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Answering your vaccine questions

Why is it important to get the second dose? Can you switch vaccines? How do they work against the variants? Here's what you need to know.

SAN ANTONIO — Vaccines are rolling out across South Texas, but questions still remain about them. If you have concerns or are looking for information, KENS 5 will always take your questions and try to get answers. 

Whether the questions are about the vaccines, the coronavirus or even the variants, we want to know the answers just as much as you.

Why is it important to get the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines?

Dr. Fred Campbell, an Associate Professor of Medicine, UT Health San Antonio said, "The vaccines that require a second dose have been extremely effective, both after the first and the second dose. However, getting a second dose of the vaccine improves the effectiveness from a little bit greater than 50 percent to almost 95 percent."

For the second dose, is it okay to switch to another vaccine?

Dr. Campbell answered, "It is important to attempt to have both doses of the vaccine from the same company. It is not dangerous to switch, but is not recommended."

Will people be needing a vaccine booster?

Dr. Campbell told us, "It appears that immunity from the current vaccines has been very good and has been prolonged of greater than six months duration, so it is impossible to say with certainty how long that will last. But the news is good so far."

How do the vaccines work against the variants?

Dr. Campbell said, "At this point in time, it's important not to to change your interest in vaccines and completion of the vaccine series that currently exists in the future. It's possible that we might change and use a booster because of increased resistance on the part of these variant viruses."

Why is it important to continue to wear a mask and socially distance even after being fully vaccinated?

Dr. Campbell told us, "It is extremely important to continue the common sense recommendations of using a mask and social distancing until such time is a significant number of people are either immune from infection or from vaccination."

Also remember, you aren't fully vaccinated until two weeks after you complete your vaccination series. 

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