COVID-19 weekly update

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

Mayo-Clinic-Laboratories-researcher-checking-specimen-tubes-during-COVID-19-research-16x9-1-1024x576

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.

 

@ess77

Merrry, I have no idea…..I do suppose it may be something in my chart that has just been found through recent testing. I've had a lot of new things added and being tested for so perhaps that has something to do with it? Hope not, but possible. Also, it may have to do with the amount of vcacccine availbe in Florida? At Fl Mayo? I'll see if I can find out anything today when I go. God bless you, Merry and Sundance and desertguy and all. BTW: CA gov is allocating vaccine to prisoners and other outlying groups BEFORE the 65 or 70 +. BEFORE the nursing homes, etc. As is NY. This may surely affect your timeframe. AND, I bet you the availability of vaccine in your state is a factor. Makes sense? Blessings all. Elizabeth

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I think that there is no longer a rhyme or reason for much of anything. The world has gone batty. Thanks, Elizabeth.

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@tzahnphd

That's great news…….I wonder what might be the age requirement at Mayo.
Thank you.

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Got a note from Mayo Jax I should get the shot. They told me they are not giving it. Our Govenor has opened it to 65 and older in FL. Most places you must have an appt. Phone lines and computer sites are crashing. Not enough doses yet to make it work. Seniors are camping out all night for 300 doses! Just crazy!

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@jeanne5009

Got a note from Mayo Jax I should get the shot. They told me they are not giving it. Our Govenor has opened it to 65 and older in FL. Most places you must have an appt. Phone lines and computer sites are crashing. Not enough doses yet to make it work. Seniors are camping out all night for 300 doses! Just crazy!

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jeanne5009, Merry and all. Got my shot, Maderno, today at 11:30 at Mayo, Jax Fl. appointment only In the Kinne Auditorium, Cannady Building. It was in and out unless I am allergy prone. I am, so I waited in a chair to the side of the room for about 30 min. They also made an appointment for the 2nd shot at the same time, so you have it all set up and ready to go. Maybe 15 minutes for most people.

This is what I KNOW from the folks with whom I spoke at Mayo today.

Today was the first day, roll-out and to get the system set up. It was flawless. By appointment only.

The patients given shots today were recommended by their providers as needing the shot in the first round. I suppose, folks, that means I have problems that put me in that special group. Not sure everyone would like that special status, but as we say, 'It is what it is!'

You will receive a message from the Covid-19 folks saying you need a vaccine and offering times, dates. It' s up to you to schedule at that very time, using the message and just following directions. It was so simple. And fast. They only gave shots until 12 noon today. Tomorrow and following days shots will be given all day. I suspect there will be some good information coming out on the patient portal to help everyone understand the system.

Shot didn't hurt….didn't feel it! No side effects to this point, other than a slight headache, very tired…..but, I really pushed it after the shot by walking to the gift shop and not going home to rest. Glad I did….good deals, felt good to be with human beings.

FYI: I had energy after the shot due to excitement, so I strolled to the gift shop, in the same building. I always, if able, walk the corridors connecting the 3 main buildings when I'm at Mayo as my exercise. It's a great way for me, since the corridors are very wide, carpeted, lined with lovely paintings, and folks I see are pleasant. AND, I see human beings. Real live people. This is so healthy for me, as I, and probably many of you, live alone, don't see another person, in person, for days. It was 12/31 when I was last at Mayo for testing that I saw and spoke to a human being. In person.

So, I strolled to the gift shop, spent a small fortune on the 50% off Christmas, got some yogurt at the little cafe and then went to another building, Davis Bldg, the cafeteria to get flatbread for today, yogurt/3 berry/granola parfaits for today and tomorrow's breakfast. Some greem tea and grapes for the trip home.

That's it, folks. You now have as much info as I have about this process.

A couple of reasons I believe the shots are available now at Mayo Fl: the avaiability of vaccine. The nurse shared the Mayo covid front-line doctors/staff have received shots per CDC guidelines. Also, the age for elderly is per CDC guidelines, as I understand it. Not state age guidlines.

Anyone 65+ in Florida can now get the vaccine. It's handled by Gov. DeSantis, Fl Dept of Health, County Dept of Health. My county, Duval, is offering the vaccine at the large Convention Center, by appointment only. If you are late, you lose your appt. They switched 2 testing sites to vaccination sites immediately. Good plan! I understand from our Mayor the phone lines are now staying open 24/7 and Fl Health Dept lines are 24/7.

