COVID-19 variants and the evolving science
People may be curious, confused or critical of what seem to be changing messages related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"As we learn new science, we use that science to modify our recommendations," says Dr. Poland. "It's not that scientists are flip-flopping. It is that new data allows us to begin expanding those recommendations."
For instance, COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. are currently declining. But, Dr. Poland says, there are new data predicting the possibility of another surge of COVID-19 infections in March because of U.K. variant transmission.
In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast Dr. Poland talks about several issues, including the U.K. variant, vaccine development and the public’s COVID-19 fatigue.
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.
Dr. Poland has served as a consultant for Merck & Co. Inc., Medicago Inc., GlaxoSmithKline plc, Sanofi Pasteur, Emergent BioSolutions Inc., Dynavax Technologies Corp., Genentech Inc., Eli Lilly and Co., Kentucky BioProcessing Inc. and Genevant Sciences Corp., and Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. He is a paid scientific adviser for Johnson & Johnson. Honoraria: Elsevier.