DETROIT – People still have a lot of questions about the COVID-19 vaccines. Local 4′s Dr. Frank McGeorge is working to answer as many as possible.
“Is it OK to drink four or five glasses of water after getting the vaccine, or will it dilute or wash out the vaccine from your body?”
No. Drinking water has no impact on the vaccine.
“Is it safe for seniors to gather without masks after they’ve all been vaccinated?”
ELLEN ASKS:”Is it safe for senior couples to gather without masks after all participants have received the second shot and two weeks have passed? What about being around senior coworkers without masks who have all been vaccinated?”
Is it safe for seniors to gather at home? Yes, but it’s all about risk tolerance and you should understand the risks compared to the benefits of getting together with vaccinated friends.
No vaccine is 100% effective. There will always be a chance that a vaccinated person could become infected. The good news is that even if you’re infected, the chances of developing severe disease is much less.
Additionally, if everyone is vaccinated, then the chances of someone in the group spreading the virus is also lower.
The biggest wildcard is that we don’t know precisely how long someone is protected after vaccination. In time, we will have a better handle on the exact risk, but for now, the safest thing is to continue wearing masks.
Practically speaking, it’s reasonably safe and one shouldn’t worry about maskless activities like eating if everyone is vaccinated.
“I was vaccinated against TB -- does that vaccine also protect against COVID-19?”
There have been studies of the bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine -- which has been given in other parts of the world against tuberculosis -- might have a protective impact against coronavirus, but at this point, the data isn’t compelling enough to even remotely suggest that it would be a substitute for the COVID-specific vaccines that have been developed.
“When will the general public be vaccinated?”
We don’t know. The answer will depend on whether or not other vaccines -- like the Johnson & Johnson vaccine -- are authorized, whether or not the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can increase production and how many people are in the groups ahead choose to get vaccinated.
It’s not a satisfying answer, but anything else would be a guess.