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Vax Facts: More answers about COVID vaccines, booster shots and flu shots

KARE 11 continues to receive viewer questions about the COVID vaccine and here are the answers.

SAINT PAUL, Minn. — We continue to get a lot of questions about the COVID vaccine and booster shots.

Here are some of the most recent questions viewers sent to Vax Facts and here’s what we found:

QUESTION: “If you get a booster COVID vaccination, do you still need a flu shot? If so, which one should you get first, and how far between shots should you wait?

ANSWER: “Even if you get a COVID booster vaccination you do still need to get a flu shot,” Minnesota State Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann says.

“The reason you need to get both a flu shot and a COVID shot, or a COVID booster, is that they are both different diseases.”

And when it comes to timing out the COVID shot and the flu shot, Ehresmann says you can receive both shots on the same day, during the same appointment, there’s no need to wait.

“The recommendation is that they can be given simultaneously. It’s not a problem to get both of those vaccines and there are some clinics that will offer them during the same visit, at the same time,” Ehresmann explains.

QUESTION: "Is Vitamin D a substitute to masks?"

ANSWER: “Vitamin D may help your body in the healing process, but it’s not a substitute for wearing a mask. The mask actually serves as a physical barrier,” Ehresmann explains.

Ehresmann says masks catch water droplets that spray out when you breathe and talk, before they can reach someone else and possibly infect them.

Vitamin D won't stop those water droplets.

QUESTION: "If Minnesota residents are ‘snow birds’ and they received their flu vaccine in Florida or Arizona, are they counted here in Minnesota?"

ANSWER: “We do receive information from North Dakota, and Wisconsin and a few other states,” Ehresmann says.

“We had reached out to Florida, Arizona and Texas, states where ‘snow birds’ tend to go, to try and get that information, but we haven’t been completely successful.”

Ehresmann says there is a small group of Minnesota residents who have been vaccinated who may not be counted in the state’s running total.

However, Ehresmann says a lot of out-of-state medical providers will send COVID vaccination information to a patient’s home state.

So, Ehresmann says yes, there are some Minnesota residents who have not be counted, but she says it’s likely a very small number of people.

QUESTION: “Is it true, the vaccine wipes out natural immunity antibody cells?”

ANSWER: “No, that is not accurate,” Ehresmann says. “If a person has had COVID disease, and then gets vaccinated, it’s more likely that they will get a greater robust boost in their immunity.”

QUESTION: “Can you get leukemia after receiving the COVID vaccine? Are more cases of leukemia showing up due to COVID?"

ANSWER: Ehresmann says no, there is no truth to this online rumor.

“There are eight safety monitoring systems in place for COVID-19 vaccines and there has been no unusual rise in leukemia cases detected from those eight monitoring systems.”