Author Archives: sararodgers

Will you get Vaccinated?

The Covid Vaccine is finally here. Click HERE for Idaho and HERE for Oregon to determine if you are eligible for the vaccine now.

Recently, I’ve been answering questions about the vaccine and if people should get vaccinated.

First, let me reveal that I decided to get vaccinated. The first shot was painless, but my arm did hurt for a day. I suffered no other side effects.

The biggest benefit of these vaccines is the head start they give our immune systems to combat the virus before symptoms arise. The two FDA approved vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) have 94-95% effectiveness after 2 doses are provided. This means that, in clinical trials, vaccinated individuals had 95% less risk than control group participants of developing symptoms or being tested positive for the virus. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is also currently FDA approved; it has 66% effectiveness after one dose.

Importantly, no participants in any of the 3 vaccine vaccinated groups needed to be hospitalized or died from Covid-19 after the vaccine took full affect. Even one dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines showed protectiveness against serious illness 6-7 weeks after one dose. Read an article about these vaccines HERE.

Because the Covid-19 virus is here to stay, including with new variants, we will need to remain vigilant and compliant about social distancing and wearing masks, even after being vaccinated. Another reason to stay vigilant about masking is that current vaccinations have not been tested on children and infection rates are climbing in the pediatric population.

In my assessment, vaccination is probably one of the major tools that will allow us to reduce chronic illness, hospitalization, and death from Covid-19.

Who should NOT get the vaccine: Anyone who has significant reactions to the ingredients, specifically polyethylene glycol. One other nice thing about the vaccine is that, unlike many traditional vaccines, it is NOT grown on eggs. To read more about the currently approved vaccines, please read my article HERE.

For more fun, a February 20, 2021 New York Times interactive article provides some insight on when we may get to herd immunity and reduce mortality, depending on vaccination rates and preventative measures. See article HERE. Be sure to play with the interactive tabs!

Covid-19 Vaccines

The National Institute of Health Vaccine Research Center has been working on a vaccine since the beginning of the epidemic. Read HERE to learn more about the vaccination development history.

These new RNA vaccines are different from traditional vaccines in that our own cellular machinery is used to produce the antigen (Covid’s spike protein) that your immune system can then respond to. After getting the vaccine, most people will have mild flu-like symptoms as they manufacture antibodies in response to the new antigen. They then will have the antibodies pre-made if exposed to the actual virus.

This excellent VIDEO answers a lot of the questions about the new vaccines.

A concerning issue with the Covid-19 vaccines is the risk of anaphylactic reaction. The new vaccines have relatively few ingredients, but do contain lipids and polyethylene glycol which may be the source of allergic reactions. See below for Moderna and Pfizer Covid Vaccine Ingredients.

If you have a history of allergy of anaphylaxis, these vaccines may not be a good choice. Additionally, health officials suggest waiting 15-20 minutes at the vaccination location center after obtaining a vaccine in case you have an adverse reaction.

There are a lot of unanswered questions about these vaccines. One unknown is if a vaccinated individual can transmit the virus to someone else. Because researchers are currently unable to answer this question, the use of a face mask continues to be suggested for everyone, regardless of vaccination history. Bummer.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine ingredient list:

  • mRNA
  • Lipids including:
    • (4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate)
    • 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide
    • 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine
    • cholesterol
  • potassium chloride
  • monobasic potassium phosphate
  • sodium chloride
  • dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate
  • sucrose

The Moderna Covid-19 vaccine ingredient list.

  • mRNA
  • Lipids
    • SM-102
    • polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG]
    • cholesterol
    • 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC])
  • tromethamine
  • tromethamine hydrochloride
  • acetic acid
  • sodium acetate
  • sucrose

Reduce EMF exposure

Cell phones, tablets, computers, smart meters, smart appliances, and Wi-Fi are amazing technologies but they also pose health risks that we cannot see, hear, taste or smell.

The term “Electrosmog” has been coined for the radiofrequency and electromagnetic frequency radiation (RF EMF) produced by electronic devices. RF EMF’s may negatively affect numerous organ systems including reproductive organs, kidneys, the brain, the immune system and DNA. A list of biological effects from low-intensive exposure to radiofrequency radiation can be found HERE provided by Physicians for Safe Technology.

Below is a list of resources to help you learn about Electromagnetic Radiation, its sources, and how to reduce your exposure. Cathy Cooke’s tips to reduce EMF exposure lists these resources and more.

