My approach to treating patients with COVID-19 continues to evolve.
Since the onset of the pandemic, treating an exposed or infected person has been controversial and confusing. Some doctors promote an aggressive approach using many products, while others feel nothing should be done.
Over the past few months, I have developed and published my protocols for treating my exposed and positive COVID-19 patients (you can read my original protocols released in November 2020 here). Based on evidence that was recently released (Jan. 2021), I am expanding my protocols to include using Ivermectin, Colchicine, and steroids.
As a stand-alone agents, none of the above medications appear to be effective against COVID-19. However, the data shows a positive signal for keeping patients out of the hospital when nutraceuticals and prescription drugs are COMBINED early in the infection.
Below is a summary of my updated protocols
Pre-Exposure without being vaccinated
No change: Nutraceuticals for prevention (Click here for details)
Pre-Exposure in people who have been fully vaccinated
No change: Streamlined nutraceuticals for prevention (Click here for details)
Exposed to COVID-19
Start a one week burst of our nutraceutical combination of Vitamin D3, Zinc, and Quercetin. I am now recommending to add a high-dose Vitamin C to this combination. (Click here for details)
Positive for COVID-19 in a person UNDER age 50 with NO underlying health conditions.
Note, less than 1% of this group has been hospitalized or had long-term complications from COVID-19; adding antibiotics is not recommended.
Start/Complete our one week burst of high-dose nutraceutical (Click here for details)
Positive for COVID-19 in a person UNDER age 50 WITH a co-morbid condition (obese, known diabetes, known coronary disease, known lung disease, history of cancer, or chronic kidney disease). Pregnancy is also a risk factor; contact your obstetrician for medical advice.
- Start/Complete our one week high dose nutraceutical burst and get a monoclonal antibody infusion x 1 (access to these infusions have been challenging but improving).
If Monoclonal antibodies cannot be used, the following medications will be added to the nutraceutical burst in a stepwise approach:
- Start/Complete our one week nutraceutical burst.
- Add a combination of Ivermectin with Azithromycin or Doxycycline. (these are antibiotics)
- If respiratory symptoms develop in the first 30 days of infection: Add Colchicine and inhaled Budesonide twice a day (If the patient does not have a nebulizer, injectable or oral steroids can be substituted).
- If a patient is at risk for thrombosis (blood clots), anticoagulants such as aspirin are recommended x 30 days
Positive for COVID-19 in a person OVER the age of 50 AND one or more co-morbid conditions.
- Instead of using a stepwise approach, I will start all of the above simultaneously (except for injectable or oral steroids).
- If respiratory symptoms develop in the first 30 days of infection: Add injectable or oral steroids if nebulized steroids were not started.
Don’t worry about trying to memorize all of the above. We will post it on our website and guide you through it. The nutraceuticals are over the counter. However, the antibiotics and steroids are by prescription so let my office know if you have tested positive for COVID-19 as early as possible. Note: I will not start a person on the prescription products without a positive test.
My thoughts on the COVID-19 Vaccine
Despite the incredible numbers reported in the past year, the majority of Americans have not had COVID-19. I know a few of you have already been partially or fully vaccinated for COVID-19. However, most of you are still patiently waiting because a low supply of vaccine, you don’t qualify yet, or you have hesitations about being vaccinated.
To date, there has been more demand for the vaccine than supply. I know this is frustrating, but the good news is I feel this is all about to change. It appears there will soon be more supply than demand in the next 45-60 days. Next week, the FDA will review the much anticipated Johnson and Johnson vaccine. I suspect it will quickly be approved, and millions of more doses will become available. I talked with one of the local pharmacist, and she mentioned they are already making the needed preparations to give out COVID-19 vaccinations.
If you have read my previous newsletters, you know I am a massive fan of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. That is because I feel it will be the type of vaccine that allows the WORLD (not just America) to start to look normal again. The majority of shots given across the world have been in the top 40 wealthiest countries. Some countries haven’t had a single shot administered to date. The J&J vaccine should help change that. Mainly because it is easier to transport (no deep freeze needed), more stable (does not have to be used immediately after being opened), is a single dose (more compliance), and is significantly cheaper ($3/shot vs. $30/shot). These 4 reasons will allow every country to start to vaccinate their citizens.
Despite being a J&J fan, when the McKinney fire department called me to get my vaccine, I didn’t ask which one; I just asked when. Being 50 years old, taking high blood pressure medication, and being a medical provider exposed to COVID daily, I was ready to get vaccinated. All three vaccines have one thing in common; they reduce your odds from dying of COVID-19. It will likely be a while before you will be able to choose which version you can get. Until then, when your turn comes around, roll up your sleeve and take what you can get.
Short answers to some common questions I have been getting.
Can I Mix the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine?
Mixing vaccines is not recommended. In other words, don’t get a Pfizer vaccine for your 1st shot and a Moderna vaccine for your second. Also, I will take a moment to emphasize that it is essential to get both the 1st AND 2nd dose. The booster shot is what gives the body 95% protection from dying of COVID-19.
Should I get the vaccine if I have already had COVID-19?
The short answer is yes, but don’t be in a rush. We have good evidence that people who have had COVID-19 are moderately protected from becoming reinfected for at least 90 days and likely as long as 180 days. It is ok to put your name on the list after 90 days from the time you had your infection.
Can a vaccinated person still get COVID-19?
Yes. Being vaccinated does not mean you can’t catch or spread COVID-19. It means your body has a better chance of fighting the virus if you do get infected. Early data shows that when a vaccinated person is exposed to a positive COVID-19 person, there is a 35% chance the vaccinated person will walk away with COVID-19. So, for now, it is still recommended you continue to wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines until more people can be vaccinated and we have more data.
Once I get my vaccine, can I hang around other vaccinated people?
My official answer is no, but I suspect that my answer will change over the next few months. As more people get vaccinated, there will be fewer viable hosts for the virus to grow. When you add in the natural protection an infected person appears to carry, I am optimistic the United States will reach herd immunity by the end of 2021.
COVID-19 testing results
I have been publishing the results of our in-house testing for COVID-19 since we started testing in July. The great news is the overall numbers have improved dramatically since the start of the new year. February has shown the lowest case count to date, and the positivity rate continues to improve. For those of you that like to look see our numbers, click here.
As always, feel free to respond to this email if you have any comments or questions,
Nelson Simmons, MD