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April 2024 Newsletter

An Overview of Vaccines

Hello, this is Dr. Ellen. In this month’s ‘Real Common Sense’ newsletter, I want to look at the different types of vaccines used today. This topic has become an area of controversy, especially in the polarized political environment in which we find ourselves. But many of my patients have asked me questions about vaccination, and so I wanted to address the topic. Therefore, this is not an exhaustive review, but rather an overview of the categories of vaccinations available today. It is meant to inform, not to sway or even to reinforce anyone’s opinions.

By the way, if you haven’t had a chance to see my previous newsletters, you can find them on my website, www.drellencutler.com under ‘Media’.

What are vaccines?

Vaccines are produced in order to prevent or mitigate the spread of disease caused by viruses and other specific pathogenic microorganisms. The basic idea is to introduce into an individual the entirety, a portion of, or a representation of that microorganism in order to elicit an immune response in the recipient. Specifically, the ‘adaptive’ portion of the immune system is activated and sensitized to a specific foreign invader. This immune response uses two types of defending white blood cells that can neutralize specific invaders. B-cells (aka B-lymphocytes) produce antibodies that are released into the blood stream to attack the specific intruder. The others are called T-cells (aka T-lymphocytes), which break the specific invader into small pieces and then ‘ingest’ it.(1)

Inoculating someone to prevent communicable disease was first reported in Asia in the mid-1500’s. More than 200 years later, Edward Jenner found that those previously infected with cowpox, an illness similar to but much milder than smallpox, were apparently immune to smallpox. He tested this by first inoculating subjects with cowpox and later with smallpox. The subjects showed a mild reaction to cowpox and no reaction or disease after the smallpox inoculation. Thus, the first vaccine had been discovered by western medicine.(2)  Since then, the number of communicable diseases addressed by the different types of vaccines that have been developed has increased dramatically, especially over the past several decades.

How do the different types of vaccines work?

Today, there are several categories of vaccines, based on what is used to provoke the immune response; the material used is called the antigen. The most classic of these are made from the whole virus itself. There are two main types of these. Inactivated vaccines are those in which the vaccine contains a killed version of the virus, which itself cannot cause the disease in the recipient. Types of inactivated vaccines used include those for hepatitis A, rabies, and the flu and polio ‘shots.’ The other type are the live-attenuated vaccines, which contain a weakened version of the virus. They can create a very strong immune response but may need to be avoided in those with an impaired immune system. These vaccines are used to protect against several viral illnesses including measles, mumps, and rubella (the MMR), chicken pox, and smallpox.(3)

The COVID-19 pandemic made us all aware of another category of vaccines, those containing the nucleic acid sequence (mRNA) for a protein from the virus, which is then produced by the recipient’s own cells. This protein then triggers an immune response to that protein and therefore to the virus that produces it. The vaccine cannot itself cause the disease since there is no live virus. And because of the faster development and production times, mRNA vaccines for numerous other infectious diseases  are being researched. These other infectious agents include coronaviruses (e.g., SARS), hepatitis C, influenza, and tuberculosis.(3,4)

Another category is those vaccines containing a specific portion of the germ (i.e., virus, bacteria, or protozoa). This includes so-called subunit vaccines made from dissembled viral particles or from the virus with recombined DNA, such as those used to protect against hepatitis B, human papillomavirus (HPV), and Herpes zoster. There are also conjugate vaccines used primarily against disease-causing bacteria, often incorporating their polysaccharide (i.e., sugar) coating, an example of which is the vaccines against pneumococcal pneumonia. Also, toxoid vaccines can be produced by using inactivated toxins secreted by certain bacteria, such as tetanus and diphtheria vaccines.(3,5)

Finally, there are vaccines that use a different virus than the one causing the disease, which is then engineered as the vector of transmission to contain genes that encode for specific pieces of the disease-causing virus. The vector viruses used include influenza and adenovirus (which itself can cause the “common cold”). Recent uses of viral vector technology have been for Ebola virus and COVID-19.(3,6)

Are there other ingredients in vaccines?

There are additional ingredients used in contemporary vaccines for specific purposes. Adjuvants are substances that help to boost your immune system’s response to the antigen contained in the vaccine, an example of which is aluminum salts. Multidose vials use preservatives such as thimerosal (a form of mercury) to protect the vaccine from outside bacteria or fungus. Stabilizers, like sugar or gelatin, help the active ingredients in vaccines continue to work after they are manufactured. Also, some ingredients needed to produce the antigen are no longer needed and are removed after production, but very small amounts may remain in the final product. These may include cell culture media, such as egg protein, upon which the vaccine antigen grows; inactivating ingredients, like formaldehyde, used to weaken or kill viruses, bacteria, or toxins in the vaccine; or antibiotics, such as neomycin, that prevented outside bacteria from growing in the vaccine.(7,8)

Ellen Cutler Method (ECM)

In my clinical practice, I have had the opportunity to use ECM energetic testing and desensitization in conjunction with vaccinations. Some of my patients that would be receiving one or more vaccines expressed concerns about potential problems associated with one or more of the ingredients in the vaccine(s). Others had concerns about newly acquired symptoms they were experiencing since receiving a vaccine. By using ECM testing, I am able to determine if an individual is energetically sensitive to one or more of the ingredients in the vaccine(s) and can then energetically desensitize them. In my experience, when using the ECM interventions, patients have reported either little or no problems with their vaccination(s), or an improvement in symptoms they had experienced following vaccination. Of course, these are ‘anecdotal’ observations. Nonetheless, I am happy to report that many individuals have experienced well-tolerated vaccinations or improvement in their wellbeing following vaccinations using the ECM testing and desensitization.  

Please be well, be healthy, and remember…

“Wise and humane management of the patient is the best safeguard against infection.”

― Florence Nightingale

Dr. Ellen


  1. “The Immune System” at https://drellencutler.com/january-2022-newsletter/
  2. “Vaccine Timeline” at https://historyofvaccines.org/history/vaccine-timeline/overview
  3.  “Vaccine Types” at https://www.hhs.gov/immunization/basics/types/index.html
  4. “The Future of mRNA Vaccines” at https://www.pennmedicine.org/mrna#future-of-mrna
  5. “Types of Vaccines” at https://www.health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/Health-Readiness/Immunization-Healthcare/Clinical-Consultation-Services/Types-of-Vaccines
  6. “What are the Different Types of Vaccines?” at https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-are-the-Different-Types-of-Vaccines.aspx
  7. “Vaccine Ingredients” at https://www.hhs.gov/immunization/basics/vaccine-ingredients/index.html
  8. “What’s in Vaccines?” at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/additives.htm

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate, or prevent any disease.

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