Top 10 Ways to Reduce Your EMF Exposure. By Cathy Cooke, Whole Home and Body Health

EMF Analysis

EMF Academy

Physicians for Safe Technology

The BabySafe Project

Human Radiation Effects Group

Dr. Magda Havas, PHD

Covid update: Chronic Covid Syndrome

[Please note, it is illegal for practitioners to provide product suggestions in public articles. Oregon and Idaho residents desiring individualized suggestions to support the immune system, can sign up for a time to consult Dr. Rodgers at]

The term “Long Haulers” is being used to describe patients who were infected by Covid-19 (SARS CoV-2), but never completely recovered. For many of these patients, they may not feel better for up to 5 months after initially infected.

No one yet understands why some people recover from the acute phase of a Covid-19 infection in 1-2 weeks, but others end up with chronic issues affecting multiple organs including the brain. Symptoms of Chronic Covid Syndrome (CCS), are significant.  Click HERE to see a list of CSS symptoms [1],[2]

 These symptoms may vary daily, making it hard to diagnose.

Some theories for the cause of Chronic Covid Syndrome include the level of initial infectious viral load, insufficient immune response that does not eradicate the virus completely, the presences of certain human histocompatibility antigens (HLA), low grade inflammation, and cellular degeneration.[3]  Other theories include re-triggering of underlying co-infections, chronic mycotoxin (mold) or toxic metal burdens, or NEW exposures to mold, metals, pathogens, or other toxins after a Covid-19 infection.[4],[5],[6],[7]

Until we completely understand how some people develop long term symptoms from Covid-19, here are some suggestions to support your immune system and reduce the risk of Chronic Covid Syndrome.

Prevention: Prevent yourself from getting sick: wear a mask and wash your hands. Wear a mask over both nose and mouth when in public or in the presence of someone not of your household. You may love them, but you do not know if they are unwittingly carrying the virus. Wash your hands after being in public or handling anything not from your household.

Improve your immune system. Nutrients such as Vitamin C, Zinc, and Vitamin D have been shown to support a healthy response to viral infection.[8]   When taken together, the benefits of taking these nutrients may be synergistic in supporting the fight against this virus. Nutrient levels suggested compliments of Dr. Paul Anderson, ND[9]

  • Zinc has been shown to reduce viral replication, inhibit the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) which is responsible for viral entry into cells, and improve tissue integrity to reduce viral spread to other tissues. Doses suggested: 30—50 mg twice daily. If taken long term, copper should added at a ratio of 1 mg copper for every 15 mg of Zinc.  
  • Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and must be taken daily to have a beneficial affect. Vitamin C is important to tissue integrity, as an antioxidant protecting cells from free radicals generated from infection and toxins, helps to reduce the severity of pneumonia, and reduces the inflammatory molecules (cytokines) that lead to the severe inflammatory storms associated with Covid-19.  Since Vitamin C taken orally can cause diarrhea, the dose is dependent on what you can tolerate. Start with 1,000 mg and work up to a dose that does not cause diarrhea. Take in divided doses throughout the day. Increased doses will be needed during active infections.
  • Vitamin D’s role in the immune system is as a fat-soluble hormone. This hormone has receptors on all immune cells and may reduce inflammatory storms by modulating cytokines.  It also has receptors on lung cells and help improve an antiviral response. Like Vitamin C and Zinc, Vitamin D plays a role in maintaining good tissue barrier function, reducing the migration of unwanted pathogens. A simple blood test helps inform you of your Vitamin D levels. A loading dose of 25,000-50,000 IU for several days can be helpful if you don’t know your blood levels. Follow this by 1,000-5,000 IU daily.

Other nutrients important to the immune system includi Vitamin A, B vitamins, and magnesium.[10]

Additional nutrients may be helpful to reduce inflammation, support the mitochondria, reduce blood-brain-barrier leakage, and provide neurological protection.

  • Natural anti-inflammatories such as fish oil or vegetarian algae oil.
  • Curcumin
  • Quercitin
  • Co-Q 10
  • N-acetyl cysteine
  • B vitamins, most importantly Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B6.
  • Phytocannabinoids such as Cannabidiol (CBD) or cannabigerol (CBG).

Avoid toxins. Avoid common toxins. A simple guide can be found HERE to reduce your daily exposure. Choosing hand sanitizer without fragrance is equally important.

Avoid Molds. If you have any mold exposure, please seek guidance for cleaning up the mold safely and to check if you have any levels of mycotoxins.  If you have current mold growth in your home, please seek an experienced building biologist or certified mold evaluator for evaluation. Even if you feel OK, exposure to Covid-19 when you have an underlying or new infection can trigger a significant inflammatory response.

