5 min|Dr. Lawrence Chan
COVID-19 Update January 2022Clinic Updates, Wellness, Health, Immune Health
Throughout this pandemic, North American governments and medical establishments have had the primary goal of limiting the number of hospital admissions in an effort to avoid overtaxing the healthcare facilities and their staff. There was no doubt that the initial COVID-19 strain exhibited a tendency, in certain subgroups of the population, toward major respiratory and hematological concerns that require hospitalization, and an overtaxing of healthcare systems was a concern.
In order to limit hospital admissions, governments recommended ‘temporary’ social distancing, as well as, under certain circumstances, quarantining or self-isolation, while we waited for ‘a fully vaccinated population of at least 70% to achieve acceptable herd immunity’. Just a few months ago, the USA was moving towards a relaxation of mask and social distancing regulations as the population, in certain states, was approaching the goal of double vaccination.
Enter the new COVID-19 variants (delta, and now omicron) and that relaxation has been delayed. There is a renewed effort by governments to have a planned 3rd vaccine dose (‘booster’) with the possibility of scheduled 6 month or yearly ‘boosters’ on an ongoing basis.
However, the high spikes in new infections, even amongst the vaccinated, indicate that the omicron variant is evading vaccine-generated immunity. There are no absolutes, but clearly the methods utilized so far are not working as effectively as hoped when it comes to ending the COVID-19 pandemic. We can expect many more viral mutations, leading to more variants. Just as with the ongoing development of flu vaccines over the years missing the mark when trying to anticipate flu variants, we are often one step behind.
The current government-led shift is adding the use of oral antivirals to the management of the pandemic. Canada has committed millions of dollars for purchase of oral antivirals aimed at augmenting the ‘fully vaccinated’ to further reduce the number of those with COVID-19 who would need hospitalization. This could reduce hospital overcrowding and hopefully reduce the number of individuals that will be seriously ill or die from COVID-19 complications. Unfortunately, phase 3 studies on one such oral antiviral suggests it may be a costly and ineffective treatment. Additionally, the omicron variant, so far, appears to lead to less severe symptoms for most who become infected, leading to a reduction in individuals who become seriously ill or die from COVID-19 complications.
Moving towards the use of antivirals would be a very significant shift. Although it is still pharma and medically-oriented, it opens the door for primary intervention that looks beyond distancing and vaccination, and begins to hint at a naturopathic paradigm of supporting and boosting our individual immune system. Omicron, and the prospect of future variants, may be forcing the medical establishment to broaden their strategy to adapt to the current surge – and to hopefully engage other alternative treatments that may produce effective treatment and an enhancement of natural immunity against COVID-19. There is now research to suggest that natural immunity from recovered infection alongside vaccine-mediated immunity is more potent and lasting than vaccinated immunity alone.
Within this ever-changing landscape, there is a need to adopt the principle that supporting the immune system can help support recovery from infection caused by the milder omicron, and will help to achieve a more effective and lasting immune response in the future. This is our goal for the next several months in order to effectively safeguard our community health and encourage the end of this pandemic.
Although there will be an even greater number of the community infected by omicron, there likely will be proportionately fewer hospitalizations and a declining mortality rate from COVID-19. The end result will be a greater number of individuals with ‘natural immunity’ alongside vaccinated immunity – a combination that may guide us into the post-pandemic era.
Follow safe health practices and emphasize supporting your immune system to prepare for omicron, future variants, and other common pathogens that our immune system is all but guaranteed to encounter throughout a lifetime.
If not already in your immune arsenal, call the dispensary for more information on the following great supportive supplements:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D3 + K2 Combo
- Sterol 117
- Immune Boost
Another useful tool to support the immune system is IV therapy treatment. By infusing nutrients directly into the bloodstream, these nutrients are able to travel throughout the body to various tissues and cells. Depending on your nutrient status and health concerns, benefits of IV Therapy vary from person to person. We encourage you to speak with your Integrative Naturopath to see what supplements or IV’s may be right for you.
Sincerely, Dr Larry Chan N.D.