The case for continuing COVID-19 precautions

Oct 6, 2021 | Jennifer O'Hara | @jenohara | Comments (3)

COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. are reportedly dropping. While the news headlines are encouraging, the country is in its fourth surge heading into flu season and winter holidays. That is why medical experts are keeping their predictions and recommendations fluid. How the virus spreads depends on human behavior.

"What happens is that people read the news and say: 'We're done. We're free. It's over,'" says Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. "This generally goes in cycles of two to three months and people say, as the caseload starts falling: 'You know what, I don't need that booster. I don't need to wear a mask. We can travel again. And there's no need for distancing.' And within a couple of months of that, we have another surge."

He says he knows people are emotionally fatigued, but the only way to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic is to be fully vaccinated and wear masks.

In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Poland also talks about COVID-19 booster vaccinations and why people who have been infected with COVID-19 still need to be vaccinated. He also explains three benefits of pregnant women being vaccinated for COVID-19. And Dr. Poland answers listener questions about monoclonal antibody therapy, a COVID-19 vaccine called Novavax and more misinformation about ivermectin.

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 Post-COVID Recovery & 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

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Thank you Dr. Poland,
Please refer me to the latest accepted mask study.
Also is there any causal relationship between increasing regional Covid cases and weather conditions that lead people to go indoors like winter in the northern states?
Toon Crowell


Since we were all offered free shots, I think some are uncertain as to whether covid-19 treatment, in or out of the hospital, is also free or depends on your insurance policy. Some might feel more cautious when facing bills than they do when facing the virus without vaccination!


As for me and not trying to dictate what to do for anyone, my experience with the pfizer covid-19 vaccine I will never never ever get another vaccine. It has ruined what life I have left.

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