Tampa Bay Area doctors answer what you need to know before getting COVID-19 vaccine

Posted at 7:03 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 15:32:00-05

TAMPA, Fla.— — More and more people are rolling up their sleeves for the COVID-19 vaccine every day. But some people may have some questions on things you should or shouldn’t do when you’re ready to get your dose.

ABC Action News took questions to Dr. Laura Arline, Baycare Health System’s Chief Quality Officer. First, should you get vaccinated if you’ve already had COVID-19?

“Even if you’ve had and recovered from COVID-19, you should still get vaccinated. The important thing is to make sure that you’ve cleared your isolation period and that you’re feeling better,” said Dr. Arline.

If you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, the CDC suggests waiting 90 days before getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Some people want to know if they can take pain relievers or fever reducers before or after their shot.

“If you pre-dose, they don’t know with 100 percent certainty what effect that may have on your immune response to the vaccine, and of course, we want that to be as robust as possible,” said Dr. Arline. “So what the advice is, is don’t take a pain reliever or fever reducer before, but certainly if you need one afterwards, then taking one afterwards, as identified by your provider, would be just fine.”

In terms of getting another vaccine-like for shingles or the flu close to a COVID-19 vaccination, Arline explains there’s a 14-day recommended period between getting another shot and the COVID-19 vaccine.

“They haven’t studied the COVID vaccine with the other vaccines yet, and so they can’t say with 100 percent certainty the effectiveness and so forth, but the benefits are typically going to clearly outweigh any kind of unknowns. So they say if for some reason you can’t wait that 14-day window, it’s typically better to go ahead and get the COVID vaccine,” said Dr. Arline.

Dr. Arline reminds people that even if you’ve been vaccinated and received both doses, you’ll still need to keep up with COVID-19 safety measures that are in place, like washing your hands, social distancing, and wearing a mask.

“I would say whatever vaccine is available to go with that vaccine,” said Arline. “I know that it’s a slim supply right now, and it may continue to be that way from what I’m hearing for the next few months or so, so whatever vaccine is available is a good vaccine. Go ahead and get that vaccine.”