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WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

OhioHealth doctor answers questions surrounding COVID-19 vaccine

Dr. Joseph Gastaldo answered several questions after he got his second shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — On Monday, OhioHealth administered roughly 300 second doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Infectious Diseases doctor Joseph Gastaldo, received his second shot and says he feels great.

Gastaldo got his first shot 21 days ago and said he didn’t experience any side effects.

He’s waiting to see how his body reacts with the second.

“Right now, my immune system is recognizing the spike protein and I’m getting a really good immune response,” Dr. Gastaldo said.

As vaccines continued to be administered, people in the community are sending in question to our 10TV Vaccine Tracking Team.

One of the questions is how people can get the shot and where do they go when it’s their turn.

“That’s a really great question, we still need signals from both the federal level and state level through the Ohio Department of Health and Governor DeWine’s press conference,” Dr. Gastaldo said.

Dr. Gastaldo hopes more vaccines are brought to Ohio by the federal government.

“We need to have many, many options in place for people to have vaccines in their arms whether it be high school gymnasium, a church, a doctor’s office or a pharmacist,” Dr. Gastaldo said.

He said all of that still needs to be operationalized.

“We need to give people options, we need to vaccinate seven days a week, we need to vaccinate when people can get the vaccine and we need to make it easy for people to make an appointment to get the vaccines,” Dr. Gastaldo said.

He said each county in the state will operate differently.

Another question sent into the 10TV Vaccine Tracking Team is if someone has a medical condition, will they need to show proof wherever they go to get the shot?

“Absolutely not. In fact there are going to be people who don’t even have a primary care physician who can still receive the vaccine,” Dr. Gastaldo said.

He said when someone goes to get the vaccine, they will be asked a series of questions whether right then and there or before electronically.

“You do not need to have a primary care physician clear you to receive the vaccine,” Dr. Gastaldo said.

There are comments surfacing online showing concern for getting the vaccine if a person has any cosmetic fillers or Botox.

“I have seen those too on social media and again, when people get information, they really need to ask themselves and what are the official recommendations,” Dr. Gastaldo said.

He said right now there is no official warning or precaution at all related to the use of Botox or cosmetic filler or cosmetic surgery,” Dr. Gastaldo said.

We reached out to a local dermatologist as well about these concerns.

We are told “not an issue for COVID-19 vaccine and Botox. There have been a few reports of local swelling and redness in Moderna vaccine recipients who have had previous filler treatments. Filler is not to be confused with Botox.”

Another question is if someone has had COVID-19, when should they get vaccinated?

“The official CDC recommendation if you have had COVID-19, in the setting of you having some immunity and you trying to vaccinate people who have no immunity, you could decide to wait about 90 days to receive the vaccination,” Dr. Gastaldo said.

As far as the order of shots a person should receive, such as the flu shot or COVID-19 shot or any other vaccinations out there, there is an answer to that as well.

“The official guidance from the CDC is that vaccinations as best as possible should be separated by 14 days, so meaning if you get the flu shot today or the shingles shot today, you should wait about 14 days to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” Dr. Gastaldo said.

If someone is expecting or plan to become pregnant, should they receive the vaccine?

“A lot of it has to come down to the risk versus benefit ratio. We know that pregnancy is now identified as a riskier condition in the setting of contracting COVID-19. If you are pregnant and contract COVID-19, statistically you have a higher chance of requiring an ICU admission. You have a higher chance of being put on a ventilator,” Dr. Gastaldo said.

He said it comes down to the decision being made between the person and their doctor.

What about allergies? Are there concerns with getting the vaccine?

“If you have a history of severe allergy to peanuts, puppies, penicillin, can I get the vaccine? Officially speaking, the only allergy that says do not get the vaccine is if you have an allergy to any of the four known substances in any of the RNA messenger vaccines,” Dr. Gastaldo said.

He said if someone does have a severe allergy to penicillin, peanuts, food or anything else, he recommends the person needs to disclose that when they get the vaccine. They will then be monitored for 30 minutes.

When it comes to any of these questions, Dr. Gastaldo said he wants people to feel comfortable asking them.

“We really have to respectfully engage everybody who has questions about the vaccine, that’s part of the conversation, we don’t want to be dismissive to anybody who has a question,” Dr. Gastaldo said.

He said sometimes people may feel embarrassed or not sure their question is important enough.

“I welcome all questions. We want people to ask questions so they can have all the information they need to make a decision hopefully to get vaccinated,” Dr. Gastaldo said.