Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: A race between vaccines, the virus and variants

Mayo Clinic medical staff person (a white woman) wearing PPE administering a COVID-19 vaccine to a a man, perhaps Asian American, also wearing PPE

COVID-19 vaccine eligibility is increasing across the U.S., as many states lower age requirements for those who can be vaccinated for COVID-19. By the end of March, the U.S. will have received 240 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, and 173 million doses of those will have been distributed, according to Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group

“Our way out of this (COVID-19 pandemic) is getting a vaccine,” says Dr. Poland. “But when there’s misinformation and disinformation circulating about the vaccines, it scares people.”

Dr. Poland emphasizes the importance of relying on credible, reliable medical resources for accurate information.

He also has a message for young people, who think they are too healthy to get sick with COVID-19 and that they don’t need a vaccine. “Even if you don’t get seriously ill, that doesn’t mean you won’t have long-term complications,” says Dr. Poland. “It also doesn’t mean that you couldn’t spread it to a member of your family or somebody else.”

In this week’s Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Poland talks about the chances the U.S. will reach herd immunity. Also, he addresses the rollout and confusion around the Astra Zeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, and discusses the COVID-19 hot spots in South America.

Watch: Dr. Poland discusses the race between vaccine, virus and variant.

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

Research disclosures for Dr. Gregory Poland.

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

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

March 25, 2021- Mayo Clinic COVID-19 trending map using red color tones for hot spots
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