Dr. Mallika is offering her best advice, but as always, consult your personal doctor before making any decisions about your personal health.
Tauni had COVID back in November and her first Pfizer vaccine 10 days ago. She says she developed a very sore arm, exhaustion, and a low-grade fever. She writes, “I am worried I will feel WORSE after I get the 2nd vaccine.”
If you have had COVID in the past, your immune system is already primed to recognize the coronavirus spike protein that is produced by the vaccines. Therefore, you’re more likely to have side effects after your first dose, but they may not be as bad after your second dose. And I urge everyone out there who has had COVID in the past to get vaccinated within 3 months of their infection.
Sherry writes, “My granddaughter had COVID in September. She is in college and will be coming to Massachusetts the first week in May. My husband and I have been fully vaccinated, but she has not. Would it be safe for us to have her stay with us?”
Now that you and your husband are fully vaccinated, you should be well protected against getting severe COVID-19, but your granddaughter may not be. While she probably has some immunity, it’s been more than 6 months since her infection so her immunity may be waning. And there is a slight chance that you or your husband could pass the virus on to her. If she’s low risk, then it may be worth the risk for her to stay with you. Either way, she should definitely get vaccinated as soon as she can.
Diane says she and her friends are all over 65 and fully vaccinated but most are in contact with their unvaccinated grandchildren. She wants to know if they can sit at a small card table and play Mahjong outdoors without masks.
Sounds like fun! If you’re all vaccinated and feeling well, it is probably safe to play Mahjong outdoors without masks. It’s probably even safe to play indoors as long as it’s a small group of fully vaccinated adults that you know and trust. Unvaccinated grandchildren are at more risk than fully vaccinated grandparents now.
David in Southbridge writes, “Is there any evidence that alcohol consumption inhibits the growth of COVID-19 antibodies?”
Heavy drinking is never recommended, but there is no reason you can’t have a glass of wine with dinner after you get your vaccine. You may want to wait a day or two just in case you don’t feel great right after getting your shot, but having an occasional drink is unlikely to blunt your immune response.