By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) — Dr. Mallika Marshall is answering your coronavirus vaccine-related medical questions. If you have a question, 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.

“My husband and I are vaccinated but are still being as careful as we were prior to vaccination. I can see the breakthrough case numbers, but don’t know what that really means. I’d like to know if we’re seriously going overboard or not.”– Linee writes on Facebook

The breakthrough numbers that are reported are probably an underestimate of the number of true breakthrough infections out there. Most of those that go unreported are probably asymptomatic. If you’re vaccinated, however, you’re at lower risk of getting a breakthrough infection, and if you do, your symptoms are likely to be milder and you’re contagious for a shorter period of time. I still wear a mask in most places as a precaution, but in many stores, I’m one of the few.

“I had the J&J vaccine and plan to get an mRNA booster. Should the fact that Moderna is only a half-dose be a concern and I should switch to Pfizer instead? My PCP said it really doesn’t matter. Do you agree?” -Eric

I agree with your physician. I don’t think it matters whether you get a half-dose Moderna booster (50 mcg) or the full-dose Pfizer vaccine (30 mcg). My husband had the J&J vaccine initially and just got a half-dose Moderna booster.

“Why is there so much attention paid to washing down and wiping surfaces? When people have to do things unnecessarily, they shy away from doing necessary things like masking up and social distancing.” -Jock

You’re right, the coronavirus is spread primarily through the air, but it, like other cold viruses, can still theoretically be spread through contact, by touching your contaminated hand to your face, for example. So I think there is still some utility to washing our hands and wiping down shopping carts to limit our exposure to the coronavirus and other viruses that cause the common cold and the flu. I hope people continue to wear masks and socially distance when necessary, and I really want everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated, not only to help protect themselves but to help the rest of us get out of this mess.

“We would like to host Thanksgiving, but we have young children in the family who aren’t eligible to receive the vaccine yet and some members of the family are not and will not get vaccinated. Any advice?” -Susan

Ugh. This is so hard. I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this situation. If you plan on hosting a mixed crowd (unvaccinated and vaccinated), I would recommend having everyone get tested beforehand, either with a PCR test within 72 hours of your dinner or with an at-home antigen test Thanksgiving morning which will give results in about 15 mins. I have used BinaxNOW and QuickVue brands which you can purchase online or at local drugstores.

Dr. Mallika Marshall