Since we launched our ABC15 Health Insider initiative, you've been e-mailing us your questions and our team of experts has been answering them.
Kevin from Phoenix wrote about the confusion surrounding issues with getting another type of vaccine too close to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Kevin writes:"On Feb. 8th, I had an appointment with my primary care physician and got a pneumonia vaccine. On Feb. 15th, I had an appointment at State Farm Stadium for my first dose of the Covid vaccine but discovered when I was there that I had to wait 2 weeks after the pneumonia vaccine before I could get COVID vaccine."
Currently, the recommendation is to wait a minimum of two weeks after you get another type of vaccine (for flu, pneumonia, shingles, etc.) before you get the COVID shot.
We wanted to know why there was that mandatory two-week waiting period, so we took that question to Dr. Piyush Gupta.
"Once we get a vaccine, it takes about two weeks for us to develop immunity," explains Dr. Gupta. "The immune response has a lot of complicated processes and has to go through an intricate workflow. The thing with the COVID vaccine is that, in theory, it does matter that we've never tried to interact the COVID vaccine with other vaccines, which is why the recommendation is to wait two weeks between shots to ensure that our immune system is sort of done creating an immune response to other vaccines before we start the immune response for COVID."
In short, experts just don't know yet how your COVID vaccine may interact with other vaccines you had recently because it hasn't been studied yet. In this case, it's better to be safe than sorry.
The mission of ABC15's Health Insider series is to dive deeper into the things impacting your health and the health of those around you. We're going in-depth with expert advice from people who know it, see it every day in their work and study it. Have a question or story idea? Contact the team at HealthInsider@abc15.com.