MAYO CLINIC NEWS NETWORK – If you’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19, you’re able to go shopping, eat in restaurants and travel on airplanes without the same worry of becoming infected with COVID-19 that existed just months ago.
But for those who are unvaccinated, getting infected with COVID-19 — even with just minor symptoms — should be a concern, according to Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group.
“For those who have been vaccinated, life is resuming back to a sense of normalcy,” says Dr. Poland.
“But for the unvaccinated, they now live in a dangerous phase of the pandemic, where we’re seeing circulating variants that are much more transmissible and may cause worse cases of the disease than what happened last year at this time. I think the people who are unvaccinated may not realize that.”
In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Poland also offers information on more COVID-19 studies underway and he talks about COVID-19 vaccine research protocols that will be able to help scientists with other vaccine research, such as HIV vaccine research.
Also, he answers listener questions, such as, “Does someone who has already been infected with COVID-19, really need to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or would just a booster be needed?”
Mayo Clinic Q&A
Dr. Halena Gazelka: As of last week, more than 50% of the adult population in the United States and more than 40% of the population overall, are vaccinated fully against COVID-19. So, that’s great news.
We are making progress, but there’s been some slowing in the numbers getting vaccinated, and that’s concerning.
The good news is that things are relatively safe for those of us who are vaccinated and the country is starting to open up and function normally again as the COVID-19 rates decline.
Dr. Gregory Poland: This is taking us a long way toward the concept, the general concept of herd immunity, and we’re reaping the rewards of that. I mean, you can go shopping, you can go to a restaurant, you can fly in an airplane. I mean, that’s wonderful.
Narrator: That concept of herd immunity is from the millions of individuals who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. But for those who are still vaccine hesitant, waiting for herd immunity could lead to getting the disease from fast spreading variants.
Dr. Poland: For you and I that have been vaccinated, life is resuming back to normal but for the unvaccinated, they now live in a phase of the pandemic, where we’re seeing circulating variants that are much more transmissible maybe, cause worse disease than what
Read the full transcript.