Last week marked two years since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic. While infection rates and hospitalizations in the U.S. continue to decline, there are some areas of concern globally.
"China, Hong Kong, Ireland, the U.K. and Denmark are seeing surges back up again," explains Dr. Gregory Poland, head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. "These countries, many of us experts believe, prematurely dropped mask-wearing and nonpharmaceutical interventions, and really have stopped pushing and encouraging people to get vaccinated. I think that's a mistake."
Dr. Poland explains that public health measures — and vaccination and boosters — are still the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19.
"What can I say but what we have said all along," implores Dr. Poland. "Hands, face, space and vaccines. It works."
On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Poland discusses the latest COVID-19 news, including a study on the true death toll of COVID-19, an update on the BA.2 variant and the latest on vaccines for children under 5.
To practice safe social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, this interview was conducted using video conferencing. The sound and video quality are representative of the technology used. For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, 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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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.