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.
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.
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., Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., Kentucky BioProcessing Inc. and Genevant Sciences Corp. Honoraria: Elsevier.
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