January bringing an omicron surge

Jan 5 9:00am | Jennifer O'Hara | @jenohara

The rapid spread of COVID-19 due to the omicron variant continues, and experts expect a January surge across the U.S.

"This is spreading unlike anything we've seen in the U.S.," says Dr. Gregory Poland, head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group.  "Over the last seven days, we're now averaging about 400,000 or so new cases a day."

While people who are fully vaccinated can get breakthrough infections and spread the virus to others, COVID-19 vaccines effectively prevent severe illness. Mayo Clinic experts urge people to protect themselves by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask. Being fully vaccinated, including getting a booster when eligible, offers the highest protection possible against COVID-19.

"The good news is, for those who are immunized and boosted, we are winning the battle," says Dr. Poland. "Getting immunized is basically a weapon against this virus."

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Poland discusses the omicron surge and the importance of vaccines and boosters for COVID-19.

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.

Read the full transcript.

Research disclosures for Dr. Gregory Poland.

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.

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