Covid 19 Vaccination Update
by Dr. Michael Kane
As with all aspects of life, the more informed you are when it comes to healthcare decisions, the more likely you will make the best choice for you, your family and your community.
With the arrival of the FDA approved Pifzer and Moderna Covid19 vaccines and, the soon-to-be sanctioned, AstraZeneca vaccine not far behind, being well informed is more critical than ever!
So to help, we’ve put together some basic information about the vaccines, their availability and, most importantly, how they work, so you can determine what is right for you.
Keep in mind that some of this information is constantly changing due to supply chains fluctuations, new cases study findings and other factors. We’ve included links to sites that can keep you up to date.
Like most states, Connecticut is following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) tiered roll-out guidelines. We are presently in phase 1a which offers vaccinations to Healthcare Personnel, longer Term Care Facility Residents and Medical First Responders as well as individuals 75 and older who were originally scheduled to be in Phase 1b
Phase 1b, starting sooner then first expected will include frontline essential workers, and individual in congregate settings, individuals between the ages of 65 and 74 and those with comorbidities between the ages of 16 and 64.
For more information: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Vaccinations
Should I get a vaccine or not?
Here’s what we know about the effectiveness, safety and risks associated with the approved vaccines:
- Dosing: All three vaccines need to be given in two injections, the Moderna and AstraZennica 3 weeks apart, PFIZER, 4 weeks.
- Efficacy: All three appear to prevent disease within 7 to 14 days after the second dose, resulting in a more powerful immune response than natural infection, i.e. those who had Covid 19.
- Efficacy: The Pifzer and Moderna vaccines both have very good effective rates (95%) for the short time frame of study. AstraZenica’s effective rate during their initial study was between 62 to 90%, ( What Exaxctly The Percentage Means) depending on the dosage.
- Duration: Moderna reports their drug is effective for one year. The longevity of the other vaccines have yet to be determined.
- Side effects: People should expect to have some side effects similar to after getting a flu vaccine. Expect temporary side effects such as soreness in your arm where you got the shot, body aches, fatigue and perhaps a fever. These side effects typically last from 12 to 72 hours.
There are groups that should not get the vaccine because no data is available for how their bodies would respond.
- Anyone under 16 years of age
- Pregnant or breastfeeding woman or those who are considering having children
- People with extreme allergic reactions
These vaccines are egg free and, for the most part, free of toxic metals like Mercury. However, people with extreme allergic reactions should NOT take the vaccine. There have been allergic reactions to the vaccine, and a more cautious environment should be taken if you have a history of allergies or asthma.
Here are the fact sheets for the two available vaccines which includes their ingredients.
Pfizer fact sheet: https://www.fda.gov/media/144414/download
Moderna fact sheet: https://www.fda.gov/media/144638/download
Based on posts by some Anti-Vaxer sites, there is a fear that the injection of the genetic material in the vaccine will somehow disrupt our body cells and create changes in our individual DNA. In essence, they seem to be conflating the genetic material with genetic modification, which is erroneous and highly unlikely.
The more realistic concerns are: what is the vaccines’ impact on the immune activation system? Will it create or contribute to inflammatory pathways or have some other unforeseen impact on chronic health conditions? Unfortunately, these will only be answered over time. At present there is no indication either way.
Supporting your immune system
Whether you opt for the vaccine or not, there are ways you can strengthen your immune system and its ability to respond to contagions. This could include taking supplements such as Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, Zinc, Querctin, NAC and Botanicals.
Probiotics should not be forgotten as a way to support immune optimization.
Talk to your doctor for help creating your prevention plan.
How the vaccines work
All of these vaccines use genetic material of the virus to elicit an immune response. This mRNA viral technology is new. In the past, vaccines would use whole or pieces of viral particles that had been “inactivated”. Those Attenuated viral particles have been used in various vaccines to create immune system stimulations. The AstraZeneeca vaccine also uses genetic material in the form of DNA.
In all cases, they take the genetic code of the proteins on the outside of the virus, a very small portion of the entire genetic code, and use it to create an immune response.
It is an exciting advancement and, so far, results are promising. However, the long term results are still unknown. This method of immune stimulation might impact some of us more than others, for instance those with autoimmune conditions might be at more of a risk.
Get information on how the vaccines work:
For more information on the different types of vaccines: https://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/different-types-vaccines
For Frequently asked Questions about vaccines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/faq.html