By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With all the positive COVID-19 vaccine news of late, many WCCO viewers emailed Good Questions about the shots.

Here are the answers, courtesy of Patsy Stinchfield, a pediatric nurse practitioner in infectious disease at Children’s Minnesota, and a liaison to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Do people who have tested positive for COVID-19 need the vaccine?

“Common question, the answer is yes,” Stinchfield said. “We really don’t know how long your immunity to this disease lasts.”

Given the number of COVID vaccines expected to be available, will people be able to decide which one they get?

“Not initially,” Stinchfield said. “We may just have one to choose from at first and then probably shortly thereafter two, and we’ll continue to roll out as the time goes on.”

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine candidates need to be stored in very cold temperatures. Will the vaccine be that cold when it’s injected?

“No, the vaccine will not be that cold when you get it,” Stinchfield said.

She says it’s thawed before injection.

“It will feel like other vaccines,” Stinchfield said.

Some of the COVID vaccines require two doses weeks apart. Is there a concern we will run out before people get their second dose?

“The first dose will be set aside, everyone will get that,” Stinchfield said.

The second dose will then be sent in a different shipment. Stinchfield said the planned distribution methods can avoid the risk of not having the second dose available.

Will people still need to wear masks after they’ve been vaccinated?

“Yes,” Stinchfield said. “A vaccine does not get you out of mask-wearing.”

She said mask-wearing will continue to be our best weapon, even after vaccination. She expects people will be asked to wear masks until the United States has high enough community immunity, either from people getting the disease or getting vaccinated. Only then will masks will no longer be necessary to fight COVID.

She anticipates the CDC will recommend people will wear masks through at least next fall.

Watch Heather Brown’s Extended Interview With Patsy Stinchfield

Heather Brown