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Morning Brief: Your Vaccine Questions, Echo Park Lake Property To Be Cleared, And LA’s Best Taiyaki

A warehouse full of wheatpasted posters. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s March 24.

Every day, our newsroom’s call-in show, AirTalk, welcomes a physician to answer listeners’ questions about COVID-19 and the vaccine. Earlier this week, host Larry Mantle spoke with Kimberly Shriner, an infectious disease specialist at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena. Here are some of the questions she got, and her answers (the conversation has been edited for length and clarity):

I’m immunosuppressed. Is there an antibody test to see if my body mounted a response after receiving the vaccine?

Yes, there is. You can get a quantitative IgG. The problem is, we don't quite know how to interpret it.

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I can tell you that even in people who are immunosuppressed, there does appear to be protection. There are some scientific papers coming out that are evaluating people who had immune problems and got COVID, and their ability to retain antibodies and apparent immunity to the virus at least six months after their disease. We think the same is true for the vaccines.

I am currently undergoing an IVF cycle and I'm stimulating my ovaries. Do you have any input on the safety of the vaccine during this process?

Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of data on that. We do know that pregnant women are at higher risk for more serious disease with COVID. The incidence of failed fertility procedures or possible miscarriage is unclear right now, because those populations haven't been studied.

Once you're fully vaccinated, there shouldn't be any reason not to proceed with your IVF therapies. But it's a tricky question, so I think it's going to be a personal choice.

My sister was asked for her Medicare number at the pharmacy where she was vaccinated. That’s for billing purposes, correct?

The vaccines are free, but if you go to a pharmacy or a doctor's office, there may be a minimal charge for the implementation of the vaccine. If you go to a public health department, or you go to a large vaccine site like Dodger Stadium, there's no charge at all.

Some of that billing information is being registered to keep track of everybody who's been vaccinated. But some doctor’s offices, and I believe some pharmacies, will charge for putting the shot in your arm.

And insurance companies are uniformly reimbursing for it, aren't they?

Absolutely. We don't want any kind of financial barriers and payment issues associated with getting vaccinated. This is so very important that we move this as quickly as possible.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

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What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go … Where To Find The Best Taiyaki In L.A.

Taiyaki. (Kelly Visel/Unsplash)

Maybe you've noticed an adorable, fish-shaped pastry popping up on Insta feeds everywhere. Us too. We're big fans of taiyaki. In Japanese, that means "cooked sea bream." This snack, however, has no fish in it. It's a soft, fluffy waffle shaped like a fish and it can be served solo or stuffed with fillings such as red bean paste, Nutella or soft-serve ice cream.

The treat made its way to the U.S. more than two decades ago, and in L.A., you’ll find no shortage — from small stands offering traditional red bean versions to dessert cafes making croissant taiyakis to soft-serve chains. Here are some of the best places to find it.

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