Go online to your county department of health for current information. I tried PCP, his hospital, and called for a 2 days+ getting a busy signal and pure frustration on the Duval County Dept. of Health line. Per our mayor, more vaccines are on the way and the shots should be given with no interruption, in Duval/Jacksonville. Every county has it's own distribution plan. Hopefully!

I think Florida Dept of Health, under DeSantis' leadership and his focus on the nursing/retirment facilities and the elderly, will be working with the county health depts to get things orderly and moving. It's set-up here by appointment only. I bet every county will do the same.

Ok. That's really all folks!

Blessings to each of you in this crazy journey we're on. I fear some states will continue to have problems if they change the guidelines, as CA and NY and perhaps others, putting the elderly back in line after prisoners, teachers, gov't workers, (that's a lot of beaurocrats!), etc. I just heard on the news that Gov. Cuomo, NY, has put lawyers in the essential worker status!!! Lawyers are getting the vaccine with health care workers. The elderly & elderly facilities are further down the list.

I remain silent on this one, as my thoughts about Cuomo can't be printed on this forum!!!!!

I'll let you know if I have any side effects. I won't be surprised if tonight and tomorrow are 'down days' for me, achy and maybe a bit flu-like. Fine with me. I'll stay quiet, push fluids, take tylenol and rest. Small price to pay. Oh, the shots are free. No insurance needed.
Elizabeth

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@jeanne5009

Got a note from Mayo Jax I should get the shot. They told me they are not giving it. Our Govenor has opened it to 65 and older in FL. Most places you must have an appt. Phone lines and computer sites are crashing. Not enough doses yet to make it work. Seniors are camping out all night for 300 doses! Just crazy!

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Hi, jeanne5009. I don't understand why anyone would camp out overnight to wait in line for a shot! Help me here. Aren't they given by appointment? I wouldn't ever consider waiting in a long line, much less overnight? That's amazing to me…..do you know where this is happening? If it's a single issue or?????? Perhaps this is a county issue? Computer, phones, work eventually or if we know which button to push……The elderly you're referring to must not live in an elderly community or nursing home. If we live on our own, it IS our responsibility to get information and be proactive in our health care. We can't depend on the government to be in charge of us. That's our responsibility. And, these folks live in Florida, the local gov't should be giving information out. I'm very thankful for Mayo…..again.

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@ess77

Hi, jeanne5009. I don't understand why anyone would camp out overnight to wait in line for a shot! Help me here. Aren't they given by appointment? I wouldn't ever consider waiting in a long line, much less overnight? That's amazing to me…..do you know where this is happening? If it's a single issue or?????? Perhaps this is a county issue? Computer, phones, work eventually or if we know which button to push……The elderly you're referring to must not live in an elderly community or nursing home. If we live on our own, it IS our responsibility to get information and be proactive in our health care. We can't depend on the government to be in charge of us. That's our responsibility. And, these folks live in Florida, the local gov't should be giving information out. I'm very thankful for Mayo…..again.

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ess77, Our govenor in NM has imposed such strict rules before Thanksgiving that they only allowed 75 people in a Wally World at a time. Wait was 2 -4 hours. That to me is insanity to wait to get in there!
Sundance(RB)

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While the pandemic has stirred up many thoughts/feelings politically, it is important to keep the focus of this community on healthcare and sharing and supporting one another in that manner. Sharing a friendly reminder to please refrain from going down the political path in order to keep this community inclusive and to honor the Community Guidelines (see #6 specifically): https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/about-connect/tab/community-guidelines/

Thank you.

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Elizebeth So True! I could get into a Political Statement about who and why what is happening in New Mexico, but that's not for Connect!
Bless you and keep up the good work!
From, The Land of Enchantment!
Sundance(RB)

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@ess77

Hi, jeanne5009. I don't understand why anyone would camp out overnight to wait in line for a shot! Help me here. Aren't they given by appointment? I wouldn't ever consider waiting in a long line, much less overnight? That's amazing to me…..do you know where this is happening? If it's a single issue or?????? Perhaps this is a county issue? Computer, phones, work eventually or if we know which button to push……The elderly you're referring to must not live in an elderly community or nursing home. If we live on our own, it IS our responsibility to get information and be proactive in our health care. We can't depend on the government to be in charge of us. That's our responsibility. And, these folks live in Florida, the local gov't should be giving information out. I'm very thankful for Mayo…..again.

