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USF Health virologist answers your questions about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, when the pandemic could end

USF Health virologist Dr. Michael Teng, PhD., takes your questions on 10 Tampa Bay Brightside every Wednesday.

TAMPA, Fla. — On 10 Tampa Bay, we’re committed to keeping you up to date with all the latest COVID-19 news.

That’s why every week we are taking your questions to a local medical expert to talk about what’s going on. From the latest on where Tampa Bay stands with vaccines, to monitoring the COVID-19 variants, we’ll continue tracking information.

Dr. Michael Teng, PhD., is a virologist at USF Health.

Here are some of the questions we asked this week:

Q: As the vaccines roll out to every adult in the state of Florida next week, what is a reasonable timeline for its approval in kids?

 A: “I think it should happen by May at the latest. Both Pfizer and Moderna enrolled kids down to 6 months of age this month. So, a couple of weeks ago was Moderna and last week was Pfizer, so that data should come in by summertime.”

RELATED: Pfizer begins COVID-19 vaccine trial for children as young as 6 months

Q: If you’ve had COVID-19, should you still get vaccinated? 

“Yeah, absolutely. This first thing is, when you get a natural infection there's a greater variety in the amount of host response you get, so some people are protected, some people are not as well protected. When you get the vaccine, especially when you've recovered from Covid, you get a really strong response. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine they seem to give you this higher level of protection against reinfection and we know that reinfection can occur after that initial infection.”

RELATED: Where to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida

Q: Is there a way to timestamp the end of this pandemic?

A: "I would expect to see getting close to herd immunity, decreased transmission by the fall. This is a global pandemic and it's not going to go away until everybody gets vaccinated, until we have herd immunity globally, so we'll still have to think about this. There are some countries that haven't even administered one dose of vaccine."

You can send your questions to 727-577-8522 and we might answer them on 10 Tampa Bay Brightside.