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.

“If you’ve had two vaccine doses but haven’t gotten a booster are you still considered fully vaccinated?” -Elsie 

Yes, if you have received one J&J vaccine or two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you’re still considered fully vaccinated.  That said, it is still advised that all adults get a booster at least two months after the J&J vaccine or 6 months after the second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

“My son got COVID in January and lost his sense of smell with it. He says everything smells like vomit. Is that normal?” -Debbie 

Your son is not alone.  A recent study in JAMA found that up to 1.6 million Americans and possibly many more who had COVID-19 had a change in their sense of taste and smell that has lasted for more than 6 months.  It’s not clear why.  And while experts say most people do recover their senses, some may not.  Doctors are treating patients with smell retraining therapy which exposes patients to certain odors to help relearn how to recognize them.  He can consult an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist for further information.

“I just had COVID four weeks ago. I did not have the vaccine. Am I now immune from COVID because I have my own antibodies?” -John

You have some immunity to the coronavirus but that immunity decreases over time.  And a recent study found that the immunity you develop after vaccination is greater than that you develop after getting infected.  Therefore, you should get vaccinated and probably within 3 months of having your infection.  If you were treated with monoclonal antibodies, however, you should wait at least 3 months before getting vaccinated.

“How soon after having a breakthrough case should I get a booster? Also, can I get a regular cold right after getting over Covid?” -Robin

You can get your booster when you’re no longer in isolation and feeling better.  Consult your physician, but you should probably get it within three months of your infection, unless you received monoclonal antibodies in which case you need to wait at least 90 days.  And yes, you can still get the common cold or the flu so please make sure you also get a flu shot.

Dr. Mallika Marshall