(WSYM) — As more and more residents get the COVID-19 vaccine, new questions are popping up about its availability and safety.
You can watch the video of Dr. Nandi answering the questions above.
We asked you to post your questions to our Facebook page and then took them to our Chief Health Editor Dr. Partha Nandi.
Our first question came from Timothy Bottle, who wanted to know if the vaccine doesn't stop you from getting or spreading the virus, why is it being pushed so hard?
Dr. Nandi told us that while it is true that we don't know if people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 can spread it while being asymptomatic, the COVID-19 vaccines are 94 and 95 percent effective against serious illness, which means hospitalization rates and death rates go down as more people are vaccinated.
There are also questions about how long the vaccine will stay active in our bodies, with Sue Burton Hallmark asking if the vaccine is like the flu shot, and will we have to get one every year?
Dr. Nandi told us that right not we know you get at least 3 months of protection from the virus with the vaccine. He says that number will keep going up as we get more information because scientists are doing studies to obtain more information about how long the protection will last. However, he also says it is probable that we will need to get additional doses in the future, but that will not be clear until the studies are done.
Some people have had dangerous and even potentially deadly reactions to the vaccine. Mike Andersen wanted to know the numbers. How many people have died or suffered permanent damage after being vaccinated?
In response to this question, Dr. Nandi advises people to please look at their sources of information. He says that over 52 million Americans have been vaccinated so far. He says that while over 900 vaccinated people have died, those deaths have been attributed to other causes, but none have been specifically linked to the vaccine.
Some people are asking if it is safe for someone with preexisting conditions to get the vaccine, with Rhonda Patterson Stanley specifically asking about COPD and emphysema.
Dr. Nandi says with those diseases, you are at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19. He adds that with these vaccines, you can get vaccinated as long as your immune system is okay and you haven't had an allergic reaction to the vaccine or anything in it. However, he advises that if you are concerned, check with your doctor and discuss those concerns with them before getting vaccinated.