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COVID-19 Vaccine Support Statements

While distribution of the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine gets closer, MNAAP is urging adults in Minnesota to receive the immunization when it is approved by the FDA and CDC as a measure to protect the state’s infants, children, and teens.

In an effort to address the hesitancy many adults feel about the newly-developed vaccine, MNAAP asked its members to help in a social media campaign to put fears to rest and refocus the conversation about the potential positive outcomes of a vaccinated population. Here’s what they said:


Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP
MNAAP President

I believe in this vaccine. When I retired from my clinical practice of pediatrics this past May, I still wanted to find some way to keep helping others from getting infected with COVID-19. Recently a vaccine trial opened up and I immediately volunteered and was accepted. Two weeks ago I received an injection and while I don’t know if it was a placebo (salt water) or the actual vaccine, I had no second thoughts about receiving this possible injection. We all need to do whatever we can to help protect each other and ourselves and that means getting vaccinated against COVID-19 when you have the opportunity.


Zachary Shaheen, MD, PhD 

I believe in this COVID-19 vaccine because it will save lives, help us re-open our economy, and get our children back to school. The scientific and medical community has worked together like never before to develop, study, and produce a safe and effective vaccine that will allow us to finally fight back effectively against this pandemic. I do not recommend any treatment that I would not feel comfortable giving to my own family. In this regard, I am confident that the enormous benefits of this vaccine outweigh any risks, and as soon as the vaccine is available I will be getting vaccinated along with my family, and I am strongly recommending my friends, colleagues, and patient families all get vaccinated as well. I thank you all for your resiliency this last year as we all fought to contain the virus and buy us time until a safe and effective vaccine has arrived.


Robert M. Jacobson, M.D., F.A.A.P.

I believe in this vaccine. The two COVID-19 vaccines under consideration for emergency use authorization are great vaccines. They both been tested as rigorously as any other vaccines before their licensure. They’ve both been tested in tens of thousands of patients. They prevent symptomatic COVID-19  at near perfect rates—95%–and they are safe. When I  become eligible to get one, I’m rolling up my sleeve and getting it. I am asking all of my colleagues and patients to do the same.


Yeng Yang, MD, FAAP

I believe in this vaccine because it will allow us to get back to normal life in the next year. This can only happen if the great majority of us get vaccinated and continue to practice good hand hygiene and wearing our masks.


Mark Nupen,  MD  

I have a number of relatives who don’t trust ‘medical experts’ and think the vaccine might be harmful to them so they refuse vaccines.  However, they don’t consider “do I have a responsibility to prevent spread of the infection to others!”  They don’t even consider that issue!  You might ask, “do you want to kill one of your elders or chronically ill relative after the catch the infection from you?”  “Get the vaccine to prevent your contagiousness to others.”  “That’s why we don’t have small pox anymore.  Nor Polio, chickenpox, meningitis in children like the old days.”

People forget that they may survive but don’t consider their ‘public health responsibility.  They used to lock up those people infected with active and contagious TB because they refused treatment.

We all should believe that we have a community responsibility to prevent others from getting these infections.  We never know who will die from complications from these infectious diseases.

I see the warnings “Protect yourself” by getting the vaccine, but I don’t often see “Protect the others by getting the Vaccines”.


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