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This happened in Lee Co FL. They elected not to assign appts. Not sure how they are doing it now. Some of our counties did try to schedule appts but they were sold out in minutes. Our Govenor has announced today that our statewide grocery store Publix will start a trail distribution making appts on their websites. It is a good plan but again, seniors without computers are out of luck. It all centers around how much vaccine the Fed govt will give each state and when. Very complicated and I fear very political.
Mayo is good, they will let us know if we need to get it ASAP. I am sure they are giving their supply to the patients most in need.

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I live in Pasco county in Florida and just heard of the Publix announcement today…at select locations…and to call for an appointment. We only have one major site where they are giving out the vaccine and they are booked solid …no appointments until after January 8….drive through only. So what people have to do is keep checking the Evenbrite
site to see if any spots open up. CVS and Walgreens are suppose to be rolling them out soon. It’s early days yet. Like so many said you really need internet access to keep on top of it. I know the people in our assisted living facilities in this area are starting to get the vaccine….so many of the facilities are rampant with Covid, probably brought in by people from the outside or those who live in the facilities but do go out and have spent time with family over the holidays. Some of my friends are adopting a wait and see approach and others are starting to get anxious.
It will be interesting to see how each state is handling this.

FL Mary

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@imallears

I live in Pasco county in Florida and just heard of the Publix announcement today…at select locations…and to call for an appointment. We only have one major site where they are giving out the vaccine and they are booked solid …no appointments until after January 8….drive through only. So what people have to do is keep checking the Evenbrite
site to see if any spots open up. CVS and Walgreens are suppose to be rolling them out soon. It’s early days yet. Like so many said you really need internet access to keep on top of it. I know the people in our assisted living facilities in this area are starting to get the vaccine….so many of the facilities are rampant with Covid, probably brought in by people from the outside or those who live in the facilities but do go out and have spent time with family over the holidays. Some of my friends are adopting a wait and see approach and others are starting to get anxious.
It will be interesting to see how each state is handling this.

FL Mary

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I understand from the Gov. news conference that we'll here from Walmart soon as well. This is perking along for Fl, albeit slowly…but, they're getting there and figuring it all out. Are your county folks opening up more vaccine sites, from testing sites? That really makes sense to me.

I happpen to think this figuring should have been done months ago, just as our schools should have months ago had their plan and put into effect, long before the students would attend. Can't wait for them to get back in school. Saw a small child today w/parents getting back-pack, etc for school, real school in person. That's so good for the kids!!!! I worry about them with all this. Blessings to all. Elizabeth

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@ess77
Pasco schools have been open in person since late August. Don’t know about testing sites being used for distribution of vaccine. My daughter ,who is a nurse practitioner and myself are getting the first shot on Monday at one of the facilities where her patients are…being administered by Walgreens. She gets tested every 2 weeks as mandated and has been doing self tests in between and running them up to the lab as well as testing all her patients. She is the one who tested me and family. She lives across the breezeway from me but is exposed to Covid every time she walks into a facility and I do work for her at home but see her most days. So it behooves me to get the vaccine ASAP.

Pasco has been open for business generally and you wouldn’t think there was a pandemic by the number of cars in the shopping area parking lots, even after the holidays. And in my particular area there are a lot of seniors. I did go back to the gym for the active senior classes when the gyms were first open. The class size has shrunk from about 25 to between 7 and 10 so there is plenty of distancing. I will let the members of my class know about Publix and Walmart as possible places to call. I will report on how the shot went and any side effects.

Stay tuned and be safe…reporting live from
FL Mary

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@amandajro

While the pandemic has stirred up many thoughts/feelings politically, it is important to keep the focus of this community on healthcare and sharing and supporting one another in that manner. Sharing a friendly reminder to please refrain from going down the political path in order to keep this community inclusive and to honor the Community Guidelines (see #6 specifically): https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/about-connect/tab/community-guidelines/

Thank you.

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Thank you. Amanda. Good reminder….sometimes in this climate we can get pretty concerned and head off in a different direction! Good reminder….Blessings. Elizabeth

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