Back-To-School Physicals and COVID
By Dr. Heather Gessling, MD
COO of Chief Medical Board for the The Wellness Company
Most children receive their annual wellness check and sports physical before beginning the school year. For parents it is a part of the process of preparing a child for the year ahead, including being current with vaccines.
There is a common discussion regarding vaccines that has increased over the past two years. During COVID and with the spread of the vaccine mandates a paradigm shift occurred. Parents began to grow weary of trusting in vaccines in general . Parents now want to know their options more than ever. Not every state or school is able to easily waive a vaccine requirement. It is good to know what your state’s requirements are, which can be found at this NCLS link. Depending on what your state will allow and the policies that different schools implement you may find that you are required to get the COVID vaccine or multiple other vaccines but the options of religious, medical, or philosophical exemption likely exist.
Physicians are charged with always doing the very best possible for their patients and as such they need to prepare to engage in conversations with the best strategies to help kids stay safe from the unintended consequences of any and all vaccines. The COVID vaccine, in particular, has had a big impact on today’s youth and created ever increasing questions among parents. Deciding what is best for their children has become a priority for parents. Physicians need to be ready to help with unbiased and well-researched answers to their questions.
When working with children, it is important that you understand the risks that face them. Unfortunately, an outwardly appearing healthy child may have issues happening internally that are related to taking the COVID vaccine. Because of this, a cardiac MRI may be needed for sports clearance for those who have had the COVID vaccine. A cardiac MRI is the best method of gauging if a patient has inflammation of the heart, or cardiomyopathy, which is a disease that makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body. This concern is prevalent in males and an EKG is simply not able to pick up the information needed to determine if cardiomyopathy is present.
For females, a frequent concern from COVID vaccines has to do with their menstrual cycle. Research has found that the lipid nanoparticles that are associated with the vaccine and boosters are highly inflammatory. These nanoparticles tend to attack the ovaries, testes, bone marrow, and the brain in a high amount . There are still many unknown variables to future problems for females who experience these complications now.
What We Know Today, Where We Go Tomorrow
There is a large learning curve that we are processing and learning from together. The physicians at TWC are constantly seeking out the most relevant research and data available to provide the best information possible.
Parents of children who have not received vaccines can be assured that most children have already experienced COVID. Many of these children were asymptomatic and any discomfort likely presented itself as a flu or cold. There are two different ways to assess prior infection which is to check for nucleocapsid antibodies to COVID via a blood test ordered by your family doctor or pediatrician or to use the T-Detect test which is ordered online.
As everyone prepares for this new school year, the best steps you can take are to do what will best ensure the immediate and long-term well-being of your children. Take control of what you can such as eating healthy foods and getting plenty of sleep. Reducing toxic foods is one of the most crucial things a parent can do for their child’s health as well as encouraging less screen time, more group social interactions, a healthy sleep pattern, and reducing unnecessary stress in their life.
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About the Author:
Dr. Heather Gessling, MD is a family medicine specialist in Columbia, MO. She currently practices at MMG Family Medicine and is affiliated with Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. She accepts multiple insurance plans. Dr. Gessling is board certified in Family Practice. She is on the Chief Medical Board of The Wellness Company founded in 2022.
Education: University Of Missouri-Columbia School Of Medicine
 The Defender Staff, A COVID Silver Lining? More Parents Than Ever Questioning ‘Routine’ Childhood Vaccines, The Defender: Children’s Health Defense News & Views, August 12, 2022
 Stephanie Seneff and Greg Nigh, Worse Than the Disease? Reviewing Some Possible Unintended Consequences of the mRNA Vaccines Against COVID-19, International Journey of Vaccine Theory, Practice, and Research, May 10, 2021.