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    COVID-19 Vaccines: Current Evidence and Clinical Considerations

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    by Sheryl Hamlin

    Presented by the Institute for Functional Medicine (, this ninety minute webinar included an array of doctors with different specialties, but all versed in current Covid issues. Watch the webinar here.

    Dr. Robert Luby, MD, introduced the webinar, as part of a larger course. Speakers: Dr. Patrick Hanaway, MD, a family medicine board certified physician; Dr. Heather Zwickey, PhD, guest subject matter expert; Dr. James Carter, MD, triple boarded who is reknown for his nutritional approach to wound healing; Dr. Joel Evans, MD, board certified ob/gyn leads hormone advanced module and also AI (artificial intelligence). The full course is “Resistance, Resilience and Recovery in a Pandemic”. Today’s webinar focuses on vaccines and the post-Covid syndrome.

    What is Functional Medicine?

    Dr. Joel Evans explaned that medical school focuses on organs. Functional Medicine is different in that it adds the “trunk of the tree” or 21st Century medicine, a symptoms based medicine. The timeline used for diagnosis includes the person’s history, so the diagnosis and treatment is personalized and precise to the physiological influences of the person’s life. The approach is preventive, predictive and participatory. At the very bottom of the tree lie the roots fed by sleep and relaxation, exercise and movement, nutrition, stress and relationships. The first item in the top rectangle is “Assimilation” which is what we take in to the gut. The body handles toxins in the next two internal functions: energy and communication. He then discusses the official CDC list of co-morbidities in terms of functional medicine. He says the current conventional approach (not functional medicine) to Covid-19 underemphasizes biochemistry: mitochondrial function, hyperglycemia, inflammation, and immune system. The IFM model addresses these lifestyle issues by improving biochemical factors which in turn increases the effectiveness of vaccines and decreases the side effects.

    Source:IFM, Dr. Evans

    The Vaccine Dashboard

    Dr. Patrick Hanaway, MD, presented the vaccine dashboard of features and risks and clinical status, which shows dozens of vaccines under development worldwide, current results and papers. This dashboard is updated regularly, he said. There are known and unknown concerns.

    He said the J&J is not peer reviewed. The J&J vaccine is adenovirus technique which is a common cold virus, a weakened live pathogen. There is no listing of ingredients of the Johnson And Johnson vaccine. This vaccine goes into the cell and produces mRNA, which is also a technique used against Ebola. Sputnik and AstroZenica also use this technique.

    Pfizer and Moderna are similar in efficacy and have EUA by FDA. There are concerns about mRNA which is injected and goes into the cell, but it has shown a high efficacy with two doses.

    B-cell and T-Cell were both elevated in Pfizer and J&J vaccines. Later Dr. Zwickey will explain the importance of these measurements.

    The adenovirus is not as efficient against the South African variant of Covid and may not be effective in people older than 65 years, but highly effective against preventing hospitalizations and death. See Dashboard.

    Prevention and Treatment: Pre-Vax Protocol

    Dr. Heather Zwickey, PhD, presented factors that influence the immune response to the vaccine. She received dozens of questions prior to the webinar and selected ones which were most asked.

    What are the factors that influence the immune response to vaccination. The chart below summarizes these factors.

    Source: IFM, Dr. Zwickey.

    Dr. Zwickey said that vaccine reactions are as individual as each person. The predictability of negative side effects may be found in the factors listed in the chart. She cited Zimmerman & Curtis 2019 “Factors that influence the immune response to vaccination”.

    She said the T-cell response will keep us healthy even if a large antibody response is not produced. The fatigue reported after the vaccination is the cytokine working, which is good. No reaction to the vaccine means less cytokines which is not necessarily a positive reaction she said. Cytokines (the body’s communication system) are part of the body’s immune response. Although not mentioned, a cytokine storm is bad if the body starts to attack itself, according to some research.

    She also discussed oral versus injected vaccines, booster shots, herd immunity and other physiological conditions (cardiovascular, lung, depression and more) which affect the vaccine’s effectiveness.

