Ask the Doctor Question:
I am a 64-year-old male diagnosed with CLL in 11/2019, in the “watch and wait” category with no treatment. I have no other health issues and have been fully vaccinated for COVID. Given the recent studies on vaccine efficacy, is it safe for me to work a part-time retail job (wearing a mask) or am I taking a huge risk?
Answer: There is definitely a large risk in working with the public right now, especially given the incredible rise in case numbers and the increased contagiousness of Delta. Thank you for getting fully vaccinated. Our number one question would be, have you had your antibody level tested to find out if you were one who responded to the vaccine? And if so, how well did you respond? Please read the linked articles for more information on the varying degrees to which CLL patients have been responding here:
If you do decide to work with the public, we would minimally recommend you do the following:
- Get a COVID booster shot and then get your antibody levels tested a month after you receive it. More info here:
- Wear a tightly fitted N-95 mask at all times. You can find good ones now on Amazon. Just make sure the company is reputable that is selling them, such as the company 3M.
- Have a COVID plan in place should you decide to take this risk. We just put together a detailed checklist-style plan that you can go through to help plan should you have direct exposure to someone in the public that has COVID. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to print out the checklists. You can find that information here: