Monthly Family Update – March 2021

Here are the contents of this month’s newsletter:

  1. E-book sale of some of my books
  2. The Best Gift endorsed by Debbie Macomber comes out November 16
  3. The Natural Medicines Handbook comes out April 6
  4. Answers to last month’s prayers
  5. Prayer requests for this month
  6. Past Issues

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CDC reports on COVID-19 vaccine safety data

The first report on the COVID vaccine’s safety profile is nothing short of amazing.

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My Patients Ask — What about taking Claritin before the COVID vaccine to reduce side effects?

What are your thoughts on taking Claritin before or after the Covid shot? My daughter took it for muscle aches and it worked wonderfully. A cancer research center has recommended it. Have you heard of this? Continue reading

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Friday’s COVID Vaccine update — Can You Take the 2nd Shot (the booster) Early?

Barb and I had our first COVID vaccine (Moderna) on January 6 (her birthday). The clinic scheduled our follow-up (2nd or booster) shot for February 2. “But that’s less than the recommended four weeks, isn’t it,” I asked the doctor. His answer agreed with the recommendation from the CDC.

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My Patients Ask — Should I take zinc or vitamin C to help prevent or treat COVID?

There’s been a lot on the internet about using zinc and/or vitamin C to prevent or reduce the symptoms of COVID. Now we have our first good data to answer the question of whether these natural medicines are effective or not in the outpatient treatment of COVID.

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My Female Patients Ask — Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I would like to get pregnant?

Yes. People who want to get pregnant in the future may receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

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My Female Patients Ask: Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I am pregnant?

Probably, but we don’t know for sure. Different expert groups have differing recommendations.

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My Patients Ask — What’s the Latest on Hydroxychloroquine for the Prevention of COVID?

After almost a year of incredibly contentious debate about the place of the old medication, hydroxychloroquine, in the prevention of COVID-19, we finally have what I think is the first randomized controlled trial to give us a pretty good answer — it does NOT work! Continue reading

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“His Brain – Her Brain” on sale at your e-book store

The e-version of our best-selling marriage book, His Brain, Her Brain: How divinely designed differences can strengthen your marriage, is on sale at your favorite e-book store for $2.99. It’s a limited-time offer.

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Friday’s COVID Vaccine update — Can Antihistamines Be Taken To Reduce the Risk of Anaphylaxis?

Patients and friends have been asking this excellent question. Here is the latest advice from the CDC.

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My Patients Ask — Should we just wait for herd immunity rather than take the COVID vaccine?

No. Typically, herd immunity is achieved when you have 70 to 90 percent of a population immune through natural infection or vaccination. Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — Walking for Health

I enjoy being able to answer questions from the readers of Today’s Christian Living magazine in my “Ask Dr. Walt” column. Here’s a recent Q&A about exercise: Continue reading

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My Patients Ask: Can COVID vaccines cause side effects in most people?

No. Side effects such as fatigue or headache occur in under five percent of participants. Less than two percent developed muscle aches or fever.

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My Patients Ask: Will a COVID-19 vaccine alter my DNA?

No. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.

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Friday’s COVID Vaccine update — Comparing the Two mRNA Vaccines

Patients and friends are asking about the two extremely effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 (caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2) from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna compare. Here is a nice summary of the differences in each that was prepared by my friends at ConsumerLab.com.


How the two mRNA Vaccines Compare

Pfizer/BioNTech
(mRNA)
Moderna
(mRNA)
Efficacy After 1st dose: 52% (Some protection as early as 10 days after 1st dose).

After 2nd dose: 95%

After 1st dose: Not known

After 2nd dose: 94% (Efficacy in those 65 and older is a little lower, about 86%; however, overall, some evidence of greater protection against severe disease)

Most Common Side Effects Injection site pain, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, fever; more common after 2nddose Injection site pain, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, chills, nausea/vomiting, fever; more common after 2nd dose. Higher rate of side effects than with Pfizer. Facial swelling in 2 people with a history of cosmetic filler injections has also been reported 1-2 days after last dose.
Duration of side effects Can last several days Typically one day, but can last up to one week
Serious allergic reaction No increased risk seen in clinical trials but has been reported on 1st dose during roll-out. Treatable with epinephrine. Affected people should not receive a second dose. No increased risk seen in clinical trials but has been reported on 1st dose during roll-out. Treatable with epinephrine. Affected people should not receive a second dose.
Where to Get Requires very low-temperature storage, so availability may be more limited to hospitals and specialized settings. Requires only regular refrigeration, so may be more broadly available, such as in doctor’s offices, clinics, rural locations.
Ingredients (per dose)

