By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Dr. Mallika Marshall is answering your coronavirus-related medical questions. If you have a question for Dr. Mallika, email her or message her on Facebook or Twitter.

Dr. Mallika is offering her best advice, but as always, consult your personal doctor before making any decisions about your personal health.

Are flu and COVID-19 vaccines live vaccines? – Charles

There are two main types of flu vaccine. The most common is the flu shot which is made from killed virus and suitable for most people. There is a nasal spray version which is made from live virus and not for everyone. As for a COVID vaccine, there are multiple in development. Most of them are not made from live virus.

Once there is a proven vaccine for the coronavirus would it be something you may need to take every year like the flu shot? – Denise

We don’t know. That’s certainly possible. And when you do get vaccinated for the first time, you’ll likely need a booster in a month or so to get the best immune response. But we’ll know more as the clinical trials proceed.

Would it be better to stay in a hotel or family’s home when visiting another state? It is a large family with children in school. I am 76 years old. – Mary, Facebook

If you’re going to be around people, even if they are family members, who you don’t typically live with, then it’s probably safer to stay in a hotel. Just make sure the hotel is taking precautions to keep guests separated from other guests and staff.

I was diagnosed with pneumonia two months ago and tested negative for COVID. I still has a cough and wonder if I was misdiagnosed and really had COVID. – Cam, Facebook

Pneumonia is an umbrella term for inflammation in the lung and can cause a lingering cough. It can be caused by a variety of germs including bacteria and viruses, including the coronavirus. Pneumonia is diagnosed by a doctor listening to your lungs or by chest x-ray. It’s possible you had pneumonia caused by another germ or it’s possible you really had COVID but had a false negative test.

Dr. Mallika Marshall

  1. Susan Kramss says:

    My doctor is certain I had a serious case of Covid back in February, as did my son and husband with milder cases. I am now a “long hauler” with Post Covid Syndrome with no end in sight. I want to contribute my story to research projects, but do not qualify without a positive test, despite the fact they were not available back then. Is there anywhere for those of us that fell between the cracks?

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