Dr. Mallika is offering her best advice, but as always, consult your personal doctor before making any decisions about your personal health.
Andrea writes, “If someone had both Moderna vaccines then finds out they have an autoimmune disease, will getting a Moderna booster along with the annual flu shot, shingles, and pneumonia vaccines further compromise the immune system?”
Getting a vaccine should not compromise your immune system, however, if you’re immunocompromised either due to an underlying condition or medications you may be taking, you may not mount a robust immune response. In other words, you may not make as many antibodies as someone who is not immunocompromised. Depending on your age, you would likely benefit from each of those vaccines you listed, but please discuss your concerns with your personal physician.
Mike wants to know, “Why isn’t there a vaccine being developed to just target the Delta Strain since it is highly contagious?”
Vaccine manufacturers are studying different vaccine formulations that are more specifically tailored against the Delta variant and others that could come down the pike, but given the immediacy of the pandemic, health officials want to make sure to protect people as quickly as possible. Those formulations are not ready for prime time yet and probably aren’t yet needed because the current vaccines have been shown to provide excellent protection against hospitalization and death, even against the Delta variant.
Another Mike writes, “I’m a little worried, I see it’s possible to get a booster for the J&J vaccine, but where I live only has the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. I’m hoping they will approve a mix.”
Perfect timing, Mike. The FDA just authorized mixing and matching and the CDC is expected to make a final decision any moment now. Stay tuned. People who received the J&J vaccine may be able to get either a Moderna or Pfizer booster shot as early as this weekend.
Sheryl is 76 and had the Moderna vaccine. She asks, “Now that it is getting colder, is it alright if I eat inside at a restaurant? I would be dining with people who have had the vaccine.”
You will have to weigh the risks and benefits. If you’re otherwise healthy and fully vaccinated, you are probably well protected against hospitalization and death from the coronavirus. If you’re immunocompromised or have other underlying medical conditions, it may be risky for you to eat indoors around others. Hopefully, you’ll be able to get a booster vaccine soon which should provide some additional protection and give you a little more peace of mind.