On the verge of another COVID-19 surge

Apr 14, 2021 | Jennifer O'Hara | @jenohara | Comments (5)

As spring break travelers return home and the highly transmissible U.K. COVID-19 variant is discovered in all 50 U.S. states, the country is on the verge of a fourth COVID-19 pandemic surge. That's according to a number of health experts, including Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group.

However, Dr. Poland says there is some good news related to the transmission of COVID-19 on surfaces.

"Wisdom resides in changing your mind and your recommendations as new data and science becomes available," says Dr. Poland. "What the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is doing is modifying those guidelines, saying that the risk of touching a contaminated surface and then getting infected is very low."

In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast Dr. Poland explains more about the CDC guidelines and he addresses other COVID-19 topics in the news, including recent data that says men are more vaccine-hesitant than women.

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.

 

Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Podcasts blog.

Daughter just informed me that if you took the Pfizer Vaccine, you may need a third shot. Having had Pfizer as my vaccination company, I did their protocol and received both vaccinations. Yet, I still came down with Covid. I am not getting anymore shots. This is ridiculous.

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@thomason

Daughter just informed me that if you took the Pfizer Vaccine, you may need a third shot. Having had Pfizer as my vaccination company, I did their protocol and received both vaccinations. Yet, I still came down with Covid. I am not getting anymore shots. This is ridiculous.

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@thomason– I believe that your daughter was referring to a needed booster that the CEO of Pfizer dais would probably be needed as we need to do for the flu every year. Of course, it will be your decision to have one. I think that we are all pretty "testy" right now with everything that is panning out the way we thought it might. But it's a new virus, this COVID-19 and its variants and we are new to it. Science doesn't give all answers immediately so we need patience too. I know that's easy for me to say not having COVID-qa9

I know that this must be frustrating and angering but none of the vaccines were toted as 100% protection. Also, the virus has mutated enough and has become more contagious and lethal that the yearly boosters will address this issue of reinfections. Do you know if you have contracted the original virus or one of its variants?

Did you watch Dr. Poland's podcast shown above?

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Dr. Poland made a comment indicating that vaccinating youth <18 is critical now. In the earlier stages of the pandemic, I recall many reports saying that young people had a lower probability (<1%) of contracting the virus. If they did contract it the virus, the seriousness was very low. I do not recall reading of any deaths in under 18 year olds. What has changed that would make Dr. Poland say it is critical now for youth to get vaccinated?

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My wife and I have both Pfizer vaccines. What scientific data or study is there that justifies us continuing to wear masks and socially distance?

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@twcrowell

Dr. Poland made a comment indicating that vaccinating youth <18 is critical now. In the earlier stages of the pandemic, I recall many reports saying that young people had a lower probability (<1%) of contracting the virus. If they did contract it the virus, the seriousness was very low. I do not recall reading of any deaths in under 18 year olds. What has changed that would make Dr. Poland say it is critical now for youth to get vaccinated?

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Great questions, @twcrowell. I will pass them on to Dr. Poland.

The short answer is that scientific and medical understanding of the virus is constantly evolving as the experts study the virus, its variants, the infection and the vaccines in all populations and age groups.

I'm glad you and your wife have been able to get both shots for the Pfizer vaccine already. Masks and distancing is still recommended because you can still become infected or carry the virus after vaccination. Here are the recommendations from the CDC.
– When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated: How to Protect Yourself and Others https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html

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