You have permission to edit this article.
Ask the Doctors: More information about COVID vaccines
editor's pick
Ask the Doctors

Ask the Doctors: More information about COVID vaccines

Hello again, dear readers, and welcome to our monthly letters column. We're happy to hear that our recent focus on your questions regarding the coronavirus vaccines has been helpful. Keep sending them in, and we'll keep addressing them. Speaking of which:

-- A reader with a petite friend wondered whether coronavirus vaccines should be tailored to a person's physical size. "My neighbor weighs 94 pounds and worries she might get too much vaccine with a standard vaccination," she wrote. "Should she get a smaller dosage?" Adults of all sizes can safely receive the same vaccine dose. Although medications are calibrated to reach certain blood concentrations based on body weight, the coronavirus vaccines "speak" directly to the immune system. That means the dosage remains constant, no matter a person's size. Your neighbor can safely receive the standard dose of any of the three coronavirus vaccines available in the United States at this time.

-- Many of you who are about to get a coronavirus vaccine wanted to know when maximum immunity kicks in. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you're considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after the second shot of the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, and two weeks after the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

-- Another frequently asked question is whether it's OK to get the coronavirus vaccine at the same time as other vaccines. Just as a precaution, the current recommendation is that the COVID-19 series be administered alone, with at least a two-week interval before and after any other vaccines.

-- Some of you weren't sure whether the vaccines contained ingredients to which you have known allergies. "I am severely allergic to povidone, which is frequently seen listed as an inactive ingredient in both over-the-counter and prescription medications," a reader wrote. "Is this a cause of concern with the COVID-19 vaccines?" Polyvinylpyrrolidone, also known as povidone, or PVP, is a water-soluble synthetic polymer that helps keep drugs in suspension. We have reviewed the COVID-19 vaccine ingredients and do not see povidone listed.

-- A reader whose son recovered from Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) as a child asked whether the coronavirus vaccine is safe for him an adult. Persons with a history of GBS may receive the COVID-19 vaccine unless they have been previously instructed to avoid vaccination. As this is the case with your son, who has been advised to avoid the flu vaccine, be sure to check with your health care provider for specific recommendations before moving forward with coronavirus vaccination.

We'll close with a reassurance to those of you who ask that your names not be used in the letters column. We do not publish the names of our correspondents. However, we do love picturing where you're writing from -- so if you're willing, feel free to include your city or state in your emails. As always, thank you to our readers who have taken the time to send kind and encouraging words. It really does mean a lot to us.


Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

DEAR ABBY: I am a senior male. I understand I may have some beliefs that others find old-fashioned. However, I consciously try to be tolerant of others' feelings and beliefs. That said, my problem is with my younger brother, who is a homosexual. I have always tried to ignore that side of his life and, consequently, we have always had a good relationship. He lives in another state, so we only talk on the telephone.

DEAR ABBY: I have something to say about "Still Fun in the South" (Jan. 4) and her complaint that single middle-aged men only look for younger women, instead of women their age. I am a 53-year-old widower. I have a six-figure income. I'm smart, healthy, easygoing and have a good life with many hobbies and interests.

DEAR ABBY: I'm in my late 20s, married and happily child-free. My best friend recently became pregnant, and I am having a hard time with it. I don't enjoy children, and it feels like I am losing my best friend. All she wants to talk about is the baby. I've tried hinting that I'll be here when she and her husband need a break from being "Mom and Dad," but she continues to talk on and on about the all-consuming baby.

DEAR ABBY: I'm a young wife. I married after three months of dating my military husband. He was previously in an on-again/off-again relationship that lasted about eight years, during which she had a baby with another man, etc. I believe my husband is still in love with her. After constantly asking him, he says he just wishes her well and he doesn't have any romantic feelings. I'm not sure what to do, and I just keep overthinking it. Any thoughts? -- HATES HUSBAND'S HISTORY

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alert

Breaking News