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Jacksonville pediatrician answers your vaccine questions

Anchor Jenese Harris looks into the recent COVID-19 numbers and the most commonly asked questions.

We know many of you have lingering questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. That’s why News4Jax hosted a phone bank Monday to get you the answers you’re seeking from local physicians.

News4Jax also collected questions online and Dr. Daniel Thimann a pediatric emergency medicine specialist for Wolfson Children’s Hospital, answered them. Below are Dr. Thimann’s answers to your questions.

(Please note: Some of these questions and responses have been edited for clarity.)

Your questions answered

My son and I have an RH- blood type. Can we get COVID-19? Should we get vaccinated? How will the shot affect us? – Anonymous, Jacksonville.

Yes, you absolutely should. There is no concern with RH blood typing. It should not affect you any differently than the general population.

Why are we encouraging people to get vaccinated if we can still catch and pass the virus? I caught it and I am fully vaccinated. – Anonymous, Jacksonville

Because it protect people from getting and transferring the disease. Sometimes it is not about a particular person but a population. If we all vaccinate, we all have less chances of getting it and spreading it. After all, who gave it to you?

Do you still have to wait 90 days to be vaccinated after having COVID-19? My 90 days are up in September. Can and should I get the vaccine now? – Mrs. Clarke, Jacksonville

Yes, you should get vaccinated now. The thought was that you still have immunity for the disease and we needed people to get the vaccine that did not have the disease. Now that we have enough vaccine, everyone should get vaccinated.

Does it matter which vaccine a person gets to be protected from COVID-19? I had the Johnson & Johnson shot and I still caught COVID-19. – Linda, Jacksonville

No, it does not. You should get any vaccine available. That being said, J&J has the lowest efficacy of all the vaccines. It seems Moderna and Pfizer are better at preventing disease. Weigh your options between one and two shots.

Can a person who gets the COVID-19 shot and gets a fever from it pass the virus to others? – Jean, St. Johns County

No, you cannot. The vaccine is not a virus but a small blueprint of the virus. The vaccine contains no virus, so there is nothing to spread

Do they give the same amount in the shot for everyone? Everyone has different weight. What if they give too much vaccine to someone? – Anonymous, St. Johns County

Vaccines are not weight dependent. There is no weight difference in the vaccine. When you give such miniscule amounts, weight does not matter.

I’m around seven months pregnant. Is the vaccine safe for me and my unborn child? – Anonymous, Clay County

Yes, it is. Not only that but it will prevent you from getting the virus and spreading it while you are in the hospital. It also makes delivery safer and easier. Should a complication occur, you would be protected from COVID-19 and so would your child.

Once you get the vaccine and you come into contact with someone who has COVID-19, do you still have to quarantine? What constitutes contact? – Anonymous, Jacksonville

No, you do not. The CDC has guidelines for this. This is the reason why vaccinated people can safely not wear a mask. You have to be in close proximity for several minutes to constitute close contact

If you get vaccinated but test positive, are you supposed to quarantine? And for how long? – Bonnie, Jacksonville

If you get vaccinated, and become symptomatic from COVID-9, because you contracted COVID, then you follow the same CDC guideline: 10 days from the onset of symptoms.

Why isn’t the vaccine FDA approved? – Anonymous, Gadsden County

Who says it is not? The vaccine is FDA approved under emergency use. It will be fully approved soon.

I have an aspirin allergy. Can I take the Johnson & Johnson vaccine? – Anonymous

Yes, you can.

My daughter has allergies and is concerned about what’s in the vaccine. How concerned should she be? – Elizabeth, Jacksonville

You should be more concerned about catching COVID-19 or spreading it to a love one. You should get vaccinated.

Will the vaccine interact with prescription medications for heart and kidney problems? What about glaucoma medication? – Anonymous, St. Johns County

No, it does not.

How many variants are out there? Which is the most dangerous? – Suzanne, Jacksonville

Lots, and there will be more. They are all dangerous, so get vaccinated.

Since the vaccine isn’t FDA approved, how can I trust that it’s safe? How long will it protect me? – Paula, Kingsland

You can trust it is safe because millions of people have received it and it is safe.

I’ve been vaccinated, but my 27-year-old son is not and refused to get the shot until the FDA approves it. What should I tell him? – Anonymous, Jacksonville

Go get vaccinated. There is no excuse. What if he gets his grandparents sick? We don’t always do it for us but rather for other people.

Is it true that 98% of those getting seriously sick from COVID-19 have not been vaccinated? – Anonymous, Jacksonville

Yes.

How do we know the mRNA technology in vaccines is safe? – Anonymous, Jacksonville

It is safe, because it has been studied and its emergency use was authorized by the FDA. That’s why you don’t hear about millions of Americans having problems after getting it.

I had my first Pfizer shot in April, then I got sick with bronchitis for several weeks. When I went for my second shot at Regency, I was told to wait until I fully recovered. Now, the Regency vaccine site is closed and I get turned away everywhere I go for my second shot. What do I do? – Carmen, Jacksonville

Call someone else, get it from Publix or another place.

I have pinched nerves in my wrists and ankles. Will the vaccine affect my nerves? – Anonymous, New York

It won’t. Go get vaccinated.

Is it okay to get the COVID vaccine during first trimester of pregnancy? – Anonymous, Jacksonville

Yes, it is.

I’m a 61-year-old woman with Lupus who got very sick after a flu shot. Can this happen with this vaccine as well? – Anonymous, Jacksonville

Yes, but it is better than getting COVID-19 and ending up really sick with a tube that helps you breathe.

I got my first shot, but I’ve been exposed to COVID-19 by both of my parents. Do I need to get my second Pfizer shot? – Anonymous, Jacksonville

Yes, for improved immunity.

I am trying to decide for my teenage daughters. I feel most comfortable with the J&J. Do we know if/when it may be approved for teens? – Anonymous, Nocatee

I would get vaccinated as soon as possible.

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About the Authors:

16-year veteran journalist and Emmy Award winning anchor