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Arkansas doctors answer questions surrounding COVID-19 vaccine, symptoms

Throughout the pandemic, many have had questions about COVID-19 or the vaccine, and now experts are answering them.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Throughout the pandemic, you have sent us any questions you may have about COVID-19 or the vaccine and now experts are answering them.

Dr. Ahmad Yousaf is CEO of Rock Medical Group and Dr. Jessica Snowden is Chief of Pediatric Infectious Disease at Arkansas Children's. They are here to answer your questions.

Dr. Yousaf answered this question sent to us. “What is the Difference between 2003 SARS and 2019 COVID?” asked one viewer.

"The difference between that one and this one is that this one spreads so quickly and rapidly, unlike what those did which stayed relatively local and burnt themselves out because they didn't spread fast enough,” said Dr. Yousaf.

Another question we received is “can someone with symptoms who test negative for the virus still get the COVID-19 vaccine?

"There's actually some evidence that people who've already had COVID, not only do they benefit from the vaccine, they actually get really great antibody levels and tolerate the vaccine really well," Dr. Snowden said.

"So absolutely. If you have a minor illness and you know it's not COVID-19 ... go ahead and go out and get your vaccine."

A viewer from Searcy was recently hospitalized with COVID. She said doctors still encourage her to get the vaccine.

Her question is, "why are they insisting I get the vaccine when I've had the virus and survived?"

"I think that's a great question,” said Dr. Yousaf. “All this stuff is new to us. We are learning as we go. As literature unfolds, we are going to learn more things. But at this time if I’m worried about somebody who's at risk, I say use every protective measure you can. You have natural antibodies from your natural disease process, and we have this extra tool that may protect you further."

Lastly, a viewer asked, "what is research saying about the effects of the vaccine on the heart of teenage boys?"

"The COVID-19 infection itself can impact your heart enough that you can end up in the ICU and on lots of medicines to help your heart work," Dr. Snowden said. "That's not something we see with the vaccine, that's something we see with the virus. So even though that side effect is out there, it's so, so much better to go ahead and get the vaccine."

You can always text us your questions at (501) 376-1111.

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