“I got the COVID vaccine for myself, my family, my coworkers, my patients, and my community. Our entire office staff is fully vaccinated for the same reasons.”

— Caitlin Ryser M.D., OB/GYN Physician, Parkview Warsaw Hospital

Dr. Caitlin Ryser never expected to face a pandemic. As an OB/GYN at Parkview Warsaw Hospital, she works with women of all ages, and her first concern is always the safety of her patients. “Just like every other field of medicine, we are constantly learning and adjusting as we go, and then trying to do the best job we can for our patients.”

Dr. Ryser decided it would be in her best interest to research the COVID-19 vaccines once they became available to healthcare workers, “I did look into the mRNA vaccines, just in general, and they are not quite as new as they sound.” She says she “understand[s] the apprehension that people may have with a new vaccine” and that most of her coworkers in healthcare “had some degree of apprehension.” But, despite all of this, Dr. Ryser felt confident in her decision to receive the vaccine.

One reason for her decision came from her research into mRNA vaccines, as well as weighing the pros and cons, “I did quickly feel comfortable with this concept of the mRNA vaccines. I really felt like it was an easy decision for myself just… looking at the risks vs. benefits.” She continues, “the benefits of protecting someone that we love certainly outweigh any possible risk, in my mind. And likely those risks are very rare and minimal, just like other vaccines. And we know vaccines truly save lives, and they do in this case, with COVID.”

“I want to do the best thing to keep myself, my family, my patients, my community, and my coworkers all as safe as possible.”

Because of her status as a healthcare worker, Ryser received the vaccine in early 2021. “The day I got [the vaccine], I felt so incredibly thankful to the scientists who created it so quickly. Within less than a year, we had the ability to vaccinate against this pandemic.” She described the vaccination process as easy, and she expressed gratitude for the vaccine because she now has the freedom to “feel safer around [my] parents, safe around [my] patients, and safe around [my] own children.”

“Your risk of dying from COVID-19, after vaccination, is almost 0%—and that’s amazing!”

After receiving the vaccine, Ryser had barely a sore arm. In general, her COVID-19 vaccine experience was “certainly uneventful.” She did, however, feel a sense of liberation knowing that “[the risk of transmission] was going to be greatly reduced for everyone around” her. As a caretaker, Ryser never wants to put someone else at risk through passing on a virus, so receiving the COVID-19 vaccine was the best possible step for her to take.

In her own words, Ryser explains why she chose to be vaccinated: “I got the vaccine so that I can safely be around people I love and not cause any harm to them. I want my parents, in-laws, patients, and members of my community to live the longest, fullest lives that they possibly can.”

At K21, we want to support our community with health and wellness education and resources. For more information about COVID-19 vaccine efficacy, the benefits of getting vaccinated, and where to register for vaccination, visit our vaccine home page.