Know before you go: Florida medical specialist tackles frequently asked COVID vaccine questions

ORLANDO, Fla. — There are now nearly 200 pharmacies in Central Florida where seniors can get COVID-19 vaccines.

Retail stores like Winn-Dixie, Walmart, and Publix revealed the locations where they’ll be offering doses this week through the federal retail pharmacy COVID-19 vaccination program.

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Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. Aftab Khan says many seniors still have questions about getting the vaccine.

One of the most common: Should a person who’s already had COVID-19 still get the shot?

The short answer is yes. Health officials recommend even if a person has had the virus, they should still get the vaccine.

“If they were previously infected, they should be getting the vaccine within 90 days,” Dr. Khan suggests.

That’s because evidence suggests that infection is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, to be clear,  the 90 day wait isn’t a requirement.

READ: These Walmart, Publix & Winn-Dixie locations will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines this week: How to sign up

Another common question: Should COVID-19 patients who received antibody treatments get vaccinated?

In that case, Dr. Khan says, you may want to wait.

“The whole reason for getting monoclonal antibodies, or plasma convulsive therapy, is to keep you out of the hospitals,” Dr. Khan says.

The CDC recommends delaying vaccination for at least 90 days because it’s unclear how the antibodies from those two treatments could interact with the antibodies from the vaccine.

Officials add, people who feel sick should also put off a scheduled vaccination in favor of a COVID-19 test.

“Just as a general measure, we don’t give vaccines to people who feel sick on the day they show up.”

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Finally, Channel 9 viewers asked what could happen if the CDC’s guidance is ignored and a person got the vaccine within 90 days of getting an antibody treatment.

The CDC says doing so could affect the person’s immune response, possibly putting them at greater risk of reinfection.