Answers to common COVID questions

City leaders answer common questions about COVID-19 vaccination

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Once a week, we get a chance to ask your questions at the city’s weekly COVID news conference.

If you missed the conference on January 20th because you were instead watching the Presidential Inauguration, here are a few questions you might have asked if you had been there.

IS THE SECOND DOSE OF THE COVID VACCINE WORSE THAN THE FIRST?

Texas Tech Physician, Dr. Ron Cook, is the Lubbock Health Authority and Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. He answered like this, “You will be a little sore from the second dose but that’s not a reaction. You must get second dose.”

CAN YOU STILL SPREAD THE VIRUS EVEN AFTER YOU ARE VACCINATED?

Dr. Cook was honest about what science is still investigating. He said, “We don’t know if you can still carry the virus and infect other people.”

There are many who are frustrated that it takes a lot of calling to get a vaccine appointment. So what happens when you get your time slot?

HOW LONG IS THE PROCESS AT THE CIVIC CENTER WHEN YOU GO IN FOR YOUR VACCINE?

Mayor Dan Pope answered that question with something he heard from a city councilman. The mayor said, “Mayor Pro-tem Massengale shared a text he got yesterday from somebody who got vaccinated who compared our vaccination clinic to a chick fil-a drive thru.” Chick Fil-A is known for its efficient way in moving cars through the line to pay and pick up food.

SHOULD YOU GET THE SECOND VACCINE IN THE SAME ARM AS THE FIRST?

Dr. Cook said it doesn’t matter which arm you use. However, his advice was to not choose the one you like to sleep on if you roll on your side.

WHAT IF YOU GET COVID IN BETWEEN THE VACCINE DOSES?

Dr. Cook said that can happen. He says it’s not possible for the vaccine to give you COVID, but it’s easy for someone to go in to get the vaccine, unaware that they have already been exposed. He explains, “It takes 2 to 3 weeks to start building immunity. And it takes that second dose to continue to build your antibody levels to 94 percent. So it can happen and it should not deter you from getting the next dose.”;

Again, he is quick to remind us that we all need both doses for our best protection against coronavirus.

Even then, he says, there is that small percentage that would still allow someone to get the virus.

Finally, what about kids? Nationally, the CDC is warning parents that there is an increase in COVID cases in kids.

IS THAT TRUE HERE IN LUBBOCK?

Dr. Cook says, “The biggest concern is there has been an increase in the number of children who are hospitalized. And that’s children up to age 18. I’m told it’s about 3 to 5 or 3 to 7 (children) per week in our community. Our surge started before Thanksgiving.”

The city’s dashboard shows that nearly 7 thousand children and teens In Lubbock have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Dr. Cook said today that a few of those were hospitalized later with the potentially life threatening MIS-C.

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome is rare but parents need to watch for signs of illness in children after a diagnosis and even recovery from COVID-19 since it can develop into MIS-C typically 2 to 4 weeks after the initial infection.

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