A fourth COVID-19 surge is blanketing the U.S. and the delta variant is the culprit.
“Where did this delta variant come from? It came from unvaccinated people getting infected in large numbers allowing the virus to continue mutating,” says Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group.
In the past, a person with COVID-19 might infect two to four people. But with the delta variant, one person can infect nine people, according to Dr. Poland. He says if you want to protect yourself, and your family, wear a mask, especially indoors, and get vaccinated with an appropriate series of one of the COVID-19 vaccines.
“These are the most studied vaccines in the history of the world,” Dr. Poland emphasizes. “There have never been this many people, who have received this many doses of vaccines, during this amount of time, with as much scrutiny as these COVID-19 vaccines have had.”
In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Poland answers questions about a person’s waning immunity and the likelihood of COVID-19 booster shots. He also explains the two phases of immunity and goes into detail about the extensive FDA license approval process for the vaccines.
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 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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