    Dr. Zwickey compared a “wild virus” versus an injected virus (vaccine). Her chart (below) described the path (first row) of the virus and the differences, the primary difference being that the wild virus will continue to grow whereas the injected virus does not. There is also a different immune response if something is delivered orally versus injection. She said that wild infections do not give lifelong immunity, as previously thought. With Covid, there are post-disease factors, so the vaccine will mitigate these factors.

    Source: IFM: Dr. Zwickey

    Vaccine Hesitancy

    Dr. James Carter, MD, discussed contextual sensitivity to the vaccine. Co-morbidities are influenced by social conditions. He said the path is from concern, to curiosity to clarity to confidence. He spoke of communities whose cases were used to study the disease, rather than cure the disease in the person under study. He said, distrust is more complex with Black Americans due to a history of such.

    The vaccine rollout may not be culturally sensitive, particularly because of the homogeneity in the medical industry. Communities have different sources of their common truths. “Truth is a matter of circumstance, perspective, environment, language” said Dr. Carter. Language must be culturally sensitive, he added. The foundation of hesistancy is based on generations inequity, including his own background which he described. He chose to be vaccinated after study and understanding, which is what the medical community must impart to the hesistant.

    Pre-Vaccination Optimization (Dr. Joel Evans, MD)

    IFM has produced a protocol for treatment prior to receiving the vaccination which includes eating plenty of leafy greens, cleansing with choline, sleep, stress avoidance, anti-inflammatory agents. This protocol aids a pre-emptive improvement of immune system, inflammation and lifestyle factors. Postpone the vaccine if there is an active infection, he said. We can’t change genes, but we can improve the reaction to the vaccination, he said. Patients should not be in an auto-immune flare during vaccination. Treatments like estrogen or testosterone treatments can affect the vaccine. Sleep before and after the vaccination is essential. This topic will be discussed in greater detail in the March 2021 webinar.

    Source: IFM

    Bamlanivimab and More Trial Results

    Dr. Evans announced the FDA has recently approved Bamlanivimab for treatment in the early infection stage. IFM has added this to the treatment protocol. Read the FDA EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) here.

    Dr. Evans also said the Covid A to Z Randomized Clinical Trial found no significant improvement with Vitamin C and zinc. Read/download report here.

    Source:IFM Dr. Evans

    Question and Answer Session

    Dr. Hannaway, MD, summarized over 300 questions submitted for this webinar. This section contained newly updated statistics and is worth watching. It starts at about 62:00 into the webinar.

    For information on author, click sherylhamlin dot com

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    Citizen Reporter
    1 year ago

    Very interesting- thanks, Sheryl.

    Joyce Roberson
    Joyce Roberson
    1 year ago

    I cannot believe any doctor is suggesting/encouraging any pregnant woman/immunocompromised person receive this injection! The adverse reactions, injury and death are rising daily! In my research kids DO NOT need a #73rd vaccination. This whole scenario is a nightmare and there are hardly suggestions of natural selections to support the immune system. I am a doctor and I have witnessed the horrible effects of these “injection devices”. I have several close friends w/comorbidoties and they have all been hospitalized or visited the ER after two doses of the “vaccine “.
    My thoughts, research and knowledge cannot be expressed on this tiny comment section.

    1 year ago
    Reply to  Joyce Roberson

    When you say you are a “doctor” are you saying you’re a *medical* doctor?

    Or are you conveniently leaving out the fact that your PhD isn’t in anything related to infectious disease?


    Citizen Reporter
    1 year ago
    Reply to  Joyce Roberson

    1. No unreasonable limit on comment length, if it’s good.
    2. Use links to your blog or other site where research appears.

    1 year ago

    Probably not the best information.

    Gayle Washburn
    Gayle Washburn
    1 year ago

    Wow. This is a really helpful article! Much more informative and effective than the fear porn on television. My mom is up for her second vaccine and I will encourage her to rest and be sure to eat healthy with some fiber.

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