Dr. Mallika is offering her best advice, but as always, consult your personal doctor before making any decisions about your personal health.
Judi writes, “Is it safe to get vaccinated if someone might have breast cancer. No meds have been used. If so, which vaccine would be better?”
Yes, you can get vaccinated with any of the available COVID vaccines but talk to your doctor about which one might be best for you. For example, depending on your age, the J&J vaccine may not be ideal. Also, keep in mind that you may develop swollen lymph nodes in your armpit on the same side of the injection which could mimic breast cancer on a mammogram. So if you think you may have breast cancer, talk to your doctor about the timing of the vaccines with your mammogram or other imaging.
Another viewer asks, “Should people be concerned after they get their vaccine about long term effects in 1-2 years (future health problems)?”
Given our long experience with vaccines, we know that if someone is going to have a serious adverse effect, it usually occurs within the first couple of months. I think it is highly unlikely that we will discover serious long term consequences 1-2 years down the road. However, the clinical trials will continue to monitor people for the next couple of years as a precaution.
Marianne says, “My husband and I are fully vaccinated. Can our grandchildren, ages 9 and 6, come to our home two or three days a week over the summer? They will be attending some camps also.”
If your grandchildren are healthy and don’t have conditions that put them at risk for severe COVID-19, like a weakened immune system, then it should be fine for them to stay with you indoors without masks. There is a small chance one of you could pass the virus on to your grandchildren but they are unlikely to get very sick if that does happen. Of course, you should check with their pediatrician just to be sure. But enjoy your time together!
Rachel writes, “I received my 2nd dose of the Pfizer vaccine 2 days ago. I had no side effects yesterday. This morning I woke up to a medium sized hard lump at my injection site, that within the last few hours has begun to itch a lot. I feel fine otherwise. Is this something that I need to worry about?”
It’s probably just a side effect from the vaccine as your body mounts a local immune response. But if you think it might be infected (worsening pain, warmth, fever), you should have it examined.