COVID-19 weekly update

Dec 30, 2020 | Jennifer O'Hara | @jenohara | Comments (39)

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2020 has been a year consumed by COVID-19, from first news of the virus in the U.S. in January to vaccines rolling out in December. Scientists, health care providers and the public have gained new knowledge and understanding of infectious diseases and virus transmission, and COVID-19 vaccines were developed in record time.

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, looks back at what has been learned in 2020, and forward to the possibility of controlling COVID-19 in 2021.

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.

 

Thank you, thank you, for the valuable, trustworthy medical information……based upon scientific research. Dr. Thomas Zahn Ret. NeuroPsychologist

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What are the ingredients in the vaccines? I have no idea what I might be allergic to.

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@merpreb

What are the ingredients in the vaccines? I have no idea what I might be allergic to.

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I am not worried about any reaction to a vaccine. They have been tested. There have been millions of doses given in the USA and abroad. Sure there have been a few minor reactions here and there. As far as I know, no one has died from a reaction. However, there are 350,000 thousand dead in the USA from Covid! Even if I knew the ingredients I would have no clue what they are. I don't understand people's rationale for not getting the vaccine. If they are in a lake drowning and a boat came to rescue them would they refuse because the boat might sink? Unfortunately millions of Americans will need to get vaccinated to protect the millions who refuse!
What I am really worried about IS GETTING COVID.

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Well said, waiting for my turn to get the vaccine as well!

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@merpreb

What are the ingredients in the vaccines? I have no idea what I might be allergic to.

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Merry, That is also my question! I know it has been studied to a limited amount. But even like Vacines that are tested for several years, reactions can happen! My other question about it all right now, we are hearing about a "NEW STRAIN" of the virus! But if you remember back when it started, Faucci said there was only "ONE STRAIN" of the virus. Then he changed his story and said there are many! When a yearly new Flu vacine comes out every year it is for one strain, if another strain appears the vacine is only 50% effective!
If someone can lend me some medical information how that will not happen this time with the Covid vacine?
I am not trying to put everyone's hope down! I'm just trying to better understand the vacine better!
From, The Land of Enchament!
Sundance(RB)

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@sundance(RB) Some of you are overthinking the vaccine. Fauci said that back in March. You go ahead take your chance don't get vaccinated.
I would rather be protected by 50% than not at all. I don't know what could be said by anyone any different to make the skeptics understand. I will take what I can get right now. If it changes down the road I will take whatever the scientists come up with.
I heard some disturbing news today that 60% of nursing home workers are refusing the vaccine. The experts (not politicians or social media) say the only way to beat covid is to get vaccinated wear protective gear and avoid crowds.

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Maze, Please don't take what I said of not beliving in the vacine! We hear so much on the media it's hard to believe what is fact and what is fiction!
Thanks for Your understanding! It is Sad that so many are suspicious of what is going on. Much of it is because we hear so many different stories from whomever!
Bless You! Sundance(RB)

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15 years ago had classic stroke symptoms. Could not hold fork, numbness in face, right arm etc. After two days of scans no neurological signs of stroke could be found. The day before the event I had a flu shot at Mayo Jax. Took almost a year to recover. Have had no flu shots since. Serious reservations about taking Covid injection.

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@desertguy– Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I can certainly understand your hesitancy to have another vaccine. However, it could have been coincidental that your stroke happened right after your flu shot. What did your doctor say about the connection? I think that you will need to have a very serious conversation with your neurologist, and your PCP about whether you qualify for it or if you would be better off without it. The Flu shot and COVID-19 vaccinations are very different. They were not made the same way and their aims are different. However, as you have probably read or heard the COVID-19 vaccine has some pretty remarkable side effects.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-long-term-effects/art-20490351
Like you, I am also a patient and therefore can't give medical advice. I have a teleconference with my lung surgeon tomorrow and although I want the vaccine yesterday I will take his recommendations to heart.

Have you spoken to your neurologist about this?

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@sundance6

Merry, That is also my question! I know it has been studied to a limited amount. But even like Vacines that are tested for several years, reactions can happen! My other question about it all right now, we are hearing about a "NEW STRAIN" of the virus! But if you remember back when it started, Faucci said there was only "ONE STRAIN" of the virus. Then he changed his story and said there are many! When a yearly new Flu vacine comes out every year it is for one strain, if another strain appears the vacine is only 50% effective!
If someone can lend me some medical information how that will not happen this time with the Covid vacine?
I am not trying to put everyone's hope down! I'm just trying to better understand the vacine better!
From, The Land of Enchament!
Sundance(RB)

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@sundance6– Dr. Fauci stated the truth at the time he stated that there was only one strain. At that time there was only one strain. When COVID-19 began to mutate he changed what he said. A lot of viruses mutate. Look at how many changes the flu vaccine has had to change to keep up with its mutations.

The flu vaccine is different than the COVID-19 vaccine in that it covers about 4 different viruses every year.
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/keyfacts.htm
There are no guarantees with viruses or vaccines. Viruses usually mutate and this one has done so a few times. Perhaps down the road, we might need a booster, too. It could also mutate itself so out of control the vaccines don't get to enough people that we would have to start all over with the new virus that it would become. Viruses will do anything to stay alive.

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@desertguy

15 years ago had classic stroke symptoms. Could not hold fork, numbness in face, right arm etc. After two days of scans no neurological signs of stroke could be found. The day before the event I had a flu shot at Mayo Jax. Took almost a year to recover. Have had no flu shots since. Serious reservations about taking Covid injection.

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@desertguy Stories like yours which may have been caused by the flu shot scare hundreds of other folks into not doing the right thing. For this very same reason, some of my great-grandchildren have not had the basic vaccinations for childhood diseases. However, their puppies have had all of their shots. My generation has tried to reason with the parents but they read about it on social media so it must be true. I would like to see statistics that show the percentage of reactions to flu shots each year. There is one statistic that can not be ignored. Over 350,000 dead and over 20 million cases in the USA alone in the first year. Scientists and labs rushed to come up with vaccines that are 95% effective and people are afraid to get it based on isolated cases they read or heard about.

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My post was made in an effort to get information from other Mayo patients who may have had my experience not to scare anyone.
One of the responses pointed out how different the flu shot is from covid19.
I just taked to my neurolgist and will follow his advice. "At 84 you need to take the injection"

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