Hyperbaric oxygen may be helpful for more severe CCS patients.[11]

To address Chronic Covid Syndrome, it is important to treat each patient as an individual. The reason for this is that each patient has unique genetics, different underlying chronic medical conditions, varying toxin body burden levels from mold, toxic metals, or other co-infections. Each of these issues need to be addressed. Dr. Sara Rodgers, NMD is trained to manage chronic disease, including immune imbalance, mold infections, toxic metal evaluation/reduction, gastrointestinal imbalances, hormone imbalances, and more. If a naturopathic physician is not available in your area, look for a functional medicine provider who works with chronically ill patients.  


[2] Lambert, N. J. & Survivor Corps.  COVID-19 “Long Hauler” Symptoms Survey Report.  Indiana University School of Medicine; 2020.

Carfi A et al. Persistent Symptoms in Patients After Acute COVID-19. JAMA. 2020 Aug 11;324(6):603-605.  doi: 10.1001/jama.2020.12603.

[3] Baig, AM.  Deleterious Outcomes in Long-Hauler COVID-19: The Effects of SARS-CoV-2 on the CNS in Chronic COVID Syndrome.  ACS Chem Neurosci.  2020 Dec. 16;11(24):4017-4020.

[4] Proal,A and Marshall T. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in the Era of the Human Microbiome: Persistent Pathogens Drive Chronic Symptoms by Interfering With Host Metabolism, Gene Expression, and Immunity. Front. Pediatr., 04 December 2018

[5] Kritas s et al. Impact of mold on mast cell-cytokine immune response. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents . Jul-Aug 2018;32(4):763-768.

[6] Zhihua Lv et al. Clinical characteristics and co-infections of 354 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study. Microbes and Infection 22 (2020) 195e199. DOI: 10.1016/j.micinf.2020.05.007

[7] Chen, Lancet. Volume 395, Issue 10223, 15–21 February 2020, Pages 507-513.

[8] Name, JJ. et al. Zinc, Vitamin D and Vitamin C: Perspectives for COVID-19 With a Focus on Physical Tissue Barrier Integrity. Front. Nutr., 07 December 2020.


[10] Gombart AF, Pierre A, Maggini S. A review of micronutrients and the immune system-working in harmony to reduce the risk of infection. Nutrients. (2020) 12:236.

[11] Kjellberg A et al. Can hyperbaric oxygen safely serve as an anti-inflammatory treatment for COVID-19?  Medical Hypotheses  Volume 144, November 2020, 110224.

Easy ways to maintain a healthy home and reduce your exposure to chemicals.

Go Shoeless.  Remove your shoes upon entering the home. This reduces the amount of oil, pesticides, dirt that will be tracked into the home.  You will also be reducing exposure to those who spend the most time on the floor: pets and children.

Nontoxic cleaners.  There are plenty of great non-toxic cleaning products on the market. Citrus and soy-based cleaners are found in health-conscious supermarkets.  Vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and essential oils can be used to clean most things. The environmental working group has numerous links for healthy living suggestions, including one on healthy cleaning.  Additionally, two App helps you scan product UPC codes to determine toxicity of products and foods.

Natural Fragrances.  Remove synthetic based fragrance products from your home. These include scented candles and plug in deodorizers. They may smell good, but they may also contain a multitude of chemicals. Essential oils are a great substitution for synthetic fragrance and perfume. Many synthetic perfumes may be made from a combination of chemicals and may cause asthma symptoms or skin irritation.  If you are an avid candle burner, consider beeswax candles with lead free wicks. Importantly, avoiding fragrance-based fabric softener sheets will reduce a lot of chemical exposure.

Choose non-toxic personal care products. Avoid fragrance in soap, shampoo, laundry soap, dryer sheets, body spray, etc.  The cosmetic database at can be helpful to determine the toxicity of some products.

Water filters.  Chlorine is used to keep our water supply safe because it is an excellent disinfectant, but that doesn’t mean you need it in your body where it can do oxidative damage. Other contaminants may also be in our water including metals, pesticides, and pharmaceutical drugs. A whole house filter helps ensure that the water you drink and the water you bath in are clean. If that option is not right for you, place water filters on your drinking water tap and shower head.  Several manufacturers produce a chlorine filter designed for the bath. This product is great to help reduce chlorine exposure to children and those of us who love to take hot baths.

