Ongoing COVID-19 vaccine studies leading to new discoveries about the shots

ORLANDO, Fla. — The world’s scientists continue to analyze new data on the COVID-19 vaccine, leading to findings aimed at helping people prepare for the shot and what might follow.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced plans Tuesday to begin vaccinating teachers, police officers, and firefighters 50 years of age or older sometime in March.

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DeSantis says this next phase will be possible thanks to thousands of additional doses headed to Florida.

Eyewitness News Reporter Alexa Lorenzo asked three Florida physicians to explain what some of the new vaccine research that’s been released reveals about the shots.

First, when it comes to mixing the vaccine with others drugs, “I would certainly not take anything pre-vaccination,” Dr. Michael Teng of USF Health says.

That’s because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s still not known how other medications may impact how well the vaccine works.

“There might be a slight lowering,” Dr. Frederick Southwick of UF Health says.

However, after getting the vaccine, doctors say pain relievers like Tylenol or Advil are OK.

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“That shouldn’t affect your immune response,” Dr. Teng says.

Dr. Southwick adds, it’s ideal to wait three to four hours after the shot.

“That way it would give a little time for the immune system to rev up and process the antigens effectively without causing significant harm.”

And the side effects most would be taking the medicine for are typically seen after the second dose of the vaccine.

As Dr. Alric Simmonds with AdventHealth explains, that’s because the body is creating an immune response, which could come with joint pains, fatigue, headaches, or fever that typically resolve within 24 to 48 hours.

“I would take any of those symptoms other than being in an ICU on a ventilator and being socially isolated and perhaps dying any day of the year.”

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There was another promising revelation from recent research on the vaccines, according to Dr. Teng.

“There’s some evidence that these vaccines may also be able to block transmission.”

Studies out of Israel show the Pfizer vaccine not only prevents severe sickness, but also stops the spread of the virus. That study still needs to be peer reviewed, but doctors say the preliminary results are promising.