• COVID-19

    Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: COVID-19 variants and the evolving science

Researcher Michael Barry, Ph.D., in a lab looking at cut pieces of DNA in a blue light to see if they are the correct size of the viral genes the team wants to use.

People may be curious, confused or critical of what seem to be changing messages related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, reminds folks that messages change because data changes and the science evolves.

"As we learn new science, we use that science to modify our recommendations," says Dr. Poland. "It's not that scientists are flip-flopping. It is that new data allows us to begin expanding those recommendations."

For instance, COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. are currently declining. But, Dr. Poland says, there are new data predicting the possibility of another surge of COVID-19 infections in March because of U.K. variant transmission.

In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast Dr. Poland talks about several issues, including the U.K. variant, vaccine development and the public’s COVID-19 fatigue.


Watch: Dr. Poland discusses the UK variant and COVID-19 research.

Read the full transcript.


For the safety of its patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was either recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in a nonpatient-care area where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

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

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

For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.

Learn more about tracking COVID-19 and COVID-19 trends.

Feb. 18, 2021- Mayo Clinic COVID-19 trending map using red color tones for hot spots

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