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VAX Facts: 4 big questions concerning the vaccine

If I already had COVID, should I bother getting a vaccine?

NEW ORLEANS — The demand for getting a COVID vaccine in Louisiana is going down.

The state ranks in the bottom six when it comes to the percentage of people vaccinated.

We understand that you may still have some questions about the shot, so we got some answers to your most asked vaccine questions.

For our answers we turn to Tulane Vaccinologist Dr. Lisa Morici:

Question 1. Is it OK to take an over-the-counter pain medication, such as Tylenol or Advil before the vaccination, in case there are side effects such as fever, headache or injection site discomfort?

Answer: Take them after the shot. If you're going to have side effects, that won't happen for hours, so there's plenty of time to take one afterward.

Question 2. If I already had COVID, should I bother getting a vaccine?

Answer: Yes, you should still get vaccinated. The protection from the vaccine is robust and consistent across age groups, race/ethnicity, and gender. while the immune response to the wild virus is highly variable, and we still don't know how long natural immunity lasts.

Question 3. Can I still get COVID after I've been vaccinated?

Answer: Yes, the vaccines are highly effective but not 100 percent, so some rare breakthrough cases are expected, But with more than a half-million people vaccinated in Louisiana, only 126 breakthrough cases have been found, and remember, their illnesses are likely to be much milder and shorter. In people not vaccinated, there is potential for severe, and long-lasting health problem.

Question 4. How long does vaccine immunity last?

Answer: The new Moderna NEJM information shows protective antibodies are still strong after six months, but how long that will last is still unknown. It is likely that vaccine immunity lasts longer, but six months is the longest we have study data on so far.

And if you had COVID and got a treatment with either monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, the CDC said wait 90 days before you get the vaccine.

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