COVID-19 virus, variants and vaccines update

Feb 3 8:00am | Jennifer O'Hara | @jenohara | Comments (4)

Elderly man in wheelchair wearing a mask

When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, says there's some good news. "Case numbers are falling, masking and distancing do work, and we can control this if we do it right."

However, the not so good news is that variants are showing up in over 30 countries and are reportedly more transmissible. There also seems to be a reduction in vaccine efficacy against the new variants.

"This is a desperate race between vaccine and virus, between time and opportunity, and we dare not lose that opportunity," emphasizes Dr. Poland.

In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Poland discusses how COVID-19 viruses mutate into new variants. He also discusses recent COVID-19 research conducted by the NFL, plus he touches on the future of individualized vaccines. "I can see the development of a coronavirus vaccine against multiple types of coronavirus, including the one that causes the common cold, and very likely combine that with the influenza vaccine."

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.

Connect with others talking about the pandemic and supporting one another in the COVID-19 support group.

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.

For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.

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.

 

Good morning. I am confused on two points. How far in advance is it ok to take Tylenol or prednisone before the covid vaccine? The second thing that I'm confused about concerns the J&J vaccine. You said that the adenovirus is inserted into the gene for that spike protein into the virus. Is it the covid gene that it is being inserted into?

REPLY
@merpreb

Good morning. I am confused on two points. How far in advance is it ok to take Tylenol or prednisone before the covid vaccine? The second thing that I'm confused about concerns the J&J vaccine. You said that the adenovirus is inserted into the gene for that spike protein into the virus. Is it the covid gene that it is being inserted into?

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Did you get a response to the tylenol question? I was unaware and took it for 3 days before my second vaccine.

REPLY

Hi @merpreb and @wendycad
Dr Poland answers your questions about acetaminophen or Tylenol, adenovirus, and other questions in the Feb 8 podcast. (Start at 13:47.)

– Answering questions about COVID-19 vaccines https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/podcasts/newsfeed-post/simplifying-complex-covid-19-vaccine-data/

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Hi @merpreb and @wendycad
Dr Poland answers your questions about acetaminophen or Tylenol, adenovirus, and other questions in the Feb 8 podcast. (Start at 13:47.)

– Answering questions about COVID-19 vaccines https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/podcasts/newsfeed-post/simplifying-complex-covid-19-vaccine-data/

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Based on this podcast, I am concerned. I took tylenol for 3 days before my second dose including the day of. Should I take another covid vaccine?

REPLY
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