Holly writes:

Good Evening,

First of all, thank you for your amazing Podcast.  I find this the most reliable source for all things Covid but as a healthcare practitioner, I also really enjoy the older episodes pre-Covid era.  My question is two fold:

I had the Moderna vaccines in January and February 2021.  I had the lymph node response with enlarged, painful axillary and clavicular nodes that lasted a few days.  Fast forward to August and September when I was bitten/stung (never saw the offending insect) while outdoors.  Both resulted in significant reactions with severe swelling, itching, redness, lymph enlargement, and an overall cellulitic appearance.  Both required steroids to treat and I was given an epi pen just in case.  This has never happened to me before and I’ve talked to two other people who have had similar reactions to bites since vaccination. Perhaps it’s coincidence, perhaps it was a murder hornet (ha! ).  In the research you have reviewed and personal clinical experience, is this a potential vaccine reaction?  Yes, I reported to VAERS. 

Second, given the above, do you think myself or others like me should have any reservation to getting a booster?  I would like one as I do see Covid patients as part of my job and I’m a believer of the science, but feeling anxious given what I went through.  I haven’t gotten much feedback/advice from colleagues as they were unsure and my personal physician unfortunately was not pro-vaccine and well, now I’m in between docs.  

Thanks for your time and consideration! Keep producing great content! 


Adrian writes:

Dear Daniel,

My family is planning to attend a large but intimate gathering of families (>100 people) at the end of the year, with dancing and singing.  Everyone will be vaccinated and is required to present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the event’s start if possible, or a negative antigen test taken the day the event starts. The group will be together for 5 days and nights.

1. I am 50 without any known risk factors and I got my 2nd Moderna six  months ago.  Should I rush to get a booster shot before going to this event?  What about my 19 year old daughter, or her 16 year old

sister (if a boost is available to her)?  In your discussion of timing it seemed that longer than 3-4 weeks between the first two doses would have been better.  Is there reason to believe it might be better to wait longer for a boost?

2. The current requirement is that everyone wear masks all the time, except when eating.  Does wearing masks make a difference when the period of contact is so long and people will eat together in a large room unmasked?

3. Is there anything that you would recommend to improve the safety of an event like this?

— Adrian

Amy writes:

Hi Daniel,

My 7 year old received her first vaccine yesterday and I have a question regarding timing for the 2nd dose. All I keep hearing is how here in the US we gave the 2nd dose too quickly which many believe led to a decreased immune response. It’s seeming like countries that delayed the 2nd dose are doing a bit better. What are your thoughts? Thank you.