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About that vaccine...

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

The benefits and risks of the COVID vaccines, and how you can support your immune system if you do get the vaccine.
To vax or not to vax? We get that question a lot at CIH.

Vaccines are one of the most important discoveries in medicine, if not all of human history. They have allowed us to all but eliminate previously deadly diseases such as polio, smallpox, and more. The new vaccines against the SARs-CoV-2 virus are yet another breakthrough; exquisite and remarkable in their ingenuity.

Safe and effective vaccines cause an immune reaction in the body similar to that of the wild infection (meaning the infection you’d get from the person next to you while out and about), ideally skipping any major cytokine storm or more severe symptoms. Your body creates antibodies that “remember” the pathogen without having to suffer through the infection itself. If you do come in contact with that pathogen in the future, your body is armed and ready to fight it off, preventing any serious symptoms.

Every previous vaccine has used either live or dead quantities of the actual pathogen to stimulate an immune reaction. This has been extremely effective in some cases (i.e. smallpox) and imperfect in others (the annual flu vaccine).

mRNA technology in a vaccine is new.  Here's a simple version of how it works.
How the mRNA vaccines work.

The mRNA vaccine for SARs-CoV-2 is different. This one uses a small piece of messenger RNA (mRNA) – basically a set of blueprints – stuffed in a lipid capsule. The lipid crosses the cell wall and deposits these mRNA blueprints into your cell. Ribosomes then read the blueprints and get to work. In this case, they make a structure that looks like the “spike protein” fragment of the SARs-CoV-2 virus and releases it into your body.

The spike protein stimulates your immune response to create antibodies specific for SARs-CoV2 (hopefully allowing you to skip the Covid-19 symptoms). Theoretically, the mRNA and spike protein fragment is then cleared by the other parts of the immune system in a matter of days.

mRNA vaccines have fewer “moving parts” than vaccines based on older technology. There are fewer ingredients in the vaccine cocktail itself, so it is faster to develop (think months, not years). And once in your body, mRNA vaccines trigger a more targeted immune response to just the spike protein, vs all the proteins in a wild virus. This might reduce the risk of an auto-immune response. Already research is showing that these mRNA vaccines produce a longer-lived and more stable immunity than getting the virus itself!

These are all huge benefits to getting the vaccine. However, as with everything in life, it is not without risks. mRNA treatments are not new - they’re used in some targeted cancer therapies - however, this is humanity’s first time using mRNA therapy in a vaccine - so there are still several unknowns.

First, while many recipients do not report any immediate side-effects, there are multiple reports of patients receiving the vaccine and experiencing mild-to-severe reactions. We do not have a clear understanding of who falls into each camp.

Second, the risks of side-effects, especially in those with immune challenges or chronic disease, are largely unknown. 

Finally, any long-term side-effects (or lack thereof) from the new technology are speculative. We simply can’t know what will happen to vaccine recipients a year after the vaccine because no one has had the vaccine for more than a handful of months.

If you chose to get the vaccine, we recommend that:

  • You get it in a hospital setting if possible, in the event you have a reaction

  • Consider augmenting the vaccine with specific supplements designed to improve your immune response

We recommend against getting the vaccine if:

  • You have a known allergy to polyethylene glycol (PEG)

  • You have a history of strong allergic / anaphylactic reactions

Supplementing the Vaccine:

Any vaccine you take will be artificially inducing an immune response. It is important for your immune system to be in the best shape possible to maximize the vaccine’s impact. Several supplements have been shown to help improve the immune response to a vaccine.

To best support your system prior to and following the vaccine we recommend the following supportive supplements.

Start at least 2 days before the vaccine (2 weeks is preferable).

Continue for 3-4 days after the shot (longer if you have reactions).

  • Vitamin K2-D3: 10,000iu daily

  • Vitamin A 25,000iu daily (do not take if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant)

  • Probiotic- especially those with bifido species

  • Fish Oil 1gram 2x/day - Increase if you have any neurological side effects. - Flax Oil (if you're allergic to fish oil): 3000mg 2x/day instead

  • Glutathione 1 pill 2x/day - Increase if you have any vaccine side effects - up to 6 / day for 1 week+. - Do not take if you have a sulfur allergy, (consider NAC 600mg 2x/day instead).

Visit the Case Integrative Health Supplement Store to get these items individually, or the whole bundle from our online partner at Fullscript.

You can find the full protocol here.

And as always, if you would like to develop a personalized immune support program and go through your options in more detail, please set up an appointment with our PA Maureen.

In summary:

There is no substitute for a strong immune system. It’s your best line of defense and is ALWAYS working. Every day it protects against a barrage of billions of pathogens. The system maintains a delicate balance to protect you while still allowing you to function normally. It will shift as needed when exposed to an infection or toxin, then snap back into an active monitoring mode. Coupled with safe and effective vaccines, your body can fend off most anything you come in contact with. Keep it healthy and it will protect you long after this pandemic is history!

Dr. Casey Kelley

If You’re Curious:

Augmenting a vaccine with supplements is not new to COVID-19. Mounting research shows supplements help ANY vaccine.

Probiotics help improve the immune response to the influenza vaccines.

Vitamins D and A support vaccine responses in those who are deficient at baseline.

Omega 3 helps boost the immune system and prevent serious complications from infections.

After getting a vaccine, it’s important to support detox pathways to help your system clear out anything the immune response stirred up.

Glutathione is your body’s most potent antioxidant, along with providing overall support to support your immune system.

Other detox support after any vaccine includes binders like charcoal, sweating in a sauna or hot Epsom salt bath, and lemon water (use a straw to protect your teeth) to help alkalize your system.

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