As the Covid-19 Vaccine has become available to everyone over 16 years old I have recently received a high volume of questions regarding my views on the vaccine. I thought I would address them here so that you can have my opinion which is based on the most recent scientific research and information. 

I personally had to do a lot of research to educate myself on the vaccines and make the decision to get the vaccine for myself and my family as well answer patients’ questions. After some exhaustive research I decided to get the vaccine and here are my reasons. 

Research shows that getting the vaccine will prevent hospitalization and or death from COVID-19. Research shows that getting the vaccine you will be less likely to get COVID-19 and if you do, the vaccine reduces the severity of symptoms and shortens the duration, therefore, preventing the possibility of “Longhaulers Syndrome” which I have seen first hand and is devastating for the patients suffering from it. I truly believe that if the majority of the population does not get the vaccine we will continue to see the variants/mutations in the population and not really ever get it under control. And lastly, if we want to travel and get back to a life closer to what we are accustomed to, we need to be vaccinated. 

In my research the person I trust the most on immunology is my Immunology professor Dr. Heather Zwickey PHD. Heather Zwickey earned a Ph.D. in Immunology and Microbiology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center with a focus on infectious disease and vaccine development. Dr. Zwickey went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship and teach at Yale University School of Medicine, where she worked on immunotherapy for cancer. She was then recruited to the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR, where she launched the Helfgott Research Institute and established the School of Graduate Studies, developing programs in integrative medicine research, nutrition, and global health. She currently co-leads an NIH funded clinical research training program focused on training the next generation of integrative medicine researchers. She teaches at many universities and speaks at conferences worldwide, including AIHM faculty in the AIHM Fellowship program. At Helfgott Research Institute, Dr. Zwickey applies her immunology expertise to natural medicine, with a specific interest in the gut-brain axis in neuroinflammation.

Dr. Zwickey has been sought out for her knowledge regarding COVID-19, because of her expertise in infectious disease and vaccine development. She’s spoken on more than 30 podcasts, written articles, and been a resource for people with tough questions. She answers questions on how the vaccines are made and work in your body as well as some of the myths about the vaccines here. Some of the concerns about fertility and long term immunity are 

addressed here. She speaks to how the vaccines affect different medications and possible effects on test results like inflammatory tests and mammograms here. Dr. Zwickey speaks on Efficacy, Safety and the Road Ahead here

There have also been questions about the J&J vaccine and blood clots, here is a good article from US Today breaking down the myths and facts. Basically comparing the risk of blood clots and birth control. The FDA estimates the risk of developing a clot for a woman on the pill is about 0.3% to 0.09%. By comparison, the clots associated with the J&J vaccine are six in 6.8 million, or about 0.00009%.” 

If you still have questions about your individual medical conditions and the vaccine I am happy to schedule a brief call to discuss what makes the most sense for you and your specific medical needs. 

I have to say having been fully vaccinated since February there has been a weight lifted from my shoulders and mind that I didn’t fully recognize or understand until I was fully vaccinated. I feel like there is more freedom and ability to see friends and family as well as travel. Not to mention hopefully see my patients in person soon. 

 

Be well,

Dr. Erika Horowitz