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

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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."

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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.
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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.

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