I Took Tylenol; Is My Vaccine Still Effective?

WBZ-TV's Dr. Mallika Marshall answers your coronavirus questions

Video Transcript

- Lisa, more Americans are now willing to get one of the Coronavirus vaccines. Dr. Mallika Marshall joins us live now. And doctor, this poll found that the biggest change was among Black Americans.

MALLIKA MARSHALL: That's right. This was a poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation. They surveyed more than 1,800 American adults, and they found that about 55% of Black respondents say that they've either been fully vaccinated or they plan to do it soon. That's up 14% from last month. This means that they're nearing sort of the rates of Hispanics and whites at 61% and 64%. Of note also, 42% of Democrats say that they've received at least one vaccine, whereas Republicans it's only about 21%.

Even though there's greater enthusiasm for the vaccines than there was a month ago, 13% of American adults say they will absolutely not get the vaccine. Most of them say that their minds cannot be changed, although some say they could be persuaded by knowing that the vaccines 100% prevent hospitalizations and deaths. Another persuasive argument is if airlines or the CDC are going to require vaccination for travel, so hopefully that will happen

- Interesting numbers there. We want to get to a couple of questions, doctor, from our viewers. Sarah in Worcester asks, "after having my first dose of Moderna in mid-March, someone told me that taking NSAIDs before and after the vaccine can diminish its effectiveness. I take high quantities of aspirin and Tylenol," she says, "did I blunt the effectiveness of my vaccine?"

MALLIKA MARSHALL: Well, look, you don't want to take NSAIDs, which are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin, or other over-the-counter medications before you get vaccinated just in case you develop side effects because there is a theoretical risk of possibly blunting the immune response. However, if you are on these medications normally because of underlying medical conditions, then you can absolutely continue to take them. And certainly after you get vaccinated if you develop side effects like pain or fever, you can take over the counter medications as well.

- All right. Dr. Mallika Marshall, thank you so much. Of course, Dr. Mallika offers her best advice, but as always, consult your personal doctor before making any decisions about your health. If you have a question for Dr. Mallika, there are three ways to reach her. Her email, Dr.Mallika@cbsboston.com, on Twitter, her handle is @mallikamarshall, or you can Facebook message her, Dr. Mallika Marshall.