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Answering common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine

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Posted at 5:13 PM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 22:49:41-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — As more people get vaccinated here in Clark County, there will be more questions on how the vaccine could affect our bodies and whether we have enough doses to go around.

More shots are getting into more arms in the race to vaccinate more people from COVID-19. It’s leading to many questions on how the vaccine could affect them. One of them being concerns over swelling that’s found on mammograms after getting the vaccine.

“It’s really important to ask the patient if they had the vaccine and which arm did they get it in,” said Dr. Souzan El-Eid, a breast surgeon and a member of the Clark County Medical Society.

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Dr. El-Eid says about 10% to 15% of vaccinated patients experience temporary swelling and suggests people get their mammograms before getting their shot.

For those who do plan to get a mammogram after the vaccination, she suggests telling a doctor and waiting a bit.

“She probably should wait a month to six weeks from the vaccination before doing that mammogram,” she said.

Dr. El-Eid also says the vaccine does not affect fertility in people and says a new study shows vaccinated mothers might have COVID-19 antibodies in their breast milk, which could help their babies.

“If they get a little bit of antibodies, they will be protected,” she said.

If you’re someone who takes prescription drugs and wants to get the shot, doctors say continue taking your medication.

UNLV Health Professor Dr. Brian Labus says a vast majority don’t directly affect the immune system with a few exceptions, like chemotherapy.

“For people with some sort of immune-suppressive drug regimen, they need to talk with their physicians to find out what’s recommended specifically for them, but for most people, it’s not going to be a concern,” he said.

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Dr. Labus also says Nevada isn’t getting enough vaccines right now, with the main reason being the federal government is using old population data.

With Nevada growing at a rapid pace, he says, the state needs more vaccines to be properly allocated. According to Dr. Labus, if that does happen, it doesn’t completely solve the problem.

“If you give vaccines to Nevada or another fast-growing state, it takes it from somewhere else, so there really isn’t a simple solution to the problem.”

Doctors suggest taking drugs like Tylenol or Advil after your shots for the side effects rather than before as it could affect your immune response.