Like many others, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic we went to video conferencing for patient appointments. While many people still choose video conferencing for its convenience, in-office appointments are now available again. However, while the office has a separate entrance, it is in a home that shares the central heating and air condition system. Consequently if, on a day a patient is scheduled to come into the office they have an active contagious illness (e.g., the influenza, COVID, etc.), or have recently been exposed to one, we ask them to reschedule to a video conference. For video conferencing we can use Skype or Zoom conferencing (both are free online services). If video conferencing is not technically feasible, a phone consultation may also be possible.
About the COVID-19 Vaccine
For some people the general issue of vaccinations creates a lot of concern. This has led to misinformation about their risks from both sides of the debate. As a naturopathic doctor I have never been a “pro-vaxxer”, nor am I an “anti-vaxxer”. I have always looked at each vaccine and its use as a “risk vs. benefit” issue – the risk of the vaccine vs. the risk of the disease in a particular individual. For this disease there is no question in my mind that getting a vaccine to protect yourself, your loved ones, and our community from the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2 virus), with rare exception, was the right thing to do. I am impressed with the technology in the new mRNA vaccines (the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines) and recommend them. I believe they are as safe as any other vaccine, and are safer than previous vaccines. Being vaccinated against COVID-19 is not a guarantee against infection but it greatly reduces the potential of serious disease.
While the pandemic has definitely calmed down and seems to be moving into an endemic phase, people are still dying every day in the U.S. from COVID. So people should continue to be on guard about this disease. However, it is not yet clear to me about what I would recommend regarding getting every new COVID booster that is released. If you are a patient feel free to discuss the issue with me and I can go over the pros and cons with you as I currently understand them.
I would like to emphasis that I have never before encouraged the use of any particular vaccine. In the past I have always simply discussed with my patients the potential risks of a particular vaccine vs. the risk of the disease for that individual. I then let them decide what seems best for them. This new mRNA vaccine technology is a remarkable improvement over the old “vector” based vaccines. Consequently, given the nature of this pandemic, I have been recommending the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID vaccines. However, with the availability of the mRNA vaccines, I specifically recommend against the Johnson & Johnson, the AstraZeneca, and the Janssen vaccines. These three vaccines use an old “vector” technology. This old vaccine technology is the source of most vaccine injuries.
Finally, I realize that there are many strong opinions on this COVID vaccine issue. In this post I have express my opinion based on the best information and research I can find. However, I am happy to treat anyone regardless of their vaccine status.
About Vaccine Injury
Let me be clear, no vaccine, or any other type of medicine, is 100% safe. And it is important to note that, while the vast majority of vaccinations do not lead to a vaccine injury, no type of vaccine is completely free of examples of serious injury. However, hundreds of millions of doses of the mRNA vaccines have been given at the time of this writing. The safety record is remarkable. The extremely rare bad reactions from the mRNA vaccines are so few when compared to the consequences of this disease, the risk vs. benefit is clear: getting vaccinated with a mRNA vaccine is far less likely to cause lasting health issues or death than getting sick with COVID-19, regardless of your current health status.
But what if you do get one of the rare bad vaccine reactions/injuries? Remember, it is normal to have temporary mild symptoms following a vaccine as your immune system gets activated against the vaccine target. These are a sign the vaccine is working. However, if a vaccine reaction was severe or lingers beyond 72 hours, it is then appropriate to seek naturopathic or homeopathic care. In my many years of practice I have been able to help many people who have had significant reactions to previous vaccines (fortunately, these vaccine injuries are relatively rare today because of improvements made in the vaccines). It is important to emphasize that historically homeopathic treatment has been by far the most effective pathway to complete recovery from a vaccine injury regardless of the type of vaccine!
Current homeopathic patients may find a vaccination will set them back in their improvement. If this happens, repeating their previously successful homeopathic remedy will usually restore their improvement. However, please call the office if this is an issue.
It is important to know that I am able to help people with all kinds of viral infections, including COVID-19. Naturopaths and homeopaths have along history of helping people recover from acute infections and epidemics. COVID is not an exception. Lingering symptoms following a COVID-19 infection (commonly called “Long-COVID”) can be very serious, even debilitating. It can occur even following a mild COVID infections. Help for this is also available through natural medicine. I have had really good success helping people with this condition as well.
Research now clearly shows that most people who get contract COVID-19 gain significant immunity, similar to vaccines. However, also like vaccines, having been sick with COVID-19 is not a guarantee against another infection but it does greatly reduce the potential of serious disease.