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Ask Dr. Roach: Is there a strong reaction to the COVID vaccine due to recent illnesses? | What to do

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Dear Dr. Cockroach: My neighbor was very ill with COVID-19 about 3 months ago. He has almost recovered now. He recently received his first vaccination and showed a severe reaction. It was so severe that I contacted my doctor and received emergency treatment.

I have a theory, but I don’t want to mention it to him unless you think it sounds reasonable. He had COVID-19, so he got the antibody. Vaccination caused a reaction in his body similar to the more serious reaction some people have to the second shot. I suspect his reaction will be even stronger if he is vaccinated a second time.

Does he need to get a second shot? Or is it possible to get enough protection by combining antibodies to infect the virus and then vaccination with the first vaccine? I think the stress of a violent reaction to the second shot can be detrimental to his overall health and may not be necessary.

— KF

Dear reader: Your theory is rational and is very likely to be the main reason why people infected with COVID-19 tend to have more side effects from the vaccine. It is also correct that the second shot, with or without a history of COVID-19, tends to respond more than the first shot, but that is not universal.

We do not recommend skipping the second shot. Our study of the high efficacy of the vaccine was conducted on people who received both vaccines. A single dose of the vaccine does have some advantages, but a second dose seems to be important.

Less than 1 in 10,000 people have a serious response to the vaccine. Arm pain and a day (or days) of fever and sickness are worth ensuring as much as possible to prevent infections that have killed millions of people. Two doses are also required to be considered “fully vaccinated”. This means that the restrictions are much lower, according to new guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dear Dr. Cockroach: If your hair and nails grow really fast, are you basically a healthy person?

-VVM

Dear reader: This is an urban legend. All people have a predominantly genetically determined rate of nail growth, and healthy people grow their nails at that rate.

Certain medical conditions, such as malnutrition and thyroid disease, can slow nail growth. Nail growth is fastest at about 10 years of age and then a little slower throughout life. Pregnancy can temporarily accelerate nail growth. Biotin, a supplement that is a type B vitamin, increases the strength and growth rate of nails in people with brittle nails, but in my clinical experience, the effects vary considerably from person to person. This is probably because most people get enough biotin in their diet, so supplements aren’t really added much. By the way, biotin makes clinical tests of the thyroid gland look abnormal, but it does not actually affect the level of the thyroid gland.

Poor health can slow nail growth, but fast nail growth does not necessarily mean that you are in good health.

Contact Dr. Roach [email protected]

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