The Vaccine Debate in the Time of COVID

Should I trust a completely new vaccine that has been created to fight COVID-19? 

Should I go without the new vaccine? Who can I trust and who really knows what’s going on?

These are great questions and are not new to COVID-19. These questions have been getting asked and argued about for decades. When Jonas Salk invented the polio vaccine in 1953 there were legions of people that did not trust his new shot. There were many others that could not wait to get the new shot. Many people credit the Salk vaccine with wiping out polio in our country. Many others believe polio was already being eradicated and the polio vaccine was not necessary.

Vaccines are designed to work with our inborn immune system to introduce a weakened strain of a particular pathogen. The expectation is that our immune system will build-up our defenses against the particular pathogen and be able to mount a stronger defense if we are exposed to the pathogen. However, if the person receiving the vaccine does not have a functioning immune system or they have been weakened by illness, the vaccine will not help them and could actually do them harm.

There are definite reasons a person would want to avoid certain common vaccines.  These reasons may include:

  1. Young children with a history of asthma or wheezing.  These conditions can indicate a compromised immune system which can lead to life-threatening complications if given a vaccine.
  2. People with chronic diseases such as heart disease, liver disease or asthma.  Again, these conditions can indicate a compromised immune system which can lead to life-threatening complications if given a vaccine.
  3. People with certain muscle or nerve diseases that can cause breathing problems.
  4. People that are currently moderately to severely ill.  If a person is already fighting an illness the immune response anticipated from being given a vaccine may cause deeper problems from the underlying illness.

Perhaps the most important part of this discussion is individual preparation.  Each of us can strengthen our own vitality to be better prepared if/when we are exposed to whatever pathogen the vaccine is designed to help us fight.

The health actions recommended for everyone, no matter their personal views on vaccines, are:

  • Work to maintain optimal nutrition at all times.  This means limiting fast food, processed foods and most foods you receive through the window of your car.  Eat whole foods that are minimally processed and include natural proteins, vegetables and fruits.
  • Take good nutritional supplements to compliment the nutrition from natural foods. A good multi-vitamin as well as individual Vitamins C, D and minerals such as zinc, calcium and magnesium.
  • Regularly exercise, at least 30 minutes a day of movement to get the heart rate up and work the muscles.
  • Get regular, consistent sleep. This means sleeping at the same time every night and getting a minimum of 7 or more hours of sleep.

After 35 years of giving health advice, I do not believe there is one correct answer regarding vaccines for everyone. I encourage my patients to become informed using reputable scientific information. Whatever one chooses regarding vaccines, always build as much strength and natural immunity within oneself as possible. Be Blessed.

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