ROCHESTER, Minn. - Mayo Clinic offered an update on COVID-19 and the delta variant with an infectious disease specialist touching on issues ranging from who is most at risk to what impact the virus may have when children return to school.
The U.S. is currently averaging more than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases a day which Dr. John O’Horo says may only get worse.
He said, “As we look to the next few weeks here the delta variant surge is far from behind us and is likely to continue to accelerate particularly in communities with lower rates of vaccination.”
The uptick comes as thousands of unvaccinated children return to school.
“The school year starting is happening at an unfortunate time relative to this delta wave right now and schools across the country are having to grapple with what is going to be the most effective way to try to mitigate the risk for in-person learning,” said Dr. O’Horo.
Mayo Clinic says there is not a specific timeline for when vaccines will be available for children under the age of 12 which is why it’s important to get vaccinated, if you can, to protect the most vulnerable.
“This is really a higher risk for unvaccinated individuals and children are one of our largest pools of unvaccinated persons,” he added.
The health care giant also says the fastest way to ensure another COVID-19 variant doesn’t emerge is to get as many people vaccinated as possible.
Dr. O’Horo explained, “The more people get vaccinated the fewer opportunities for a mutation to develop into a new variation. So, enough people getting vaccinated isn't going to select for these variants new variants to develop it will actually suppress the opportunities they have to develop.”
Mayo Clinic also touched on breakthrough COVID cases; which is when vaccinated people contract the virus.
Health officals say a majority of the cases show reduced complications, if symptoms show at all, and proves the efficacy fo the vaccine in preventing severe infection.