On the verge of predicted COVID-19 surge with delta variant

Jul 15 8:00am | Jennifer O'Hara | @jenohara | Comments (15)

The delta variant is being blamed for hot spots in the U.S. where cases of COVID-19 are on the rise. These hot spots account for most cases in the U.S. They are also the geographical areas that tend to have the lowest vaccination rates.

"It's no surprise that the two go together," says Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group.

"This (delta variant) is the bad actor that we predicted it would be," adds Dr. Poland. "Our seven-day average is getting up to 19,000 cases a day in the U.S. We were down to 3,000. So we're starting to see, just as we predicted, a surge as people took masks off and as restrictions were lifted before we had achieved high rates of immunization."

In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Poland expands on how the highly transmissible delta variant continues to spread. He also talks about the possibility of COVID-19 vaccine boosters, explains how the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System works, and much more as he answers listener questions.

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.

 

Is there blame for the variant just on those who haven't been vaccinated or on people who refuse to wear masks also? Do masks alone work to protect against the variant?

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What you said about side effects from the vaccine is mostly '30-'40-'50s-year-olds is confusing. As a mentor for Connect involved in our Covid information group, there seems to be a lot of people who are older who very concerned about vaccine side effects and a lot who have them. How do we address this?

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@merpreb

What you said about side effects from the vaccine is mostly '30-'40-'50s-year-olds is confusing. As a mentor for Connect involved in our Covid information group, there seems to be a lot of people who are older who very concerned about vaccine side effects and a lot who have them. How do we address this?

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At 73, I recived the Moderna Covid shots in January and February,2021. I had some mild side effects after my second shot that lasted a few hours. My response to people who who are concerned about side effects remind me of my youth when I got the polio vaccine.Ihad friends, childhood friends in iron lungs, isolated with braces and spent an entire summer unable to leave the confines of my yard and home. Better to get the Covid19 vaccine and have some short term effects than get very ill Covid19 with long haul Covid19 or possibly die. I have lost 5 unvaccinated friends and acquaintances to Covid19 and it's side effects as recently as three weeks ago. Yes, there are so many unknowns as this virus continues to change and yes there are concerns. As an adult, I am more concerned that those unvaccinated will unknowingly spread Delta and now the Lambda variants to especially the children who are unable to get vaccinated yet. Over 600K Americans, of all ages have died.How many more will until people get vaccinated. This is a grown up decision. If you choose to not get vaccinated, mask, stay home and please protect others from your decision.

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@merpreb

Is there blame for the variant just on those who haven't been vaccinated or on people who refuse to wear masks also? Do masks alone work to protect against the variant?

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More is unknown than known IMO about Covid19, but I do know this, masks HELP. Masks alone? Only Mother Nature, and continued scientific experiments will prove that hypothesis.

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Are Covid boosters recommended for a person with MZL who had received both MRNA doses of Moderna vaccine followed by 6724 mg Rituxan infusions and has demonstrated no antibodies following a blood test?
If so, another MRNA or a Viral vector such as Novavax or Astra Zeneca?

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@jam5

Are Covid boosters recommended for a person with MZL who had received both MRNA doses of Moderna vaccine followed by 6724 mg Rituxan infusions and has demonstrated no antibodies following a blood test?
If so, another MRNA or a Viral vector such as Novavax or Astra Zeneca?

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@jam5– Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Aren't you finding information about boosters confusing? Pharmaceutical companies are preparing boosters for the fall to be prepared "in case" but there haven't been any definite decisions about who should to shouldn't receive them.

I had Moderna and I have lung cancer. It was a rough shot, especially the second one but I'll be the first in line for a booster if it's recommended.

I would sit back and see what happens, especially next month when decisions will most likely be advised. Also please check back with the doctor who advised you to get your initial vaccines.

How are you doing?

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@merpreb

@jam5– Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Aren't you finding information about boosters confusing? Pharmaceutical companies are preparing boosters for the fall to be prepared "in case" but there haven't been any definite decisions about who should to shouldn't receive them.

I had Moderna and I have lung cancer. It was a rough shot, especially the second one but I'll be the first in line for a booster if it's recommended.

I would sit back and see what happens, especially next month when decisions will most likely be advised. Also please check back with the doctor who advised you to get your initial vaccines.

How are you doing?

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Is there a contraindication to receive a third Covid vaccine?
Have you had an antibody test?

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@merpreb and @jam5, your questions have been submitted for a future Q&A with Dr. Poland.

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I look forward to the response from Dr. Poland; however, I am doubtful there is an answer due to the uncertainty of the situation.

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@jam5

Is there a contraindication to receive a third Covid vaccine?
Have you had an antibody test?

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@jam5– It's too early to tell about a booster. I'll be the first in line if it's offered. I have not had an antibody test as yet. There are so many differing opinions and results I don't think that I will get something that I can work with yet.

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Thank you for your response

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@jal333

At 73, I recived the Moderna Covid shots in January and February,2021. I had some mild side effects after my second shot that lasted a few hours. My response to people who who are concerned about side effects remind me of my youth when I got the polio vaccine.Ihad friends, childhood friends in iron lungs, isolated with braces and spent an entire summer unable to leave the confines of my yard and home. Better to get the Covid19 vaccine and have some short term effects than get very ill Covid19 with long haul Covid19 or possibly die. I have lost 5 unvaccinated friends and acquaintances to Covid19 and it's side effects as recently as three weeks ago. Yes, there are so many unknowns as this virus continues to change and yes there are concerns. As an adult, I am more concerned that those unvaccinated will unknowingly spread Delta and now the Lambda variants to especially the children who are unable to get vaccinated yet. Over 600K Americans, of all ages have died.How many more will until people get vaccinated. This is a grown up decision. If you choose to not get vaccinated, mask, stay home and please protect others from your decision.

Jump to this post

Unfortunately, @jal333 The people who will not get vaccinated are also the people who will not wear masks and stay at home, or at least stay out of crowds. I know two people who will not get vaccinated and I really do not understand. One did recently get Covid but it was a mild case so it did nothing to convince her and her husband that maybe he should get vaccinated. I think that her protection from having had Covid is at least as good as it would be from the vaccine.

I did have the same antibody test they are using at JH and my antibody level was 13.83 which I believe is high for a person on immunosuppressants. I can't help but wonder if that could possibly be because I didn't have the test immediately so perhaps it took longer for my immunocompromised body to mount a good response. Regardless, if they do give the go-ahead for boosters I will be in line right next to you, @merpreb.
JK

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