COVID-19 ANNOUNCEMENT

Current COVID-19 Restrictions

During the COVID pandemic the clinic is operating with normal hours but with “contactless” service. Dr. Bradley is currently conducting most patient consultations via video conferencing. We prefer using Skype (a free online service), but Zoom conferencing is also possible if Skype cannot work for you. If video conferencing is not technically feasible, a phone consultation may also be possible. For patients who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, in-person consultations may be available again (this may change due to the recent rise in infections due to the Delta variant). Please ask if that is of interest. 

Established current patients can always contact Dr. Bradley by calling the office and leaving a voice mail, or by email. If the call is regarding healthcare management issues she will return your call as soon as she is able, regardless of regular office hours. If the call is regarding non-medical issues (scheduling appointments, etc.) expect a return call during the next regular clinic day.

A Naturopathic Prospective on COVID-19

As trained scientists, naturopathic doctors believe in the seriousness of this pandemic and the risks of COVID-19 to everyone all over the globe. We also believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to reduce this risk by following the current CDC recommendations on mask wearing and social distancing to protect yourself and everyone else. While infection rates dropped as more people got vaccinated, we cannot let our guard down. This is especially true due to the new variants now found all over the world. It is important to remember that new mutations will continue to occur as long as the virus is widely infecting people.

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, is the right thing to do. I am impressed with the technology in the mRNA vaccines (the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines) and recommend them. I believe they are as safe as any other vaccine, and seem to be safer than previous vaccines. Being vaccinated against COVID-19 is not a guarantee against infection but it greatly reduces the potential of serious disease.

On the Johnson and Johnson vaccine:

I am not as comfortable with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine when we also have the mRNA vaccines (the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines) as alternatives. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a different, older technology from the mRNA vaccines. The J&J vaccine uses a common adenovirus as a “vector” to carry a small piece of DNA into your cells. The viral vector has be modified so it cannot reproduce and this DNA never comes in contact with your own DNA. Your cells will then use this snippet of DNA to make mRNA that will then be used to make the COVID antigen (the spike protein) that your immune system will be activated against. It also uses an adjuvant (an added chemical that enhances the immune response to the antigen). In contrast, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are made directly from the mRNA (bypassing the viral vector and DNA steps), which is then used by your cells to make the spike protein that activates your immune system against COVID. These differences are the main reasons I am less comfortable with the J&J vaccines. However, if you have already gotten the Johnson & Johnson vaccine you are at very low risk for any side-effects and probably have protection against the current variants of the COVID virus.

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 this. 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. As a final point on relative safety: the hospitals are currently full of unvaccinated people sick with COVID-19, not full of people suffering from vaccine reactions.

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 really rare today as improvements were 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!

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 also important to know that I have been able to help people with all kinds of viral infections, including recently COVID-19. However, preventing the infection is the best way to go. There is no guarantee that I can successfully treat you if you get COVID, but I can guarantee that you will be fine if you avoid getting infected.

So my best advice is to, first, continue to do everything in your power to follow the current CDC safety rules to prevent exposure to the virus and, second, get an mRNA COVID vaccine (the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine) when you can. With the Delta variant now causing a new spike in infections and hospitalizations it is important to continue to use masks and social distancing when in public or with unvaccinated people, especially if in crowded indoor settings. This is especially true if you are not vaccinated. Even if you believe you are not at risk, follow this advice for those who are vulnerable. Remember, no vaccine works well in immune compromised people (e.g., the elderly, transplant recipients, etc.), and almost all children under 12 are not vaccinated.

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.