Vaccines vs Rising Variants of Concern

The race against the spread of the Coronavirus and more lethal variants is real.  The longer people hesitate to get their vaccine, the more time we give the virus to spread and replicate/mutate into more variants.  Some of the variants present real threats to any hope of ending the pandemic so we can live a (new) normal life.  While 20 of our States are reporting cases on the rise, the Brazilian Variant, P.1 is causing high death rates in younger people and has the Brazilian Hospital System in collapse, and has already been detected in 22 States, with an alarming number of cases in British Columbia, Canada.

It saddens me that many people are still acting as if the choice to receive the vaccine is political.  It is not political.  Getting vaccinated is the best thing you can do as a citizen to help our common cause of ending the pandemic.  If you feel nervous about the new technology of the mRNA vaccines, now you can receive the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine, which uses an adenovirus vector which is a technology that has been around for decades and has been used for tuberculosis, HIV, and influenza.  This is different than the PEG liposomes used in mRNA vaccines.  I have studied the science and I can assure you that the highest level of caution, sound methodologies and good trials were used (with a few small missteps) in the development of both the mRNA and the J&J vaccines.  The technology for the mRNA vaccines has been decades in the making, and even though people fear things were rushed, it was actually more that the existing science was accelerated. Millions have received the shot(s) and are doing well.  I have assisted a number of my patients through the mRNA vaccines. A couple have had lingering side effects such as headaches and chilblains.  That may be because the mRNA vaccines produce a vigorous immune response, which is desirable because that is how it creates a high concentration of antibodies.  The Scientists at Operation Warp Speed and the former administration brought us the vaccine,  but then failed massively at delivering and administering it.  Now, the former president has publicly recommended that his followers be vaccinated and has admitted he himself received it.  This happened secretly, back in January. While it is true that a few people have died, possibly as a bad reaction to the vaccine, I would suspect there was some undiagnosed auto immune or inflammatory process in these individuals.  If you have seen such signs in your own body, then I can understand why you would be wary.  If, however you are mostly healthy, the risk is FAR, far less to die from vaccine when compared to Covid-19 disease.  Heartbreakingly, we have lost 550,000 American Lives to the pandemic compared to a tiny percentage from the vaccine + undiagnosed immune imbalances.

It is very impressive that the US has gone from the absolute worst pandemic response in the world with the most deaths, hospitalizations and cases, to first in the world for vaccine administration and subsequent reduction in deaths within a few short weeks under proper leadership, and we can be proud!  Now that Democrats in Congress have passed the American Rescue Plan (sadly without a single Republican vote), there is a great surge of hope buoying us this Spring. While the temptation to go out and party is high, we absolutely must remain steadfast in practicing increased hygiene, physical distancing and mask wearing in public.  Yes, we all have pandemic fatigue, but If we all pull together, it will only be for a little while longer! If we mess this up, we will likely have a deadly 4TH WAVE due to the Variants of Concern (see below).

Starting April 1st, California will be expanding vaccine eligibility to Californians age 50 and older.  On April 15th, eligibility will open to all Californians over the age of 16.  That means if you are 50 or over, book your appointment now. Furthermore, Governor Newsom has given the Green Light for anyone who accompanies a family member, to receive a vaccine at the same time without prior appointment. I would say as a matter of courtesy and not holding up those with appointments, limit your accompanying family to two members at your discretion.  This site is user friendly and makes vaccine selection easy:  It is also worthwhile to check with your local pharmacy to see what is available.

The CDC recommends that if you have recovered from Covid-19,  you should be vaccinated about 3 months after the illness.  I would say that if you have any auto immune disease, that you should be vaccinated at 6 months post Covid.  There are some data showing that for those sick with Long-haul Covid, that getting the vaccine helps catapult the immune system out of it.

The AstraZeneca vaccine has been stalled because it was shown to be less than 50% effective against the South African Variant.  The J&J vaccine so far has shown 66% effectiveness against the menacing Brazilian Variant, and 57% effectiveness against the South African Variant, as well as 100% reduction in severe illness by day 49 post vaccination.  J&J has also begun preliminary studies on producing a booster specifically against Variants of Concern.  Now the UK Variant, which is 63% more transmissible than the original wild type and will lead to more cases and deaths, is the dominant variant in the US, with the New York Variant, and the California Variant also on the rise.  All this to say: even after you are vaccinated or if you have recovered from Covid-19, you still must wear a mask in public.  These more transmissible variants can get into your nasal cavity and you could carry and spread it, asymptomatically.  Or, you could get sick again should you have the misfortune of contracting the Brazilian Variant or the S. African Variant.

I have assisted 47 people with positive Covid-19 treat themselves with natural therapeutics.  To date, none of them have had to go to the hospital, nor died.  This is a very small group, however I am happy that Functional Medicine/natural therapeutics are safe and effective, even if the FTC isn't.  In bigger news: If you or someone you love has active Covid-19 and the pulse oximeter reading is at 90 or below, instead of going straight to the hospital, now you can go to an Infusion Center to receive IV Monoclonal Antibodies at no cost to you!! We are incredibly fortunate to have access to this life saving therapeutic.  To find a location, look here:

I have an appointment to receive the J&J vaccine on April 13 and I will share with you what happens.  (You may recall that I have some auto-immune imbalance and allergies.)  I got the appointment by checking several times a day, and I will receive it at Kedren Medical Center, which I coincidentally mentioned in my last newsletter.

And for some of my dear patients, please know that conspiracy theories only slow our recovery and sow the opposite of healing, leading to more loss.

Let us all do our part; we need to end the pandemic…at home and globally.  And we can do it if we all step up.

Copyright © 2021 Dr. Jeanette Ryan, DC, IFMCP, All rights reserved.
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