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.READ MORE: Massachusetts Reports 1,376 New COVID Cases, 19 Additional Deaths
“I read that the vaccines are still in clinical trials and the FDA hasn’t approved them. I know they have been approved for emergency use but what does it mean that they are still in trials and the FDA hasn’t approved them?” -Giovanna
The big difference is that to achieve FDA approval, volunteers are observed for a longer period of time to determine how long a vaccine provides protection and whether there might be rare effects down the road, usually six months versus the two months required for EUA. An EUA is a temporary authorization to get vaccines out to the public quickly to save lives but the vaccine manufacturers will eventually apply for full FDA approval.
“My second Pfizer shot is on April 13. When can I get a cortisone shot for my hip? How long do I have to wait?” -Peggy on FacebookREAD MORE: BMC Cancels Vaccine Appointments After Registration Link 'Inappropriately Shared On Social Media'
There is no evidence that a steroid injection will interfere with your ability to mount a robust immune response to the vaccines, but there is a theoretical risk. So some doctors recommend you avoid getting a cortisone shot in the 2 weeks before or in the 2 weeks after getting a COVID vaccine. But if you’re in a lot of pain, it’s probably fine to proceed. Talk to your doctor.
“I just recovered from COVID-19 and called the Red Cross to donate convalescent plasma. They said the government shut down the convalescent plasma program. I’m so disappointed because I wanted something good to come out of my experience!” -Andrea on Facebook
It looks like the Red Cross is still taking whole blood donations and using convalescent plasma from those donations with the highest levels of antibodies as convalescent plasma. So please sign up to donate whole blood.
“I have been invited for Easter dinner with one family. Several members have recently had the virus and all others have been seriously quarantining. The mother is now 90-year-old. I really want to go. Is it okay?” -Linda who is fully vaccinatedMORE NEWS: 'Suspicious Device' Found At Manchester Central High School Was A Hoax, Police Say
We’re still not sure if you could contract the virus and pass it on to others. If the unvaccinated family members at Easter dinner are at low risk of severe COVID-19 then it’s something you certainly can consider. But has the 90-year-old been fully vaccinated? If not, she would be considered high risk and vulnerable.