By Nicole Nielsen

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As Texans roll up their sleeves to get the COVID-19 vaccine, many are starting to wonder, “what’s next?”

CBS 11 set out to comb through the fact and fiction about the COVID-19 vaccine, to get answers to common questions with Dr. Diana Cervantes, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology for UNTHSC.

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Question: What do you believe is the biggest misconception when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines?

Dr. Diana Cervantes: “The biggest misconception is that there’s all these potential side effects, including sterility meaning you won’t be able to have children after the vaccine. There is nothing to indicate anything like that for this vaccine or really any vaccine.”

Question: Does getting the vaccine mean you can’t get the virus?

Dr. Diana Cervantes: “It’s not necessarily that you get the vaccine and you won’t get an infection, but it’s probably going to be a very low level. It’s really a matter of time will tell.”

Question: If you aren’t fully vaccinated, can you still spread the virus? Like you said, it’s understood you may have less severe symptoms.

Dr. Diana Cervantes: “Right so that kind of goes hand in hand. If someone can get infected, can they then transmit the virus? That’s one of those things that’s kind of, still pending. We don’t know. More than likely, hopefully, we won’t be able to transmit very much and it might not be very effective.”

Question: Are you protected between doses? Is it okay to only get one?

Dr. Diana Cervantes: “You definitely want to make sure you get two doses. The first may give you some protection but it’s that second dose that is going to really give you the full impact of that protection.”

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Question: Once you’re received your shots, do you still need to mask and social distance?

Dr. Diana Cervantes: “Yes, because the question on if we can transmit or not [after being vaccinated] is still pending. At this point, it is recommended that you still wear your mask and you still social distance.”

Question: What about if you have had COVID-19 already? Do you still need to be vaccinated?

Dr. Diana Cervantes: “Yes, so if you have had COVID, it is a good idea to get the vaccine because whenever you have a natural infection, you can have varying degrees of the infection. Maybe if you had a very mild infection, you couldn’t build enough immune defense against another infection, so it is a good idea to go ahead and get it.”

Question: What about reactions? Are there any differences between Pfizer and Moderna?

Dr. Diana Cervantes: “The data does suggest at this point that people who have received the Moderna vaccine are having a little bit more reaction. But the reaction for both vaccines has been fairly mild. And really people are seeing that after the 2nd more than the 1st dose.”

Question: Could there be long term effects of this vaccine we don’t know about yet?

Dr. Diana Cervantes: “I mean anything is possible. We don’t know a lot of things in regards to the vaccine and we need to look at the data. There’s always the possibility, but it would likely be extremely rare.”

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Nicole Nielsen