Tuesday, March 2
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FIRST IN LINE: Mayo Clinic addresses rumors about staff vaccinations – KTTC

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — With so little of the vaccine to go around, who receives it can be very important.

Here in Rochester, there are concerns about Mayo Clinic employees not in direct contact with COVID-19 patients being prioritized ahead of others in line for the vaccine.

“We are following state and federal guidelines for who needs to be vaccinated. We are not going off guidelines,” said Dr. Abinash Virk, Mayo Clinic infectious disease specialist.

Yet rumors in the Med City claim otherwise.

“I don’t know exactly where the rumor is starting from,” Dr. Virk said. “We know that some of the teleworkers have been vaccinated but it was ones who were coming on campus for other work.”

Mayo says it has only given the vaccine to those who fall within the state’s 1A group. It has not even getting to those in the 1A3 subcategory because of a lack of supply.

“We are ready to vaccinate. We have phenomenal capacity to vaccinate people at Mayo,” Virk said. “We have capacity to vaccinate 10,000 people a week.”

In addition to a lack of vaccine doses, things have been complicated when it comes to the next group to be vaccinated, 1B.

“Yesterday, Minnesota Department of Health recommended that we vaccinate people over 65 years of age,” Virk said.

Previously 1B only included individuals older than 75, but it’s now a broader category.

Plans for how to vaccinate this group have already begun, but administering the vaccine to all in 1A is still yet to be completed.

“About 60 to 70 percent of people we’ve invited have been vaccinated. There are a few others that are pending in terms of vaccination,” Virk said. “We are hoping we can get that completed in the next couple weeks.”

Dr. Virk reports only a small percentage of Mayo employees have received both doses of the vaccine.

She says Mayo is also following state guidelines when it comes to giving out the second dose, which makes the efficacy of the vaccine rise from between 80 and 90 percent to more than 95 percent.

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