Are Vaccines Safe? 15+ Nuanced Responses To Common Questions | Heather Caslin, PhD

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AN INTRODUCTION TO HEATHER CASLIN, PHD:

Heather completed her B.S. and M.S. degrees in exercise physiology at Virginia Commonwealth University. 

In that time, she fell in love with health, nutrition, and exercise, but had a lot of questions about how they affect our immune system. 

That interest led her to complete a PhD in immunology. Her dissertation work bridged her interests between immunology and exercise physiology as she studied the effects of lactic acid on mast cells in sepsis and allergic disease. 

That dissertation project sparked her current interests in how metabolism and immunology intersect—which she is still studying today.

Heather is now a postdoctoral researcher at Vanderbilt University in the lab of Alyssa Hasty studying how the immune system contributes to obesity and type 2 diabetes. 

Specifically, she studies how weight loss and weight regain influence the relationship between adiposity and type 2 diabetes in adipose tissue immune cells. 

While her primary job is in academic research, she also has a passion for education and science outreach…which is why I wanted to interview her on my podcast!

In the episode, Heather tackles topics like whether or not vaccines contain unsafe toxins, whether or not the flu vaccine can give you the flu, why some people think vaccines cause autism…and more!


QUESTIONS I ASK HEATHER IN THE EPISODE:

  • What’s your story (specifically, what led to your interest in immunology?)
  • What led to decreased infections: better hygiene and sanitation, or vaccines?
  • Is natural immunity better than vaccine-acquired immunity?
  • Even though infection rates are so low in the United States, do we still need to vaccinate?
  • What risks are involved with vaccination? Are they worth the risk?
  • Can vaccines infect us with the diseases we’re trying to prevent?
  • Do vaccines contain unsafe toxins?
  • Do vaccines cause autism?
  • Is the vaccine schedule too aggressive for babies’ immune systems? Should they be more spaced out?
  • Can the flu vaccine give you the flu?
  • Is influenza really that serious? Do I need the flu vaccine?
  • Will the covid vaccine be safe since it’s being “rushed”?
  • Will the covid vaccine solve everything?
  • Will the covid vaccine have any new ingredients in it?
  • In your opinion, what does it mean to make “The Health Investment”? [Her response: It doesn’t have to be difficult, though I do wish it could be easier for everyone. Invest the time in finding a physician you trust. Keep up with your vaccines and your annual exams. Go to the dentist. Go to therapy. Support policies that help us all have access to these services because I know they’re not always affordable or accessible. And in the very least find professionals with relevant training and experience online that can help you access information.]

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