochester, Minnesota, who tested positive for COVID-19. One might think he would be completely on board to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but initially, that was not the case. He like many others had hesitations.

“I’m a microbiology and immunology researcher, and the technology used for these vaccines had only been used in research labs. There’s never been a vaccine like this before. I’m skeptical by nature, so I was pretty worried about it initially.”

After considerable review of the data, Dr. Clements reversed his position and is eager 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.”

Dr. Clements is one of many healthcare providers to receive the first part of the COVID-19 vaccine. To date, 68% of Altru Health System employees have also received their initial dose. While it’s good to be a skeptic, Dr. Clements is happy to lead the charge. As each of you considers your own decision, we encourage you to evaluate the positive scientific data that supports this vaccine.

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Please note that due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, guidelines and recommendations included in this blog may change over time and could vary from the original date of publication. For the latest news and updates related to COVID-19, please visit

Some of the content of this blog is courtesy of Mayo Clinic, the No. 1 hospital in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. Altru Health System is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. This relationship provides us with access to information, knowledge, and expertise from Mayo Clinic.