 Buy organic food.  See for more information. Pesticide residue may be on fruits and vegetables grown with pesticides.  There are more choices for organic foods these days than ever. They are still an expensive choice, but I always like to look at the big picture. When organic methods are used, the soil is healthier, toxin exposure to farm workers, children, aquifers, and wildlife is reduced, and the consumer eats fewer chemical pesticides.  If buying organic food is too expensive, a cheap alternative is to wash your fruit/vegetables in a vinegar or vitamin C solution.  Place ½ cup of vinegar or several tablespoons of vitamin C powder in a sink-full of water to wash off your vegetables. A mild base or acid solution helps to remove pesticide residue from the outside of the food.  It has been found that washing with soap does NOT work.  Peeling vegetable skins also reduces pesticides.

Eat naturally.  Refrain from colorings, preservatives, additives, and flavorings in food.  Many times, these compounds are not natural. Removing these compounds from the diets of hyperactive and autistic children can show dramatic improvement in symptoms.  Also note that Nutrasweet/Equal/Aspartamine made out of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. This product breaks down to methanol (wood alcohol) and/or formaldehyde in the body.

Stay away from storing and preparing food in plastic.  Plastic contains phthalates and other plasticizers. These plasticizers are very estrogen like.  Replacing your plastic containers with glass or Pyrex removes the possibility of contamination.  Reduce the amount of food you wrap in plastic wrap as this is another source of plasticizers.

Keep dry cleaning outside.  Place dry cleaned clothes outside for 2 weeks when returned from the dry cleaners.  Most people place their newly cleaned clothes in their bedroom closets.  The dry-cleaning chemicals do off-gas.  Since we spend a significant time in our bedrooms (1/3 of the day if we sleep a full 8 hours), exposure to these chemicals is significant as we are sleep right next to the source.

For more advanced house keeping:

Air purifiers.  A HEPA air filter helps reduce the level of small particulates in the air.  HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Arrestor and is specified to remove 99.97 % of particles 0.3 microns or less.  If you live near an agriculturally sprayed area, much of the dust can be coated with pesticides/herbicides.  A HEPA unit in the home can remove these fine particulates as well as bacteria, mold, tobacco particulates, dust mites.  Some air filters have been designed to remove particulates down to 0.003 microns (this will eliminate most viruses).  Combined with a carbon filter to remove odors and chemical fumes, HEPA filters are an excellent tool for the home.

Alternatively, air purifiers that operate without a HEPA filter may not actually clean the home.  For example, negative ion generators work by making dust particles heavier, and thus taking them out of the air column, but they do not take dust out of your living or workspace.  Furthermore, negative ion generators may create ozone.   Ozone is a pro oxidant and can create oxidative damage to lung tissue when breathed in. Remember, anti aging = anti oxidant (not pro oxidant).  My recommendation is to only use a negative ion generator when all living creatures are removed (people, animals, plants), and then thoroughly air out the space before re inhabiting the area.

Reduce Electromagnetic Frequency Radiation (EMFs).  With the widespread use of electronic devices and Wi-Fi, exposure to EMF’s has increased dramatically in the last 20 years. Physiology of humans, animals, and plants depends on the balance of electrical energy in our systems. Addition of EMF’s can affect numerous organs including the brain, immune system, energy levels, sleep health, and hormone regulation. Consider wiring your house to provide a non Wi-Fi environment.  Sources such as the EMF Academy, EMF Analysis or building biologists  provide helpful educational resources.  You can read more about EMF’s HERE.

Assess the health of your home. Building Biologists can provide an in-home assessment and recommendations to reduce exposure to indoor toxins including mold, EMF’s, volatile organic compounds, and other sources of toxins. Local building biologists include:

Whole Home and Body Health – Cathy Cooke

Test My Home – Ryan Blaser

Resources for Helping Children Cope During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Prepared by Kelsy Newton, Psy.D.

St. Luke’s Children’s Neuro- and Behavioral Psychology


  • Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman
  • How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talkby Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
  • The Self-Compassion Workbook for Teens: Mindfulness and Compassion Skills to Overcome Self-Criticism and Embrace Who You Are by Karen Bluth, PhD
  • Self-Compassion for Parents: Nurture Your Child by Caring for Yourself by Susan Pollak
  • Mindful Games for Kids by Kristina Marcelli-Sargent


  • Smiling Mind: Free mindful app developed by psychologists and educators
  • Breathe App: free app for phone or watch that will guide inhalation and exhalation.
  • Breathe Kids: has both a free and subscription version and includes kid friendly mediation/relaxation videos
  • Headspace: requires subscription fee but offers a library of guided mediations
  • Calm: subscription fee required and included a variety of mediations and sleep stories