Dr. Mallika Marshall is answering your coronavirus-related medical questions.
- Well, many of you continue to reach out to us with your questions about the coronavirus and the vaccine. Here to answer them is our Dr. Mallika Marshall. Always nice to see you, Doctor.
Let's get right to the questions. The first one is from Dana who asks, "Is it possible to get a rash 13 days after my first vaccination? I'm allergic to laundry products, and my husband accidentally used one of these products. I started to break out, which has happened before. Is it safe, though, to get my second vaccination?"
MALLIKA MARSHALL: That husband. Yes, it probably is safe. I mean, if you're going to get a serious allergic reaction to a vaccine, it typically happens within the first four hours. And if this is the typical rash that you get when you're exposed to those laundry products, then it's probably the products that are responsible. But I would call your doctor so you can establish exactly what type of rash it is and the timing just to make sure it's safe to get that second dose.
- All right, so for the record, you're blaming the husband and not the vaccine.
MALLIKA MARSHALL: [LAUGHS] Of course.
- All right. LSB writes, "I just received my first COVID shot five days ago and just found out today that I was exposed to a five-year-old who tested positive. I spent all weekend with this child. What do I need to do? Do I need to get tested or quarantine?"
MALLIKA MARSHALL: Oh, that's so hard. Yeah, I'm sorry. You are not fully vaccinated yet, so you really do need to quarantine for 14 days. And I would get tested probably in the next few days and certainly if you develop any symptoms of COVID.
- All right. Marion writes, "If you developed COVID arm"-- which I may have to have you explain as well, Doctor-- "after the first dose of Moderna, are you at a higher risk to develop a similar or worse reaction after the second dose?"
MALLIKA MARSHALL: So that's that annoying but harmless rash that some people get after the Moderna vaccine around the injection site. It can be red. It can be itchy, sometimes painful, completely harmless. And we're finding out that it tends to be no worse with the second dose. In fact, Mass General looked at this, and they found that people who had reaction the first time, 50% of them didn't have a reaction the second time. 25% had a milder case. 25% had about the same reaction, but if they did have a reaction, it tended to fade quicker.
- OK. And Michelle writes, "Three weeks ago I got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, not by choice," she adds." "Although I know I'm lucky to have been vaccinated, I find myself extremely disappointed and don't feel as 'COVID safe' with the J&J shot. Can I get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in the future?"
MALLIKA MARSHALL: First of all, I don't want you to feel disappointed. It is really hard to compare the J&J vaccine with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines because of how the studies were conducted and when they were conducted. We know that the Jack and Jill-- Jack and Jill-- the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can be very-- is very effective against severe COVID-19. In fact, in a large trial it prevented all hospitalizations and deaths.
I have to say that the company is looking at whether giving a booster weeks after getting that first dose might provide even more protection. Hopefully we'll have that information in the next few months.
- Pretty amazing. A year ago we thought maybe we'll have a vaccine. Now we have so many that we want to pick the particular one that we want. Dr. Mallika offering her best advice--
MALLIKA MARSHALL: They're all good.
- They're all good. As always, consult your personal doctor before making any decisions about your health. And if you have a question for Dr. Mallika, three ways to reach her. Her email, Dr.Mallika@cbs.com. On Twitter, her handle is @MallikaMarshall. Or you can Facebook message her, Dr. Mallika Marshall. Lisa.