Genetics behind why some people develop “Long-Haulers” after Covid, and other people to not.

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New study links genetics to vaccine effectiveness.

(Quotes are from the 23 and me Blog. November 2021)

Last week we talked about the research 23 and Me has done determining individual responses to the three Covid vaccine, based on the genetics of the HLA type of the individual. This week we will review their research on people who have gotten Covid infections and become Long-Haulers, those patients who develop long lasting illness and organ damage from getting the virus. We will look at the genetic characteristics of those patients who are at risk for Long Hauler condition after Covid.

A recent study by researchers at the Translational and Clinical Research Institute within Newcastle University found that an allele (gene) protective against severe COVID-19 symptoms in the HA gene, at HLA-DRB1*04:01, was found at much higher frequency in people of Northwestern European ancestry.”

 That means that if your inheritance, your ancestors come from northwestern Europe, you are less likely to develop a severe case of Covid, or “long haulers” complications. They have also found that those people with Blood type O and B are less likely to have severe effects to covid, the vaccine to covid and less likely to have severe long-term side effects of covid infection.

The way I look at this is that if you can determine your risk of severe infection or severe reaction to the Covid virus from your genetics, then you can decide whether you should take the risk of getting the vaccine, or not, and the risk of getting infected and having long-term reactions to it, so you can determine whether you should always wear a mask in public or not, get a vaccine or whether you should fly on a plane or not.

Without knowing your risk how can you determine how to run your life in a pandemic?  We should be concentrating on three things:

  1. Determining individual risk, based on genetics, so an individual can make an educated decision about his activity, vaccination and or use of masks.
  2. To find this risk you must know your blood type, your HLA type (which most of us don’t know), and whether you are protected from severe long haulers, by ancestors who were from northwestern Europe.
  3. Be realistic about your risk dictated by your lifestyle, and that can be somewhat controlled by how we live our lives: If you are obese, smoke, are over 60, eat processed foods, drink alcohol daily, don’t exercise, or if you have any diseases or take medications that suppress your immune system, you should take all precautions including getting vaccinated.  More importantly you should change your lifestyle and go on a mission to get healthy.

Besides cleaning up your life, there is no magic bullet that protects everyone. We now know that Covid 19 can be deadly to certain individuals, and to others it doesn’t even make them sick.  The same genetic HLA type people who have bad reactions to vaccines also have the most severe infections with Covid 19. This puts these patients in a trick box…they need to be vaccinated but they are at risk for complications, however if they get the covid virus they may die.  In this case looking at other health factors may tip the scales toward vaccination or the opposite toward quarantine for an unknown time.  A doctor should be the one to assist you in this decision.

The one non-genetic factor that puts you more at risk for reactions to the vaccines is a previous Covid 19 infection.  If you are at risk otherwise and need to have the vaccine to protect yourself from death or long-haulers then waiting 6 or more months since your Covid infection to be vaccinated is advised.

I wish the best to you all…this is a time of learning for doctors and virologists alike…we increase our knowledge every day and I will try to keep you up to date with the research and the advice based on that research.

At this time, to be preventative, everyone should improve their immune status by eating a good whole food diet low in carbs, high in fruit and veggies, and by taking Vitamin C 500-1000mg/day, Zinc 15-50 mg/day with Copper 2-6mg/day, Quercetin, Methyl B complex, have your hormones replaced including estradiol and testosterone after menopause and testosterone for men after age 55-60, and exercising daily.

Then determine your genetic status if possible and take the precautions necessary for your level of risk.

This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author. 993-0963.

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