Your COVID-19 vaccine questions answered by Gundersen Health System doctor

Gundersen Health System doctor Raj Naik specializes in vaccines, and he answered all of the frequently asked questions. 

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) –I asked, and a lot of you answered… What questions about the COVID-19 vaccines are on your mind?

Gundersen Health System doctor Raj Naik specializes in vaccines, and he answered all of those questions.


Q: Can you spread COVID-19 if you get vaccinated?

A: “It was not part of the studies for the two first vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) that are likely to get authorization. There are really two different questions we can ask relative to how the vaccines work. One is; does it prevent disease and serious disease? Does it prevent infection and serious disease? And the second is; does it prevent transmission? And for the two vaccines that are likely to get authorized this month, neither the transmission or disruption of spread after one is vaccinated were studied… I don’t think it’s a bad thing that is wasn’t studied for those end points, I just think it’s how the studies were set up. And of course, they were set up so we could address these things in a timely manner.”

Q: The Wisconsin Department of Health Services said earlier this week that vaccines will be delivered to ‘hubs’ across the state. Do you know the details of that and what we can expect in La Crosse?
A: “We have several systems in our local areas in Western Wisconsin that will be centralized vaccinators.”
Q: When can we see a vaccine available for non-healthcare, non-high risk, and non-essential workers?
A: “Nobody knows the exact timeline, but what I want to be really clear on is that initially there will not be that much vaccine available. We will try to do the very best to be fair and equitable and prioritize the groups that we absolutely need to keep the systems of healthcare and the people who are absolutely most vulnerable as safe as we can. By the time the average or so called ‘low risk’ person gets the vaccine, if things go well, my hope is that by summer they will have some access to vaccines.”