Nurture Integrative Health

One naturopathic physician’s experience with the Covid-19 mRNA Vaccine…

As 2020 moved from February to March, the whisperings about a novel virus moved into a scream.  At the time, many of us felt that a few weeks of sacrifice – staying home, using delivery services when possible, moving to Zoom for work and appointments – would get us back to “normal” quickly.  How naïve we were!

As weeks turned into months and the ballooning Covid-19 numbers became a full-on pandemic, I was grateful to my mentor Dr. Paul Herscu for his work on pandemic research over the last few decades.  I’ve studied homeopathy with Dr. Herscu and his wife Dr. Amy Rothenberg over the last 15 years, and as a side dish received lots of fascinating information on viral spread, starting with the H1N1 virus.  If you’d like to check out Dr. Herscu’s work, you can find it here  If there is anyone I trust with information about the current pandemic, it is Dr. Herscu.

So, after much fanfare about the release of the mRNA Covid-19 vaccines, fielding questions from dozens of patients, family members, and friends about the vaccines, and considering whether when it was my turn, I would sign myself up for a jab that was brought to market in record time, I decided.  YES.  I am healthy, qualify to receive the vaccine, and know the supplements that work for my body to reduce chances of significant discomfort after administration.

I will spare you the process of actually getting singed up, as an independent naturopathic physician in private practice it was not easy.  But, my profession is included in phase 1a of the vaccination plan, and as a physician who is seeing patients in-person for necessary exams and procedures, potentially I have increased exposure even with all precautions.   However, my biggest reason for YES to the mRNA vaccine was not about me, it was about stepping up to participate in the greatest public health campaign of my lifetime, and the desire to report symptoms and side effects of this vaccine so that those further down on the list have better medical recommendations about the precautions, risks, and benefits of mRNA Covid-19 vaccines.

I received my first mRNA Moderna Covid-19 vaccine yesterday.  Because I had one episode of anaphylaxis in my early 20s, I was monitored for 30 minutes after administration.  Thus far, all I have is a sore arm.  I have created an account with the CDC’s Vsafe to report any side effects.  I will receive my next vaccine dose in a month.  And, I will continue to social distance, wear masks, add a face shield in the office for close exams and procedures, and sanitize everything possible for as long as needed.  While we have great hope that these vaccines will reduce spread, the data is still being collected.  We do know that these vaccines reduce incidence and severity of Covid-19 infection in those who receive 2 doses of the vaccine.  The Covid-19 vaccine is just a beginning of the answer to the question I was asked last week “Dr. Jennifer, do you think this pandemic will ever end?”

I sure hope so.  I think a vaccine is our best hope for a pandemic that ends soon.  I am happy to take part in the early roll-out of the mRNA vaccines, and feel good about my choice to participate in post-market research that will help those lower on the vaccine priority list to receive the vaccine safely.  I’ll keep you posted on my experiences over the next weeks and months.

Looking for personalized naturopathic healthcare? 

Book a session with Dr. Jennifer Karon today.  Call or text 503-244-0500 to schedule.


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