Friday morning I had my second dose of the Moderna vaccine. After the first dose, the only symptoms I had were a very slight spacy feeling and an arm that felt like it had been hit with a baseball bat for about 36 hours. (I know what that feels like, my brother ‘accidently’ hit me once with one as a kid during a game!) The second shot is, for most people, a very different experience. I tell you this, not to scare you off the vaccine, but so you can be better prepared and know how to deal with it. The most important and helpful thing to do with the inevitable painful arm is KEEP MOVING IT. Stretch, pump your fist, hold your hand over your head and wiggle your fingers – even though it hurts, from the moment you get the shot keep it moving. Topricin is also helpful, and they may tell you to use ice, but as I explain below, the soreness is an inflammatory reaction that activates your immune system, you don’t want to suppress it.
By Friday evening I was feeling tired, a little achy, had a slight headache, felt a little queasy and started running a fever of 100.2.
Friday night was, quite honestly, miserable. I was feverish, incredibly uncomfortable and slept very poorly. Yesterday I still had a fever, slight headache, queasy stomach, but was generally less uncomfortable. Last night I slept very well for over 10 hours and woke up today feeling great! Through all of this I resisted the overwhelming desire to suppress the fever and achiness with Tylenol or aspirin, using only homeopathics, vitamin C and lots of fluids to support my system.
Why did I let myself suffer? The purpose of the vaccination process is to educate your immune system about the potential virus, so that if you are exposed it already knows how to react and can mount a quick, efficient, effective response. From the holistic perspective, we want to encourage the immune system’s response to the vaccine, not suppress it. Fever increases immune activity. The inflammation is a healthy type of inflammation that is initiated by the immune system to activate certain white blood cells that create the antibodies and memory cells that will remember the virus, so your system can rapidly respond if exposed to coronavirus.
If you take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Celebrex, Mobic or aspirin then you are blocking the beneficial inflammation generated by the immune system and blunting the immune response to the vaccine. A similar, but lesser effect happens with acetaminophen (Tylenol) or even ice. Especially, don’t take them before the shot in an attempt to prevent a reaction. We want the reaction!
The homeopathic remedy Thuja is for vaccine reactions, it supports your body in dealing with any vaccine and is said to be helpful for preventing longer term reactions to vaccines. I took a dose of Thuja 30C Friday evening which did help me to feel better. I decided at 4am to take a dose of Oscillococcinum which is the homeopathic remedy for the flu. Within an hour I felt like the fever broke and the achiness decreased. I repeated the Oscillococcinum 2 more times on Saturday, and also took a dose of Arnica 30C on Friday and Saturday. The remedy Belladonna is helpful for fever and achiness, unfortunately I didn’t have any or I would have taken that Friday night as well.
While the percentage of effectiveness for preventing you from actually getting COVID varies, in clinical trials, out of many thousands of people who received either the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson and Johnson vaccines, only one person became ill enough to be hospitalized and no one died. Other vaccines show similar results in preventing serious illness and hospitalization. They are all very, very effective in educating the immune system to keep a COVID infection from becoming serious. So let’s look at how we can make the vaccine more effective and maximize our protection.
The following drugs have been shown to decrease the effectiveness of vaccines and should be avoided when possible before your vaccination appointment and during the time your body is responding to it, which is up to 1 month after your second dose: antibiotics, statins (have been shown to decrease flu vaccine effectiveness) and steroids such as Prednisone. Also, alcohol use in the days before and 2 weeks after each dose can stress your liver and effect immune response.
I believe that we can use our holistic tools to decrease our chances of getting any virus and improve the efficacy of the COVID vaccine. Vitamins C and D, zinc, immune supportive medicinal mushrooms and herbs, lots of sleep, water, protein, vegetables, and eliminating sugar, junk food and managing our stress are the best tools at our disposal. I also believe that since this pandemic has been allowed to flourish though blatant mismanagement and lies, we are at a place where we need to be vaccinated. So let’s do all we can to support the process.
I traded 2 days of discomfort for an increased sense of security, and the ability to work with you in my office in greater safety. I encourage you to do the same and am here to support you in your process.
Yours in Health and Peace,