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.

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Carol writes, “I’m really scared [of the vaccine] mainly because of drug sensitivities, allergies, and not great health. How do they know the Moderna vaccine won’t be a problem for someone like me?”

It sounds like your underlying health problems would put you at increased risk of getting really sick from the virus, but I certainly understand your hesitation to get the vaccine.  Have you had reactions to other vaccines like the flu or tetanus? I would have a frank conversation with your doctor about your concerns. You should follow her/his advice. I imagine the benefits would far outweigh the risks, even given your history of drug sensitivities.

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Susan says, “My daughter is a severe asthmatic who takes an immune modulator drug.  She is very fearful of the vaccine but also of getting COVID.  Have you heard of any bad reactions from people on these medications?”

Patients taking medications that regulate the immune system are advised not to get LIVE vaccines. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are NOT live vaccines, so they shouldn’t cause a unique problem in patients on these medications.

Rita writes, “I have been very worried about going to a mass vaccination site ever since I saw the photos taken of people way too close together.  How can anyone feel comfortable that he/she won’t [ironically] get the virus at the vaccination site?”

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I understand your concerns.  There were a few days when long lines formed outside of vaccination sites with people who didn’t have appointments hoping to get extra doses. I think that has largely quieted down. If people are wearing masks and keeping 6-feet apart from others in line, you should be fine. The people I know who were seen at large vaccination sites who had appointments said the process went smoothly and they felt comfortable being there.

Dr. Mallika Marshall