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.

Anne from Westborough writes on Facebook, “My husband is 72 and recovering from surgery for sarcoma. We will get our Moderna boosters ASAP. Will it then be safe to go without masks inside in public places like stores?”

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If your husband is undergoing active treatment for sarcoma, which is a type of cancer, he needs to be particularly careful in public. It would probably make sense for you to continue to wear masks in public, even though you’re much less likely to get really sick from COVID-19 having had the initial vaccines and a booster. I would have him check with his oncologist before either of you shed your masks in public.

Phil in Gloucester asks, “I have a shingles shot scheduled in early December. Should I wait until after that before I get the Pfizer booster?”

I would get your booster shot as soon as you can. It would be a shame to get COVID while waiting for your shingles vaccine. You no longer have to space out other vaccines, so go ahead and get your booster now and then get your shingles vaccine in early December.

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Katie writes, “I have noticed that since the kids have gone back to school there have been a lot of colds and other viruses. Do you think the rates of these viruses would go down if schools went back to sanitizing as they did before?”

I think good handwashing and reasonable cleaning and sanitizing can reduce the transmission of many infections. But without universal masking and social distancing and by allowing children greater freedom, it is fully expected that run-of-the-mill infections like the common cold, strep throat, conjunctivitis and the stomach flu will return to the classroom and the community.

And Alex asks, “Why am I still feeling side effects from my COVID-19 booster four days later?”

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Think of it like this: Six months or more after your last COVID-19 vaccine, your body’s immune system has taken its foot off the gas. Not asleep on the job, but dozing a bit. A booster provides that swift kick in the keister to wake up the immune system and get it to start churning out those antibodies to the virus again. And the symptoms you’re feeling are that kick in the keister. Headache, body aches, fever, fatigue and arm pain. And while those symptoms usually resolve in a few days, they can linger a little longer after what is essentially a third dose of the vaccine. However, if your symptoms last more than a week, I would check in with your doctor.

Dr. Mallika is offering her best advice, but as always, consult your personal doctor before making any decisions about your personal health.

Dr. Mallika Marshall