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How Long Should You Wait To Be Boosted After Getting COVID? Dr. Mallika Marshall Answers Your Questions

BOSTON (CBS) —  Dr. Mallika Marshall is answering your coronavirus vaccine-related medical questions. If you have a question, email her or message her on Facebook or Twitter.

Dr. Mallika is offering her best advice, but as always, consult your personal doctor before making any decisions about your personal health.

"I wear 32° Below neoprene masks. I think they are denser, fit better, and are more effective than cloth or surgical masks. My wife says they are too warm and wears the blue and white surgical ones. Which type is best?" -Jeff

Honestly, surgical masks are going to be better than any cloth masks. And N95 or KN95 masks are better than surgical masks. I never wear cloth masks, nor do I recommend anyone continue to wear them. They are just too porous. I either wear a surgical mask or if I'm going to be someplace indoors with a lot of people, I wear two surgical masks or a KN95 mask.

"I got the J&J vaccine then just got a Pfizer booster. Do I only need one shot of Pfizer or two?" -Vickey 

Right now you only need one shot of the Pfizer (or Moderna) vaccine to be considered up-to-date on your COVID vaccine.

"If you test positive for COVID when you're vaccinated, how long can you wait for a booster, and do you need a booster?" -Sharon 

Yes, if you have tested positive for COVID, you should still get a booster shot if it's been more than five months since your second mRNA vaccine dose (Pfizer or Moderna) or two months since the J&J vaccine. It's not urgent. You can probably wait a few months, but your immunity from infection will likely wane over time.

"If you show a few hospital COVID medical bills to show how expensive they can be, would people finally get vaxxed and boosted?" -Andy from Raynham 

Yes, you're right.  Based on one study, hospitalizations can be very expensive ranging from $30,000 to $100,000 for an average stay. Complex cases can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Even patients with private insurance can get stuck paying thousands out-of-pocket. Certainly getting free vaccines and boosters, from a cost standpoint, much less from a health standpoint, makes a lot more sense.

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