We are hearing a lot of worry about whether or not these new mRNA vaccines are safe, how they differ from others, and whether we should get them. This post focuses on current data, how to prep if you haven’t had the vaccine yet, and what you can do for booster “prep”.
For the vaccinations in general, the data is pretty astounding; they not only are safe, but they are showing a surprising side effect. Some “Long Haul” COVID sufferers and people with auto-immune issues are actually seeing a resolution of symptoms! For up to 40-50%, the vaccine is making them BETTER! No one predicted this, and it is very hopeful, especially for patients who have suffered symptoms from prior infections. (see more in box below).
“I didn’t expect the vaccine to make people feel better,” says Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at the Yale School of Medicine who’s researching long COVID.
“More and more, I started hearing from people with long COVID having their symptoms reduced or completely recovering, and that’s when I started to get excited because this might be a potential cure for some people.”NPR, March 31, 2021
Iwasaki On How The Coronavirus Vaccines Affect Long-Haul COVID-19 Patients
- While promising, it’s still too early to know just how many people with long COVID are feeling better as a result of being vaccinated and whether that amounts to a statistically meaningful difference. And yes, there are patients who have reactions to vaccination that are not positive. But this is more related to their state of health at the time of vaccination than the vaccination itself.
- In the meantime, Iwasaki and other researchers are beginning to incorporate this question into ongoing studies of long-haulers by monitoring their symptoms pre- and post-vaccination and collecting blood samples to study their immune response.
- There are several leading theories for why vaccines could alleviate the symptoms of long COVID: It’s possible the vaccine clears up leftover virus or fragments, interrupts a damaging autoimmune response, or in some other way “resets” the immune system.
Read more of the NPR article HERE.
Read more about Iwasaki HERE.
Do vaccines REALLY lower serious infections?
Why shouldn’t I wait until more “data” is in?
The results are in and COVID vaccination in the US is extremely safe. But, we are faced with a huge amount of mis-information and media exploitation of those with side effects, alarming people erroneously. There always will be side effects. And there always will be people who do not tolerate a vaccination, but that is a red flag that something else is amiss in their system. That is why I strongly recommend vaccine prep. This also goes for booster shots should they become available to the public in Sept. of 2021. With the variants being more virulent and causing more deaths, I would strongly suggest that you get vaccinated. The higher percentage of fully vaccinated citizens, the less chance there is for a variant to “take over” and infect many. Vaccination protects everyone around you, ESPECIALLY those who cannot be vaccinated.
- COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. The vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support approval or authorization of a vaccine. They are now fully approved for use in ages 12 and up.
- They do NOT change your DNA. They DO teach your body how to make the spike protein that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. The benefit of mRNA vaccines, like all vaccines, is that those vaccinated gain protection without ever having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19. The most recent data shows that those vaccinated have a 1 in 5,000 chance of getting a “breakthrough” infection, (meaning they caught the Delta Variant despite vaccination). In general, those patient do much better and have vastly less hospitalization than unvaccinated patients. Read NYT story here.
- 175 Million people in the United States are fully vaccinated, meaning they have had the entire series based on their specific vaccine brand. This number is current for 9.8.2021.
- Originally, COVID-19 vaccines were authorized for emergency use by FDA. They now are authorized officially, meaning that there is enough data for 6 months post injection that reassured the FDA that there were no major issues moving forward.
- The Covid case rate is rising dramatically among the unvaccinated, but the majority of those who have yet to get a shot still aren’t convinced. A recent Associated Press poll found that 35 percent of unvaccinated Americans say they will probably remain unvaccinated, while another 45 percent said they definitely will not get the shot.
- Despite evidence the vaccine offers strong protection against the Delta variant, 64 percent of unvaccinated Americans believe the vaccine does not offer protection against Covid variants. Overwhelmingly, patients who got COVID and were not vaccinated do worse, have more ICU stays, ventilator days and unfortunately, death. When interviewed a vast majority wish they’d been vaccinated. Read this article here (Valentine has since died).
- A Kaiser Health analysis of state data published found that the vast majority of Covid cases (between 94.1 and 99.85 percent), hospitalizations (between 95.02 and 99.93 percent), and deaths (between 96.91 and 99.91 percent) are among the un-vaccinated.
“The messaging over the last month in the U.S. has basically served to terrify the vaccinated and make un-vaccinated eligible adults doubt the effectiveness of the vaccines… neither of those views are warranted”Dr. Monica Gandhi, MD, MpH infectious disease specialist at UCSF 9.1.2021
So, from a standpoint for healthy adults, what can you do to “prep” for vaccination? Here’s some guidelines from the Institute for Functional Medicine.
Vaccine and booster “prep” for Adults:
- Although this should be ongoing, doing this 1-2 weeks before the vaccine will help:
- address lifestyle: get enough sleep, lower stress wherever possible. This sounds like an empty “not important” guideline but it is amazingly important.
- Eat “Clean”: meaning this is NOT the time to drink a “Big Gulp” of soda and have an entire bag of chips. Get LOTS of veggies, fruits and good quality proteins. Eat “around the edges of the store”: that’s where the REAL food lies!
- Within 2 days prior to vaccination and for 2 days after: avoid anti-inflammatory meds like Motrin, Aleve and prescriptions like: Anaprox (naproxen sodium), Cambia, Cataflam, diclofenac potassium, Celebrex (celecoxib), Clinoril, sulindac, Daypro, oxaprozin, Feldene, piroxicam, Indocin, Tivorbex, indomethacin, Mobic, Vivlodex, meloxicam, Nalfon, fenoprofen, Naprelan, Naprosyn, naproxen, Vimovo, naproxen/esomeprazole, Voltaren, Zorvolex , diclofenac
- Ongoing: Vitamins to Boost Immunity, most of these are found in a good multi-vitamin and you can get Iron from shellfish, legumes, eggs, and dark leafy greens like spinach.
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D: 5,000u/day but best to know your levels, and ALWAYS know your levels in the future: read my D article here. I would suggest you take 5,000u/day for the week prior, and ask your physician to check your D level at your next appt. Shoot for 60-80. Many western docs say above 20 is just fine. It isn’t. There’s a much higher incidence of issues. Like I said, read my article linked above. The more COVID data we have, the stronger I feel about this. People with low Vitamin D levels get seriously ill with COVID.
- Vitamin E, B6, B12, Folate, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Selenium
- Take some immune boosting supplements: (these can be helpful ongoing)
- Curcumin: helps lower inflammation, helps joint pain
- Quercitin – this also helps with allergies! (like no more antihistamines for many people, PLUS it helps immunity, so win/win).
- Melatonin – helps with sleep, but also helps with lung inflammation in patients with COPD, and helps protect against SARS COVID2
- Glutathione or N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
- Black Cumin Seed Oil: very helpful to those who tend to get bronchitis, and it is also a good anti-inflammatory. I use Anatto E Synergy by Designs for Health.
- You do not need to run out and get all of these, but by doing a little research you can pinpoint certain supplements that might be helpful for you to take pre-vaccination based on your current situation.
- For childhood vaccination (Non-COVID) prep, see my article here.
Here are my recommendations on Fullscript. I do NOT profit from these orders, but Fullscript vets all their supplements for quality. I have an “Immune Protocol” recommendation, you can order as many or as few supplements as you would like. If you are in Canada, email me and I will send you a different link. I do have a Canadian account.
Other articles pertinent to this topic:
Here’s an article out of Yale that addresses long haul COVID and vaccination:
2: Strongly consider Melatonin in COPD patients: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22507631/