Why it’s important to prepare for your vaccination and how to optimise your response.

Every person is unique and how efficiently the vaccine boosts your immune system depends on your state of health.  Preparing your level of wellness can greatly impact how quickly and efficiently you respond to the vaccine. Information is rapidly changing, and I regularly update this blog based on information as it comes to hand.

To understand how the vaccines work, this brilliant 3 minute YouTube clip explains how they work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZLxvo21XDg

These few steps below will not only maximise the benefit of your vaccination but also improve your overall health.


Ensure you’re eating a healthy diet with plenty of veggies, fruit, nuts/seeds, lean protein, a variety of fibre and healthy fats. Fast & processed food and sugar lowers immune response. A healthy microbiome is essential for optimal immune health, and any gut infections or inflammation will impact immune response. Consider incorporating drinking green tea – the compound in green tea (EGCG) enhances the body’s uptake of zinc and is independently antiviral effects.


  1. Ensure you’re feeling calm. Acute stress effects viral clearance
  2. Sleep is essential for optimal immunity
  3. Ensure you don’t smoke.

Supplements recommended:

  1. Ensure your micronutrients are at optimal levels including zinc, magnesium (1),Vitamin D and A (2)
  2. Vitamin C and selenium is involved in a healthy immune response
  3. As your microbiome can impact your response to COVID, there are specific strains  of probiotics that support immunity (3)
  4. Standardised (preferably practitioner quality) Curcumin derived from Turmeric has far reaching effects as an antioxidant, liver protective, immune balancing, anti-bacterial, anti-viral/fungal and anti-inflammatory.
  5. Medicinal mushrooms are specialised immune modulators

Some other useful tips:

  1. If you develop headache 4-20 days post-vaccine that does not respond to pain relief, see your doctor immediately.
  2. If you are planning on having a massage or Bowen Therapy session, I suggest waiting at least two days after each injection  just in case you have a negative reaction. Most people will have some local arm pain and swelling, but some people will have more severe, flu-like symptoms. For the latter, delay massage until you are feeling well again.

Will the vaccine affect sperm health?

A study published in July 2021 in JAMA measured sperm parameters of 45 men before and 70 days post-vaccine on this study. There appeared to be no negative impact on sperm parameters.


Will the vaccine affect my fertility, and should I get vaccinated if I’m pregnant?

The jury is still out and there are human studies in progress, but rat studies show the vaccine does not negatively impact their fertility or birth outcomes. Human studies are sparse but reassuring. In women who were advised not to become pregnant post vaccine or who had had the COVID vaccine once pregnant did not appear to have increased rates of miscarriage according to this article. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7927763/.

However, if you are aged between 35-49 and are pregnant, the risk of a miscarriage increases from the average 22.3 % to 38.7%

The updated Australian Government Health Guidelines actively encourage women planning pregnancy, who are pregnant or breastfeeding to ‘have the jab’. The potential risk of side-effects seem to outweigh the negative impact if women were to contract the virus, as the risk of early term birth increases in pregnant women who contract COVID.  There still needs to be longer term studies to investigate the impact of the vaccine on the infant, but some evidence immunity from the mother is passed onto the baby.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7927763/The updated Australian Government Health guidelines encourage women planning pregnancy, who are pregnant or breastfeeding 


Watch this Space – Novavax on the way:

A new vaccine is due to land in Australia later this year/early next year (depending on Australian assessment of trials and safety) called Novavax. It is a more traditional vaccine not based on mRNA or DNA technology. More information in this article:  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-15/what-is-novavax-vaccine-trial-results-when-australia-mrna/100215354?utm_campaign=abc_news_web&utm_content=link&utm_medium=content_shared&utm_source=abc_news_web

More questions?

The Doherty Institute did a Q & A session on 21/9/21 answering questions like “Are vaccines safe in pregnancy?”, “Should I vaccinate my teen”, “What about children under 12?”, “Is Ivermectin useful and why do we need to vaccinate when there are treatments available for severe COVID infections” and “Should I mix and match vaccines” etc.? See:


Special Pre-vaccine screening Consult $195:

Book a virtual appointment: https://holistic-health-pty-ltd.au1.cliniko.com/bookings

Are you contemplating the COVID vaccine and want to optimise your health beforehand, so you get the best response and reduce the risk of side-effects?

You will be required to complete a health questionnaire prior to our consult, held by phone or on Zoom.

I will review your overall health, immunity, risk factors, diet, stress and sleep and pathology screening tests and provide personalised recommendations with written instructions. Supplements may include vitamins, minerals, medicinal mushrooms and specialised probiotics (5)


(1) Zinc supports immune response and both this and Magnesium is involved in breakdown of mRNA  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7019735/

(2) Vitamin A is important for healthy mucosal surfaces https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6162863/

(3) BMJ 2021 https://www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/make-up-of-gut-microbiome-may-influence-covid-19-severity-and-immune-response/

(4) :How mRNA Vaccines Work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZLxvo21XDg

(5) The supplements recommended are practitioner quality zinc + vitamin C, a specific immune modulating probiotic, medicinal mushrooms, Vitamins D, A, curcumin, selenium and cofactors depending on your pathology review.

Doreen Schwegler is a Medical Scientist and Naturopath with over 30 years of experience supporting people’s health and well-being. Contact: doreen@holistichealth.com.au Bookings: https://holistic-health-pty-ltd.au1.cliniko.com/bookings