(Note: PEGis polyethylene glycol)

  • 30 mcg nucleoside-modified mRNA
  • Lipids (fatty substances)
    • (4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate)
    • 2[PEG 2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide
    • 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine
    • Cholesterol
  • Potassium chloride
  • Monobasic potassium phosphate
  • Sodium chloride
  • Dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate
  • Sucrose (sugar)
  • 100 mcg nucleoside-modified mRNA
  • Lipids (fatty substances)
    • SM-102
    • PEG 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol (DMG)
    • Cholesterol
    • 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC)
  • Tromethamine
  • Tromethamine hydrochloride
  • Acetic acid
  • Sodium acetate
  • Sucrose (sugar)

*The CDC has recommended that people who experience anaphylaxis after the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should not receive additional doses (CDC, 2020).
Sources: FDA Fact Sheet for Administering Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine; FDA Fact Sheet for Administering Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine; Polack, N Engl J Med 2020; Mahase, BMJ 2020; New York Times (12/16/02)


This blog was accurate as of the day of posting. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly evolves and the scientific community’s understanding of the novel coronavirus and the COVID vaccine develops, the information above may have changed since it was last updated. While I aim to keep all of my blogs on COVID and the COVID vaccine up to date, please visit online resources provided by the CDC, WHO, and your local public health department to stay informed on the latest news.

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2021. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

 

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My Patients Ask: Will a COVID-19 vaccination protect me from getting sick with COVID-19?

Yes. COVID-19 vaccination works by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting seriously sick with COVID-19.

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Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — Exercise Prescription

I enjoy being able to answer questions from the readers of Today’s Christian Living magazine in my “Ask Dr. Walt” column. Here’s a recent Q&A about exercise: Continue reading

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My Patients Ask: If I had COVID-19 do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, a COVID vaccine should be offered to you regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection. Continue reading

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My Patients Ask: What’s the most important reason to get the COVID vaccine?

There are several. To prevent hospitalization and death is the most important, but least likely. To prevent spreading it to family and friends is important and likely. But to prevent YOU from long-term side effects of COVID itself may be the most important. Continue reading

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Friday’s COVID Vaccine Update — Why Mask After Taking the Vaccine?

Patients and friends are asking why they must keep on with hand washing and wearing a mask along with physical distancing around folks outside their immediate family. Here is a nice summary prepared by my friends at ConsumerLab.com based upon the CDC recommendations.

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My Patients Ask: After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, will I test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?

No. Neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection. Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — Sitting Disease

I enjoy being able to answer questions from the readers of Today’s Christian Living magazine in my “Ask Dr. Walt” column. Here’s a recent Q&A about exercise: Continue reading

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My Patients Ask: Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?

No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

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Monthly Family Update – February 2021

Here are the contents of this month’s newsletter:

  • WWII Book About My Dad’s Heroism and Exploits
  • “Fit over 50” e-book promotion for $1.99 (OFFER ENDS 2/2/21)
  • “Ask Dr. Walt” in Today’s Christian Living
  • Vaccine News You Can Use
  • Answers to last month’s prayers
  • Prayer requests for this month
  • Past Issues

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Friday’s COVID Vaccine Update — Should I take pain relievers when I get the vaccine?

Patients and friends are asking if pain relievers/fever reducers can be taken to reduce the side effects of the COVID vaccine. Here is a nice summary prepared by my friends at ConsumerLab.com.

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Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — Treating Sleeplessness

I enjoy being able to answer questions from the readers of Today’s Christian Living magazine in my “Ask Dr. Walt” column. Here’s a recent Q&A about sleep:

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Friday’s COVID Vaccine Update — Who Should NOT Get Vaccinated?

My friends at ConsumerLab.com have updated their excellent article answering the question: Who Should or Should Not Get Vaccinated with the COVID vaccine?

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Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — Advice for Better ZZZs

I enjoy being able to answer questions from the readers of Today’s Christian Living magazine in my “Ask Dr. Walt” column. Here’s a recent Q&A about better sleep: Continue reading

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Monday Memo — Who’s Who in the World

Wow. I just received a notice that I’ll be listed in the 2021 edition of “Who’s Who in the World.” Continue reading

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Friday’s COVID Vaccine Update — The Vaccine and Allergies

My friends at ConsumerLab.com have a great update on the COVID vaccine and all the allergies you’ve been hearing about. Below are some details. I use this information to answer questions my patients have about taking th COVID vaccine with a history of allergies to anything.

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