In this installment of Ask a Doctor, UT Health San Antonio physician Dr. Fred Campbell has answers about the most pressing cornavirus questions.
How is Texas doing when it comes to vaccination rates?
Over 25% of Texans are now fully vaccinated. Campbell says as long as that number keeps rising, he’s “cautiously optimistic” that outdoor activities are going to be increasingly more safe, as well as some indoor activities as long as they aren’t with crowds.
I’m vaccinated; do I still need to wear a face mask?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says that vaccinated people don’t have to wear a face mask outdoors to protect against COVID-19 as long as they’re not in close proximity to strangers. However, Campbell says masks are still important indoors and among crowds, or when near people who are singing or doing a lot of talking.
How important is my second vaccine dose?
Very, Campbell says.
“It is very important that we get to a point where people are virtually immune, and that means a second dose is considered to be very important,” he said.
Unused second doses can be used as a first dose for those in need; it’s the same vaccine. But Campbell urges everyone to get both doses if they’re getting the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. (The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only has one dose.)
What long-term health issues should I watch out for if I’ve had COVID-19?
Most infections have led to only mild symptoms and full recoveries. But Campbell says anyone who has had more severe respiratory symptoms like shortness of breath while exerting themselves, wheezing or severe fatigue, should continue to watch for those symptoms and call their doctor if they resurface.